Though StumbleUpon is a major source of web traffic referrals it doesn't get the deluge of headline stories that other major social networks that refer lots of web traffic tend to get from music, tech and marketing blogs. Perhaps that's because the basic concept of StumbleUpon, discovering things on the web based on recommendations presented in a form that facilitates casual web surfing, is well-established.
But overlooking StumbleUpon as a potentially powerful music marketing tool would be a mistake especially since it's a tool that can be used while surfing the web.
The major social networks that tend to get oversized press are currently Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn. At music industry blogs one tends to hear more about the first three since LinkedIn, though usable for some forms of music marketing, is not really conducive to such activities. But StumbleUpon is a powerful resource for traffic referral that is beating out Facebook in that regard.
StumbleUpon has been kicking up its development process over the last couple of years and has enough significant features, from its own url shortener to Paid Discovery, which puts your url in the discovery streams of highly targeted audiences, that learning the details is worthwhile.
But whether you're going for free or paid discovery of your content, the keys to music marketing success on StumbleUpon are to embrace the community elements and to focus on enticing text and engaging visuals.
As a community participant, you want to share content that is engaging, check out things others are liking and find ways to interact. This approach creates a context for presenting your own content which should be designed to catch and hold attention while drawing viewers in deeper.
The logic of catching people's attention on StumbleUpon is similar to almost all social content marketing, it's about bright shiny things catching the eyes of folks with limited attention spans while in web surfing mode and getting them to do something from listening to signing up to buying stuff. That means that what people land on when they stumble upon your site is extremely important. So, in addition to having great visual content that sets the stage for checking out one's music and/or other actions, one should explore the logic of landing pages and calls to action.
One can get very technical with StumbleUpon tactics, including tactics learned from power users of such services as Digg and Reddit. However, if you're a musician doing your own marketing, I'd suggest seeing if StumbleUpon can fit into your normal web surfing activities and establish a presence by sharing links to the great stuff you're finding online as well as the great stuff you're doing. That will give you a sense of how StumbleUpon works and then you can dig deeper for tips and tactics to apply to your ongoing activities if so desired.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. Flux Research is his business writing hub and All World Dance: World Dance News is his primary web project. To suggest websites and related topics for review, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.