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With the recent news that Stumble Upon sends the most traffic of any social media platform, marketers become wide-eyed to the prospect of getting their piece of the pie. The truth is, this isn’t really anything new. In the past year, StumbleUpon (SU) had quietly grown to over 10 million users, but has (for a while now) sent either the most, or close to the most traffic. But just because it boasts this claim, doesn’t mean it’s the best tool reach your marketing goals.
Things you should know about Stumble Upon Traffic
More traffic, but over a much longer period of time
Other social bookmarking sites, like Digg or Reddit send a lot of traffic, but in a very short period of time. There’s generally a huge spike in traffic, but within a week it’s practically non-existent. With SU, a page can continue to see a steady traffic flow sometimes many months after the page was discovered. This is important to note because newsworthy or otherwise time-sensitive content probably isn’t the most appropriate for SU.
Another side-effect of this is that SU tends to lack the community aspect, which are big parts of Reddit and Digg. Comments are usually independent and rarely lead to worthwhile discussions. As a result, campaigns where engagement and community building are marketing goals may not be as successful on SU alone.
Can have improved bounce rate, pages/visit, & time on site
This is great news for sites where the main revenue source comes from CPM advertising. Otherwise, they can be deceiving statistics. The problem is, that just because users stay around longer doesn’t mean that they are comparatively more engaged with your content or even more likely to convert to a sale (or even click on an ad for that matter). When a SU user ends up on your site, it’s not because the title or description of the content grabbed their attention, it’s because they clicked on the “stumble” button and [randomly] came to your site. In other words: they weren’t sure what they would end up seeing, and (as a result) may be more interested in another page on your site. So in a sense, while it may boast more traffic, SU sends less qualified traffic than other social bookmarking options. This is both SU’s strength and its biggest weakness.
Oh and one more thing: these improved statistics aren’t a given. Unless you have more content of similar quality within the same general topic, and a way for stumblers to find it easily (from the page they landed on), you may even find it to be the exact opposite!
Not as great for building links
SU is not as strong as Digg or Reddit for attracting links. And it’s certainly nowhere near Twitter. Both because SU traffic isn’t as “qualified” as the other social sites, and because the time-line of traffic is so spread out. The fact is, a lot of webmasters & bloggers use social bookmarking sites to find inspiration for their own content. They pick and choose the articles that are most appropriate for their own sites. SU just isn’t as useful for this as some of the others. Further, most of the linking web tends to be early adopters (particularly top bloggers and larger media sites – the best links) because failing to be so means falling out of validity. Therefore, most links are given in that short time frame [first week or so] of a piece of content’s popularity.
That doesn’t mean however, that SU isn’t useful as a link bait promotion tool. Quality content that takes off in ANY social media platform, will attract links. Also, great content that can remain useful or valid regardless of it’s age should continue to attract links over time, making a hit on SU more than adequate.
StumbleUpon has remained a powerful social media promotion tool
StumbleUpon is a tool that should NOT be ignored as a part of any content promotion strategy. It can send a large amount of traffic to your content over a longer period of time, and even though it’s not as community centered as Reddit, Digg, or even Twitter, it can still be a fairly decent networking tool. It may not always be the ideal place to promote your content (depending on your campaign goals and content strategy), but if you’re looking to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible, there might be no better way. Understanding when it’s most appropriate can help you optimize your promotion efforts and either way, when you see the traffic it can send, believe me, you’ll welcome it.