August 29, 2013

The Stepchildren Of Social Media – StumbleUpon

stumbleupon social media toolContinuing our look at social media platforms that don’t normally get a lot of hype given all the attention on Facebook and Twitter, today is StumbleUpon’s turn.  The premise behind StumbleUpon is that the world wide web is an awe-inspiring place – an incredible resource of information and cat videos, but that it can be overwhelming to find what you’re looking for it and you might be missing some of the best stuff.  StumbleUpon attempts to curate for you sites that would be of interest based on your own personal preferences.  So how do they do this?  And, as a business owner, what can this mean for your business?

How StumbleUpon Works

The idea is that as you ‘stumble’ along the internet, you indicate to StumbleUpon, via rankings, what web pages you like and which you don’t like.  StumbleUpon takes that information and then, based on the ‘likes’ and recommendations of other Stumblers, helps you discover websites you might not have found on your own based on your preferences.

Using StumbleUpon For Business

The beauty of the StumbleUpon concept from a business standpoint is that it can help drive more traffic to your site which, given how crowded the internet is these days, is a good thing.  Wouldn’t you want people who are interested in products like yours to find you?

First things first, you need to be providing some sort of content on your site so that people can Stumble through it.  Simply having a home page is not enough.  This could be a great tool, especially since StumbleUpon has an active Food/Cooking interest group with hundreds of thousands of followers, if you have a blog that you update frequently with engaging information, stories, and pictures, and not simply calls to buy your product.  If you don’t already have a blog or content like this in place, you have to carefully weigh whether you’re willing to put in the time to both create the blog and be actively engaged in the StumbleUpon community and, if so, whether you believe that will drive the type of traffic to your site that warrants that time investment.

This, of course, is true of all social media tools and not just StumbleUpon – they may be fun to use but 1. are those the tools your audience is using and 2. are you ready to commit to actively using them so that you can try to make a measurable difference for your business or will you simply ‘have an account.’  I personally tried to use StumbleUpon for a few weeks before writing this article but found that personally it didn’t enable me to stumble upon the type of business information I was interested in so I deleted my account.  That is the great thing with some of these tools though – you can try them out for a bit without telling a lot of people and see if it’s something you can see yourself working with long-term. If not, delete your account and no one’s the wiser!

If you’re reading to get started on StumbleUpon, this is one of the best step-by-step instructions for how to set up a business account and get stumbling.

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