Stumbled On Stumble Upon

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!

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