For the longest time, StumbleUpon was a way for me to find cool stuff on the web. Relying only on my Facebook and Twitter streams has a tendency to get monotonous after a while and feel like I see the same stuff over and over. Of all the social sharing buttons, I firmly believed that StumbleUpon is one of the most underrated tools out there. That belief was re-enforced in the last few weeks.
Anybody who knows the ins and outs of a community management position knows that it's more than just posting Facebook and Twitter updates once a day. The meat and potatoes of the job is engaging with the community in conversation and making those fans feel at home with the brand. That doesn't mean only engaging in brand-specific conversation all the time. It also means finding out what your audience like to talk about and drawing them into those conversations in your brand space.
To draw in those relevant conversations, posting interesting content that isn't necessarily brand-produced is an important step. I had focused on Google, Facebook and Twitter as my main references for such content. However, I was running into the same problem I had already run into with my personal browsing: a cycle of seeing the same stuff from the same people rather than new content. Then I thought "why not just stumble?"
Stumbling into Success
If you've used StumbleUpon, you know that you can stumble sites based on different interests. One way to leverage this for community is to segment the interests of a StumbleUpon account to align with those interests of the community your engaging with. Through that process, you can discover a whole other world of content that you may not have run into before.
This bit of advice may be old news to a lot of you but it's something I'm leveraging a lot more. It's easy to get wrapped up in the same cycles of finding information. The randomness of StumbleUpon helps escape that similar cycle of content.
How else do you all discover interesting content outside the usual channels?