There are many ways to promote your online business. In fact, Forbes recently stated that the top social media influencers were active in an average of 10.5 social media channels. That would imply that the more social media channels you use, the better the possible outcome for your venture.
That is a lot of channels to manage, but with a social media management department or an outsourced expert in place, it’s possible.
One of the lesser utilized social media platforms is StumbleUpon and although it is not as well known as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, it might be a platform to consider using in your branding/marketing plan.
What Is StumbleUpon?
You might have seen its logo on blogs or at the bottom of web pages where other social bookmarking icons are displayed. It is a social bookmarking site of sorts, but that is really the tip of the iceberg.
StumbleUpon is a powerful and focused search engine. According to the July issue of Adweek, it has surpassed Facebook in driving website traffic.
It is also a voting site. You can search for content (stumble upon it) and then rate it as being positive (thumbs up) or negative (thumbs down). The more likes an article receives, the more times it will be presented to future stumblers, which in turn means more page views for that website owner. What that can mean for you is that when your own posts receive favorable ratings, traffic can be funneled to your website.
The first thing that you’ll need to do is to set up your profile. It’s actually a little difficult to find but once you are on the site, click on the wheel shape in the right hand corner of the tool bar, you will get there. Be sure to add a compelling photo and add your list of interests. This will make it easier for StumbleUpon users to find you and will present articles to you that you’ll enjoy. (It’s a good idea to keep your photo similar across all social media channels.)
Next, install the StumbleUpon toolbar that is appropriate for your browser. You will find a list on the site. Conduct all of your searches using it. The results returned will pertain to your niche category of choice. You can find interesting articles, read and vote on them. This also gives you a chance to see what the competition is writing about.
Add your own content to StumbleUpon. Other people who subscribe to the site (fellow Stumblers) will find your informative posts when you use your keywords to tag your work and also have your keywords within your posts. They can then read and rate your work. As I previously mentioned, when your posts rank high in positive ratings, this can increase your page views and your visibility within the community. When more people see your content, they can follow a link back to your site and see what you have to offer them. With a little effort you can increase your traffic in no time at all.
Finally, be sure to add the StumbleUpon badge (icon) to your own website so people can click on that button to instantly “stumble” it.
How can this help your business?
One thing that every business needs is customers. It is hard to find them if no one knows who you are. Through informative and well-written content, others can follow you right back to your website and find the products and/or services that you are selling.
One caveat: just because you have traffic doesn’t mean that they will be interested in your products. It’s important that your traffic is targeted towards folks who need your products or services.
Because you are using StumbleUpon’s toolbar to conduct your searches, anyone on StumbleUpon who uses those same keywords can find you. The traffic you are attracting then becomes more targeted so you are building your brand at the same time as you are finding potential customers with similar interests. One hundred targeted visitors who are interested in your site are better than three hundred who are simply browsing.
You can make business contacts through networking here as well. When you comment and vote others will get to know you. They may even begin to follow your “stumbles.” This increases interest in your work and ultimately your business. But don’t make the mistake of only promoting your business site here. That can be seen as self-serving and you could gain a bad reputation. Always share the very best content that you can so that when others see your name, they know they will be viewing quality information, whether it’s yours or another StumbleUpon user’s.
StumbleUpon has a lot to offer your online business. And it’s free. Try it today.