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What is StumbleUpon (and should our business use it)?

By Erin  |  April 09, 2012  |   Online Marketing

StumbleUpon logo

While you've been keeping your eyes open for the best new methods for digital marketing success, at one point or another you've likely stumbled upon StumbleUpon.

It seems pretty cool.  You know it's incredibly popular.

But...what is StumbleUpon? Are there any business uses for it? Can your company take advantage of it?

StumbleUpon Defined

Like Facebook or Twitter, StumbleUpon is a social media platform.  Its unique speciality is helping users find new, genuinely interesting content through somewhat-random and socially-powered web surfing.

StumbleUpon is most commonly used as a browser extension—an add-on piece of software that hooks into Firefox, Chrome, Explorer, or Safari. (It's actually also available for Android devices).

Once installed, this browser extension shows up as a small tool bar that looks like this:

screenshot of StumbleuponThough it's most commonly used in this manner, you don't need to use StumbleUpon as a browser extension; you can alternatively create a free membership at StumbleUpon.com and begin from there.

Once you begin, at the click of a button StumbleUpon drops you off at random web pages that others using the service have marked as interesting.

Over time and as you give each site a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down", StumbleUpon learns your likes and dislikes, allowing it to send direct you to sites that are much more likely to closely match your interests.

Business Benefits Of StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is an incredibly powerful recommendation engine for its users, and has been known to send thousands (and sometimes even tens of thousands) of visitors to a web page in a day or less (even though results aren't typically that spectacular). 

StumbleUpon's "thumbs up" feature and easy sharing options make it possible for popular content to spread very quickly. If enough users visit and enjoy your content, you can experience benefits such as new links to your site, mentions on Facebook or Twitter, blog comments, and even direct communications and leads from visitors.

Should Your Business Use Stumble Upon?

StumbleUpon tends to work better for businesses that have websites offering content that's somewhat casual and fun in nature. StumbleUpon users tend to enjoy content like photographs, videos, top 10 lists, infographics and the like.  

In other words, while no one's going to enjoy stumbling upon your website's Mission Statement page, you could potentially be sitting on a gold mine if your company blog provides truly unique, fun, and/or engaging content.

While StumbleUpon can be difficult to predict and impossible to control, it does have the potential to provide your site with new sources of exposure, and—if your content is truly remarkable or engaging—create a surge of traffic bringing hundreds of eyeballs to your content.

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