Serial stumblers should relate to this picture without much ado. For those not aware of it yet, StumbleUpon (SU) is a social bookmarking site (like Instapaper and Google Bookmarks) that helps users “discover new and interesting stuff on the web” (according to their own website).SU finds and recommends web content to its users based on their preference and allows them to rate the same. Other than helping people stay absolutely unproductive online and sleep deprived, it has emerged as a powerful e-marketing tool as well with over25 million international users generating 1 billion monthly page referrals,and all this just by using simple concepts of segregation of web content and personalization of the same ! Personally, I use StumbleUpon extensively for bookmarking rad stuff on the web. For me, the cool thing about SU is that for as long as they’ve been around, they haven’t really changed much unlike most other social media sites out there. Cant deny the comfort in familiarity.
SU is a great driver of traffic to websites and that’s what makes it an interesting tool for e-marketers. The “Paid Discovery” model of SU is unique in the sense that web traffic is directed to the website or content without clicking through ads or links. The way it works is-
- Initial account setup by the website manager/content creator on SU. This is a paid account just like Google AdWords, but instead of targeting based on keywords/adverts, SU has a really simple model- select a category, target demographics (location/age/gender), and traffic amount expected per day (max. 2000)
- Users in the targeted demographics and matching preference with the input category will then be shown the page/content on clicking the stumble button in the toolbar or website.
- SU charges per visitor to the website as opposed to Google AdWord’s model of charging on per click basis. Read this to know more about a comparison of Google AdWords with SU.
A quick Google search on SU’s traffic tracking accuracy shows they are 100% accurate and fraud-free. SU is focused on staying organic,and websites claiming to deliver automated SU traffic are almost always caught and banned. This advantage of marketing with SU helps allay the oft repeated criticism that SU traffic is hard to convert as they are not in a buying mode while stumbling.
SU is particularly attractive to US marketers as it has a prominent presence therein. In 2010, SU beat Facebook in web traffic sourcing (as per StatCounter). As shown in the graph here, SU comes a close second in 2012, while staying significantly ahead of other social media sites,in the US market. Since its inception in 2001, StumbleUpon has come a long way quietly in becoming a social media powerhouse, and it has achieved this feat without much media attention. Overall, its a simple, unannoying, honest,proven and popular marketing tool for e-marketers and web content creators seeking to increase web traffic using social media channels other than Twitter or Facebook.