StumbleUpon has carved out a growing niche of devotees and casual users large enough to draw attention from marketers both big and small. These 10 tips will give you a competitive edge in getting your message out to StumbleUpon users.
1. Get Involved:
StumbleUpon is a community, so be communal! Join groups, post reviews, subscribe to fellow stumbler’s links, produce a great profile and keep it updated. In short, make lots of friends, and those friends will spread the word about you, much like with other social networking communities. Invite other friends to meet you at SU, too.
2. Send a Variety of Links to your Friends:
Like with Twitter, don’t always talk about yourself. On StumbleUpon, send your friends cool links you’ve come across, and drop your own links in the mix at a rate of about 5% to 10%, or perhaps 1 or 2 times per week. Build a reputation as a sender of helpful, interesting links and the occasional links to your sites will have good credibility.
3. Use the StumbleUpon Toolbar:
For starters, this will familiarize you with the community and how it functions, and your intuitive marketing efforts will be much more effective. Secondly, it will demonstrate your commitment to the community and naturally lead to gaining more friends and more interest in what you have to offer. Similarly to #1, be an insider. All communities are leery of outsiders.
4. Speak Well of StumbleUpon:
Committed Stumblers are devoted to SU, and when you say things about it that are nice and natural, and both are important, Stumblers will naturally look with greater favor upon everything you say or send. That’s human nature. Tap into it and you will succeed.
5. Stumble the Goods:
Link to the specific pages of a site you want to share, not the homepage. Stumblers don’t like digging around on a site to find what you are referencing any more than you do.
6. Use StumbleUpon to Interest, Not Sell:
A soft-sell approach is the only way to go, since the SU community doesn’t like to be marketed to. This is one of the foundational principles of combining marketing with social networking. However, Stumblers enjoy hearing about intriguing sites that offer value to them in one way or another. Mention your “stuff” and its benefits in a conversational way, never asking for a sale. This is not traditional selling! No one will be turned off, and those who are interested will seek your site to learn more, and possibly convert to customer status.
7. Build SU-Savvy Sites:
This follows from the point above. Create a site just for your SU community that is rich in value-laden content related to your products and services, which should certainly be available, but in a low-hype context. Create the image on the site that its purpose is to serve the SU community with helpful information and some products/services that will be of great value.
8. Don’t Go Automated:
Automated tools may create short-term success, but since they are forbidden by StumbleUpon, if you are discovered, you may be banned or your sites dropped. SU is set up to be organic. Sites promising to deliver SU traffic to you are likely bogus, or will shortly be banned, too. It’s better for your reputation and long-term success to Stumble by the rules.
9. Be Respectful of Tags:
Tags are used to indicate areas of interest. Don’t shoe-horn your “stuff” into tag-areas where it doesn’t fit. That won’t play well, and will harm your reputation. If you’ve got a product that offers value to a large segment of people, there will be tags appropriate to it. You won’t have to manufacture connections.
10. Offer More:
Place RSS subscription buttons before and after your content, and some casual readers will become regulars and the relationship will broaden, and possibly deepen, with sales resulting.
Like with all social networking sites, getting involved is the key to understanding the culture and succeeding within it. These tips will get you started, and soon you’ll be stumbling upon your own keys to success.