I consider Tumblr to be a guilty pleasure of mine, and to be honest, I probably spend more time on that website than on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter combined. I think it’s because Tumblr has a very different culture than the other sites, and it’s a culture that I’m very in-tune with because I fit into the majority demographics quite well. I am, after all, an Asian college student between the ages of 18-24 with no kids making less than 50k. While that might seem like a very niche group, Tumblr’s growth in the past couple of years seems to suggest otherwise. In fact, Google’s data predicts that there will be more people searching the word “Tumblr” than “blog” by the end of this year. So, take these pros and cons into consideration and decide for yourself if your brand belongs on Tumblr. If you decide to jump onto the bandwagon but don’t have a marketing team consisting of teenagers obsessed with One Direction, read the rest of this article to get ready to Tumbl.
What happens on Tumblr stays on Tumblr
There’s a saying that goes, “What happens on Tumblr, stays on Tumblr,” and for good reason. This platform has been known to be somewhat of a “second life” for “Tumbleloggers,” a place where people post things that they wouldn’t share with their Facebook friends, but would gladly share with a group of like-minded Internet friends who follow each other due to common interest. For example, on Facebook I’ll often share news articles and music videos that I feel might spark the interest of the general public. But on Tumblr (I can’t believe I’m admitting this), I’ll re-blog photos of beluga whales and Rick Genest and follow blogs that share similar things. I wouldn’t share these particular things on Facebook or Twitter because I can’t think of one friend or follower of mine that would appreciate this content. Tumblr thus creates the perfect opportunity for businesses that want to connect with a niche group.
A few things that make a microblogging site like Tumblr so popular are the ease of navigation, the simplicity of design, and ability to post virtually anything – meaning brands can share different media, including text, photos, links, chats, audio and video, all on the same platform. Here are some tips on what and how to post on Tumblr:
Photo: The Tumblr dashboard, displaying several posting options
Keep the words to a minimum. Tumblr is highly image-based, and because most Tumbleloggers come across content by simply scrolling down a dashboard, it’s best to keep lengthy written posts to a minimum.
Post content that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. People won’t want to subscribe to accounts that post things they could easily find on a website or on a Facebook page, so even if it’s just an office playlist or backstage photos of a fashion show, there are Tumbleloggers out there that would love to share your “insider” content with their followers.
Tag your posts! Tags allow your posts to be “Tumbld upon” by other users who are searching the same tags, leading to more views, likes, re-blogs and new followers.
A few examples of noteworthy Tumblr presences:
Oscar De La Renta: Their bio – “…reporting from inside one of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses” – says it all. Vintage photos, quotes from De La Renta himself, backstage photos and more.
Universal Music: An inventory of online tidbits about Universal’s top artists. A vintage photo of The Rolling Stones, .gifs of Lana Del Rey’s newest music video, and never-before-seen photos of Justin Bieber attract music fans of all types.
Sesame Street: A perfect account for bloggers who look forward to visual mementos from childhood popping up on their dashboard. Puns from the street, celebrity appearances, photos of the characters and share-able, kid-friendly holiday cards are popular on this Tumblr.
NPR: By far my favorite account to follow for stories and interesting pictures from their worldwide coverage. For wordy posts, NPR publishes engaging, clickable headlines that direct to the whole post.
Photo: screenshot of a photo post from the NPR Tumblr with options to “reblog” and/or “like” in the top right corner
What are some of your favorite brands to follow on Tumblr, and what do they post that you would consider reblog-worthy?
For your personal entertainment, a list of my top five favorite Tumblrs to follow:
Old People Writing On A Restaurant’s Facebook Page
Accidental Chinese Hipsters