How Far Does £40 ($63) Go on Facebook and StumbleUpon Advertising?

StumbleUpon may not be the biggest social network kicking around (just 13million users compared to Facebook’s 500million), but back in January Statcounter released some stats suggesting that StumbleUpon actually drives more traffic to external websites than Facebook, despite its relatively small user base.

Stats from (click to expand)

I was recently promoting a blog post by Gartoo on StumbleUpon about how men and women disagree on what makes a home a happy place and I thought I’d run a little experiment – to compare the results of Facebook Ads vs. StumbleUpon Ads.

I set up an identical advert on StumbleUpon and Facebook with similar targeting options promoting the blog post. I allocated £40 budget to each platform and watched the analytics and insights to compare the differences between the two social advertising channels.

StumbleUpon Sent Ten Times As Much Traffic Than Facebook for the Same Cost

Using fairly standard Facebook targeting options my average cost per click was £0.75. Stumbleupon on the other hand charged a cost per click of £0.07, which could have been even cheaper had I not paid an extra £0.03 per click for location targeting!

For a £40 budget Facebook sent 53 visits.

For a £40 budget StumbleUpon sent 645 visits.

StumbleUpon traffic was higher quality than Facebook

This has a lot to do with targeting options, but based on the metrics in Google Analytics the StumbleUpon traffic appears to be far more engaged with the content than Facebook visits.

Both sources had a very high bounce rate (to be expected for a blog post), but Facebook visits seemed to have an average time on site of 0 seconds, suggesting that they were not happy to be leaving to read a blog post.

StumbleUpon on the other hand, had an average time on site of 33 seconds, suggesting that the visitors were more engaged than those from Facebook.

Stumbleupon delivered traffic faster than Facebook

Even with identical targeting options, Facebook only delivered on average 4 visits a day (although getting 10,000 impressions a day on average). StumbleUpon on the other hand sent approximately 100 visits a day. This means that StumbleUpon took just 5 days, compared to Facebook which took approximately 13 days to use up the budget.


The sample size of this experiment is small and results are going to vary based on the topic of the post, how interesting it is, time of the day, and many other variables that have not been taken into consideration. However, I think it’s fair to assume that StumbleUpon is underrated as a traffic generation tool – maybe not for sending qualified leads, but for sending bloggers looking for cool content to write about it’s awesome, and inexpensive compared to other popular social advertising systems.

This guest blog post was written by Marcus Taylor, head of social media at SEOptimise and co-author of the book Get Noticed.

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The Massive Introduction to Social Media Advertising : Part Two

In part one of the Massive Introduction to Social Media Advertising, we introduced the advertising offered by the big three of social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In part two we’ll take you through some of the other forms of social advertising on offer.

YouTube Advertising

Owned by Google, the grand master general of online advertising, you’d expect YouTube’s advertising offerings to be impressive. And you’d be right.

How does it work?

YouTube offers several different forms of advertising – featured spots on the home page, brand channels, in video advertising. And if you don’t have the resources to create killer video content, you can create text and image-based ads using Google AdWords.

How you pay depends on how your advertising, a promoted video will be charged per view, if you are using banner ads delivered by AdWords you have a choice to pay per click or for impressions.

Why advertise on YouTube?

Over 3 billion videos are viewed every day on YouTube. Imagine if that video were advertising your company – or if your ad was appearing next to the latest viral video. As users don’t need to have an account to interact with YouTube your reach is potentially massive.

If you get it right, you may find that your videos go viral, spreading your message further afield without any extra effort from you. And even if that doesn’t happen, advertisers have reported it to be a cost-effective advertising platform.

Are there any downsides?

It can’t all be win-win can it? For all the success that users are seeing with YouTube ads, search Google for YouTube ads and you’ll see pages of rants on removing ads. Clearly this is an area to approach with caution.

And of course, if you want to get the most out of YouTube you need to create engaging videos that users will want – or need – to watch.

StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

Got great content but no visitors? Use StumbleUpon’s advertising service to get your juicy content in front of customers’ eyes.

How does it work?

StumbleUpon Paid Discovery integrates with the standard StumbleUpon bookmarking and discovery tool. Users can stumble upon your website, with a listing that – while clearly marked as paid – looks to all intents and purposes like any other submission.

