Social Survey: StumbleUpon

stumbleupon250 Social Survey: StumbleUponAccording to eBizMBA, StumbleUpon is the 5th largest social bookmarking site.   It is one of the most well known and many people would say the most fun to use social bookmarking sites.  What makes StumbleUpon so much fun is the StumbleUpon toolbar.  What is so amazing about this toolbar is the ability to truly surf the web.  Once installed you can set your preferences and interest and surf the web getting recommendations based on your interest.  If your interested in “Higher Education” and “Internet Marketing” then you will be more likely to get these sorts of sites shown to you.  By rating the sites that you like and don’t like using the toolbars “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” options the system learns your preferences and narrows down the sites that it sends you too.

Here are two great articles that can explain StumbleUpon much better than me trying to rewrite something that someone has already done better:

  • A Quick Guide to Using StumbleUpon
  • How to Write Posts That Set StumbleUpon on Fire - This article can easily be translated to content on any site

The Stumble Effect

Because of it’s unique approach you will always generate some traffic for anything URL that has been stumbled.  Also because of it’s unique nature the traffic that you generate will also be targeted to your audience.  If your audience is prospective students then it is possible to generate that sort of traffic just as if you were interested in college sports.

To give an example StumbleUpon has far and away been this blogs greatest source of traffic.  I’ve gotten more than 1,000 visits from StumbleUpon over the last month which accounts for almost half of my traffic sources not counting direct traffic.

What type of Higher Ed pages will do best with StumbleUpon?

I don’t have any statistics to back this up, but I think college sections geared towards prospective students using video, virtual tours, and interactive features will do best on StumbleUpon.  I posted Wofford’s Arboretum website to StumbleUpon and we have actually gained some traffic, although I’ll admit it hasn’t been huge.  The Arboretum is a site where individuals can download audio and maps and walk around campus enjoying the arboretum on a printed out PDF and each plants explanation on their mp3 player.

What is the best way for Higher Education to use StumbleUpon?

Because StumbleUpon, like any other social network, relies on the support of the masses it takes more than one person to get the ball rolling.  Take a look at your college’s website and find 2-5 pages that really stand out as a great representation of your institution and get 4-5 people to submit it making sure that you all use the same tags.  Then forget about it and check your traffic statistics in a month.  Don’t get your hopes up that you will generate thousands of hits, but you will bring steady, targeted traffic to you best sections which hopefully builds up more long term name recognition and relationships.

DO NOT attempt to submit everything, simply your best and hope that the stumbler finds enough on the landing page that they surf more around your site.  Keep in mind that this audience probably knows little to none about your school so having links like a fast facts page easily viewable are definitely recommended.  One of the most difficult things to do with Stumble traffic is to complete the conversion.  Just because they come to your site and enjoy your campus tour doesn’t necessarily mean that they will ever come back.  This sort of traffic usually doesn’t stay very long so make sure that you make it as easy as possible to convert them by offering email signups, RSS feeds, and such.  Keep your most important information and what you want them to see on the screen without having to scroll.

einsteinstumbleupon450 Social Survey: StumbleUpon
Photo provided by xiaojuntong

Final Thoughts

Stumbling is so much fun and is definitely one of the easiest sites to suck your time.  Using your best content it is possible to take advantage of others stumble addiction to expose new individuals to your institution and brand.  You shouldn’t expect amazing results, but StumbleUpon is an area of Internet marketing and exposure that should not be overlooked by anyone.  It is very quick and easy to submit your site and you can realistically expect a steady flow of targeted traffic.  Submitting sites to StumbleUpon also works best if you can get multiple people to submit and tag a piece of content.  Don’t count on StumbleUpon to be your only traffic source, but it definitely provides a nice supplementary role. 

In closing, out of all the Social Bookmarking sites I’ve written and haven’t written about, StumbleUpon presents the best social marketing possibilities for Higher Education.

