A Marketer’s Guide to Tumblr: The Microblogging Basics
In just 4 years Tumblr has become the third most popular blogging platform – beat out only by WordPress and Blogger. Tumblr is a microblogging site with over 26 million active users, and it’s growing by a quarter billion impressions each week, according to its founder, David Karp. That’s a pretty HUGE market that you and your company could be targeting!
Businesses already have a slew of social media sites to maintain, so maybe you’re thinking, “Why Tumblr?” Well, Tumblr provides 30 reasons on their site – among them: mobileability, Google optimization, group and community submission capabilities, and a post queue.
What is Tumblr?
According to the site’s About page, “Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be.”
The microblogging site is referred to by itself and its users as “The easiest way to blog.” It is known and loved for its clean and simple interface. But, when first starting out on the platform, it can seem like a foreign language. So I have created a “Tumblr for Dummies” guide to make things a little easier. (Click to enlarge):
Tumblr makes it easy to share photos, videos, links, and text – photos being the most common. You can share a photo or video with a brief description rather than a full blog post, which allows for more frequent posts. You can also generate content by reblogging other relevant posts or by accepting submissions from fans.
The site’s queue is by far the most useful tools for marketers. No one expects you to blog day in and day out in addition to maintaining your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube accounts. With the queue, you can set up original, submitted, and reblogged posts to publish across any given time span. So, in theory, you could set up all of your posts for one week, and only have to check in to your account once a week!
Ok…so how are marketers using Tumblr?
Now that you have the gist of the site, let’s go over some companies that are using it to boost their brand.
The ‘90s Are All That – In a previous blog, I discussed how Teen Nick’s The ‘90s Are All That is using Tumblr. While The ‘90s Are All That does not have its own account, they stream a live feed of the tag #90sAreAllThat on their site during the time that ‘90s Are All That airs. This allows anyone who visits the Teen Nick website to view a feed of fan-generated content related to the segment – creating a closer community.
Huggies – Since this platform allows users to create custom domain names, the Huggies Tumblr is known as highchaircritics.com. Highchair Critics appeals to the growing population of mommy bloggers. The Huggies page shares photos and videos of adorable babies, features popular products, and holds contests. So no, the Huggies microblog is not all about diapers. It features tips, tricks, and stories about all things baby – something that any past, present, or future parent can appreciate!
Johnny Cupcakes – Johnny Cupcakes is an example of an online retailer. He sells apparel and accessories, and this is the perfect platform for any small retailer because it makes featuring specific products simple. No one wants to read an entire 400 word blog post about one T-shirt, but a photo with a brief description is enough to highlight any given product. Retailers can also benefit from Tumblr because fans can easily submit photos of themselves wearing or promoting your brand.
Elle Magazine – Tumblr is the perfect match for a fashion magazine like Elle. Since photos are the most-shared posts on the social site, Elle is able to post frequent photos of models, magazine covers, the latest trends, and even everyday people wearing high fashion on streets all over the world – or, “Street Chic.” It allows the folks at Elle to share supplemental content and give sneak previews of what’s to come in future issues.
The key to Tumblr is to publish frequent, creative posts, and to encourage interaction with your followers. Tumblr is easy to use, easy to maintain on a strict time schedule, and creates a close-knit, heavily-involved community around your brand. At this point, you should be running out of reasons not to sign up!
What do you think? Do you or your company have a Tumblr? Have you considered using it? What is still keeping you away? Which brands would you enjoy following?
Jenna has a much easier time writing about the media and pop culture than she does writing about herself. She enjoys the simple things in life, like puns and typography. She is an avid fan of pop-punk, Halo 3, Spider-Man and origami, with a slight Taco Bell obsession. Her spirit animal is either a bulldog or a panda bear. You can also connect with Jenna on Google+ and Twitter.