Prices start at 5 cents per impression, with the option to pay more for extra bells and whistles to boost your advertising.

Why use StumbleUpon Paid Discovery?

Many link builders praise this service as a way to boost link bait. By getting your incredible content in front of eager eyes you can get the ball rolling and (hopefully) get links rolling in.

Are there any downsides?

As part of a promotional campaign around a one-off event/piece of linkbait, or a short term strategy to build your brand, this is a great tool. But at its cheapest, targeting is limited, and really – if a one-off boost hasn’t done the trick for you, your content may not be as good as you think it is.

And of course, there are many more advertising platforms for social networks out there, including DiggAds, MySpace Advertising and more.

Whatever social advertising platform you choose, make sure to set specific targets, consider how much you can afford to spend and keep testing to get the best results.

Are you seeing strong results from social media based ads? Do tell!

Katie Saxon is a Certified Google AdWords Consultant working for Boom Online Marketing, follow her on Twitter @ksaxoninternet

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The Massive Introduction to Social Media Advertising: Part One

Just got to grips with how to use social media for business? Good. Well, now there’s a ‘new’ social media tool you need to start playing with: social media advertising.

It probably goes against the grain for anyone who jumped on the social media bandwagon for all that lovely “free” publicity. But advertising is an increasingly useful and sometimes even essential tool in any social marketing strategy.

As you’d expect there are nearly as many different advertising platforms as there are social networks, here are some of the big ones:

Facebook Ads

The giant of the social sphere has an advertising platform of its own, Facebook Ads, offering advertisers sponsored slots on their site.

How does it work?

Facebook works on either a cost per click (CPC) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis. So whether you are aiming to send more traffic to your website/Facebook page or simply want to get your brand name out there, there’s a pricing model for you.

You can target users based on everything from their birthday to their favourite films – with any and every variation in between.

Why use Facebook Ads?

750 million members, half a billion users logging in on just one day, do we really need to explain why you should be using Facebook Ads?

In case you don’t get it, Facebook’s USP is the huge amount of data that they have at their fingertips. You can get super specific with your targeting; helping to keep your advertising costs low and your response rate high.

Are there any downsides?

Facebook ads look like display ads, and so they suffer from ad blindness experienced by other websites, however good your targeting is.

Not as simple as this these days!

LinkedIn Ads

The professionals’ Facebook with 120 million users worldwide, offering advertising through their platform LinkedIn Ads.

How does it work?

Like Facebook, you can either pay for clicks (traffic to your site) or impressions (views of your advert). You can target users based on job title, area and more, however due to the nature of the social network you won’t get the laser targeting that Facebook allows.

Why use LinkedIn Ads?

If you work in a b2b (that’s business to business) industry, Facebook ads are not for you, but LinkedIn can provide interesting opportunities. You have the option to target just decision makers in an organisation, so you know your advertising spend is all going on people who might make the leap and become customers.

Are there any downsides?

The space for LinkedIn ads is minimal and indistinct from any other area of the site. Potentially this means they avoid the “banner blindness” issue, but it also makes it harder to create adverts with real impact.

Advertising on Twitter

Twitter joined the advertising party in 2010, offering a platform with several different services: Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts.

How does it work?

Promoted Tweets are charged on a cost-per-engagement basis – with charges for every time a user retweets, replies to, clicks or favourites a Promoted Tweet. Promoted Tweets can appear in the timeline of any user, and at the top of relevant searches on

Why use Promoted Tweets?

The jury’s still out over whether you should be using Promoted Tweets or not. Without the targeting of Facebook or the guarantee of a long-term place in front of potential customers eyes, its effectiveness is still up for debate.

Are there any upsides?

Do you have a compelling message that’s just begging to be retweeted? Potentially a promoted tweet will push your message in front of eager eyes. However, initial reports suggest that advertising on Twitter is expensive compared to the returns it brings.

So, there’s your introduction to some of the biggest social media ad platforms around, tune into part 2 to find out more.

Katie Saxon is a Certified Google AdWords Consultant working for Boom Online Marketing, follow her on Twitter @ksaxoninternet.

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