StumbleUpon vs. Digg: Case Study
StumbleUpon and Digg are two sites that article marketers and the social network advertisers must take seriously. The sites are set up to send traffic to other websites, based on posts that users make. Frequently, it is the originator of a page, article, blog post or page comment, who will take the initiative to submit it to either or both sites.
Ideally, readers and consumers will follow suit and also share the page. This introduces the business or product to the followers that the consumer has formed a relationship with. It also increases the site’s odds of making it to a coveted front page spot.
On the down side, double submissions are frequently time-consuming. Is it wise to reduce the amount of time that is spent marketing with the help of one of these sites in favor of developing a network on the other?
Case Study Results
While time is indeed money, skimping on the double-posting process can be detrimental to a business. For example, through the use of Google Analytics, case studies have shown that Digg often initially accounts for the majority of site traffic, while StumbleUpon only contributes a small portion. However, as time progresses, the traffic directed to a site through Digg can plummet to nearly zero, while StumbleUpon traffic generally increases.
Both sites work in a similar manner and employ the social bookmarking process. Unlike StumbleUpon, Digg offers an almost immediate, albeit short-lived, gratification to the post originator. StumbleUpon offers a more constant stream of site visitors, many of whom access it via mobile devices using wireless internet services, even though the initial traffic numbers can be dishearteningly low. What does this mean to the Internet marketer who is relying on social media and social bookmarking for brand or product awareness?
Traffic Quality vs. Quantity
A closer look at the metrics of site visits shows that Digg visitors have a bit of a higher bounce rate. In a business where long visits equate higher conversion rates, it is clear that bounce rates are not good.
Also, it’s important to investigate usage stats. In America, 67.61 percent of people use Digg, followed by 10.56 percent of Canadian residents and 5.20 percent of British citizens. StumbleUpon is used by 66.85 percent of Americans, 8.12 percent of British citizens and 7.74 of Canadians. While U.S. usage is similar on both sites, marketers with target audiences in Canada and Great Britain would do well to keep this data in mind.
Another interesting tidbit is that Digg and StumbleUpon users prefer using Firefox to Internet Explorer. A marketer whose site is optimized for IE may find that his or her site’s appearance may not show as intended, leading users of either service to navigate away.
Site setup is another factor – the setup of Digg often encourages users to explore pages while keeping their initial jumping-off point open by using tabs. StumbleUpon does not follow suit. Because of this, Stumblers are slightly higher-quality visitors, while Digg users tend to surf more without deeply examining every page they come across.
Evaluating the Data for Future Strategy
Both sites are essential for submitting user-generated content. Digg and StumbleUpon are undeniably the heaviest hitters in the trade, which makes them the first and foremost sites to which social platform marketers submit their posts. Therefore, adopting an “either-or” approach may not be in a business’ best interest.
Rather than focusing on the quantity of site visitors that come from these sites, it is worthwhile to work with the technology for maximum impact. For example, to truly bask in sun of Digg’s traffic, a post must make it onto the front page. This requires a higher number of Diggs than a different post. How does the marketer receive them? Easy – the entrepreneur must get site visitors to voluntarily click on the prominent Digg button that accompanies the article. This, in turn, requires a social network marketing campaign that is humming along nicely.
It also takes a large and growing network of social book markers within one’s network. Size matters at Digg, and this usually does not bode well for smaller businesses and relatively unknown blogs. Stumblers, on the other hand, also have a network, but the network size is not as important. It is entirely possible for an article or page to receive a surge in interest when someone literally stumbles over it and gives is a thumbs up. In this case, the link is still quite useful and open to being found even after the initial hype dies down.
In the final analysis, the approach that the entrepreneur should take is clear: to generate consistent and enduring traffic, a StumbleUpon posting is indispensable. The longevity of the link should not be underestimated, and the possibility that sporadically renewed interest leads to page views and unique visitors to the business’ site is indisputable.
Digg is a must for new product announcements, new ad campaigns or company updates. Breaking news is coin of the realm on Digg and it is not uncommon for visitors to frequent the site in search of precisely that: today’s news. After a few short days, interest wanes. Thus, Digg creates bursts of traffic while StumbleUpon generates long-term site visits.
Only a mix of the two can sustain a site in the long run. So go ahead and submit to both sites. Yes, it takes more time and the targeted visitors are of different quality. However, the short spike that Digg offers may just be the interest generator that gets more StumbleUpon visitors to come back for more.