Next week we’ll look at

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audience, interactive features, prospective students, Social Bookmarking, statistics, stumbleupon toolbar, traffic sources, virtual tours

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This post was written by:

Kyle James

Kyle James - who has written 227 posts on .eduGuru

Kyle is currently the Customer in Residence at HubSpot, a Co-Founder at nuCloud and  formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

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19 Responses to “Social Survey: StumbleUpon”

  1. Avatar image
    dennis miller Says:

    This was really helpful. I subscribed to stumbleupon quite awhile ago but never really used it-certainly not to the extent that you outlined here. Thanks!

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    Kaushal Says:

    Stumble has been really helpful to me. It gets loads of traffic to my sites.

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    Tom Krieglstein Says:

    Do you use Digg? What is your comparison?

  4. Avatar image
    Kyle James (author) Says:

    Tom, I do use Digg and wrote about it, Using Digg to Market in Higher Education.

    Personally I don’t use it a whole lot and it seems the system is broken as more and more people flock to the other networks.

  5. Avatar image
    Finda Culinary School Says:

    Just came across your article on Stumbleupon - very interesting to see how others use this site… thanks for the great read!

  6. Avatar image
    Trevor Says:

    Fantastic! I’m learning more and more about StumbleUpon on a daily basis, and your article was certainly a help! Thanks again!

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    College Reviews Says:

    StumbleUpon rules! I used to use it a few years ago back when I had nothing better to do (I sure do miss those days), but now I realize what a great source of traffic it can be.

    My article, B.S. Your way to an A got about 2,000 visitors in a week just from StumbleUpon traffic.

  8. Avatar image
    Dnepropetrovskij Intim Says:

    Cool. Really cool.
    Thanks for links.
    Thanks for help.
    I’ll try and then say how it works!

  9. Avatar image
    best paid by check orginaztions Says:

    I used to sue stumbleupon on a regular basis due to its easy of site navigation, not stubmle has more spam sites in its database.

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    Potomac College Says:

    Cool article, Kyle - definitely good advice when people/websites/companies are moving forward with Stumbleupon!

  11. Avatar image
    Laurus Says:

    Just stumbled upon this article, and just wanted to say you had some very good points and links, as well.

  12. Avatar image
    StuVu Says:

    I like StumbleUpon as well, and if used correctly you can gain some good traffic. In our experience with our college reviews site just a few placements for articles or reviews and we had a nice rise in traffic.

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    MedVance Says:

    Does it seem that Twitter has sort of taken the place of StumbleUpon as the ‘buzz’ of social media? I know Twitter is becoming more and more popular every day, but we still try to utilize StumbleUpon as well. This can be challenging depending on your audience, but simply using StumbleUpon is also a great way to see what others are doing and what you can add to your site as well! Good read!

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    Year One Online Says:

    My friend on Facebook shared this link with me and I’m not dissapointed that I came here.
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

  15. Avatar image
    suvetha Says:

    Great post especially for those starting out.

  16. Avatar image
    Anya Deepak Says:

    All this is great if content is already there and being produced regularly. Repeating submits with rotation is not a great strategy. The key is to get content from deans, faculty, students, collaborators, etc

  17. Avatar image
    debteagle Says:

    i had a site that just randomly got stumbled and got about 10,000 visitors in a day. Its nothing compared to digg though. The front pages sent me about 30k visits in 24 hours. It was a fluke though


  1. Matt » Blog Archive » Social media manager … hopefully coming to a campus near you says:

    [...] “dugg”. There is no reason why we in higher ed can’t get our information duggor stumbled upon but we need to make it relevant and exciting not just marketing fluff. People see through that, [...]

  2. [...] How to use StumbleUpon for Higher Education marketing - With over a thousand more pageviews than number two this is by far the most popular post on the site in the past year.  It also probably helped that this one experienced the most success on StumbleUpon which accounted for most all those pageviews.  What’s funny is my exponential knowledge of StumbleUpon since writing and the fact I’m writing methodolgy for HubSpot about StumbleUpon and expanding upon this… go figure. [...]