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The Tumblr effect

If you’re wondering what on earth Tumblr is, now may be time to find out. Ranked one of the top 15 websites in the United States, the social sharing site is one that you probably can’t afford to overlook if you’re thinking about developing your digital strategy.

During the MTV Video Music Awards recently, 1.1 million users posted content on Tumblr with awards-related keywords, hot on the heels of the 1.3 million who did the same on Twitter.

Post anything, from anywhere. That’s the Tumblr tagline, or one of them. The site is about sharing. And it’s easy to do, whether it’s photos, blog posts, videos, music or other content.

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At the moment Tumblr is home to more than 100 million blogs, and is easily customizable. There are plenty of themes to choose from, both free and to purchase, or you can create your own.

Here’s a few tips on using Tumblr for business:

1)   Think about your username. If you’re already established on twitter/facebook or any other digital platform, it may be wise to try and get the same username for Tumblr. Or try for the exact wording of your brand name. Using the same image on Tumblr you use on other social platforms is another way to make it easier for people to find, and recognize you.

2)   Creating your Tumblr page. Once you have chosen a theme that works for your brand, it is a quick process to customize it to suit your needs. You can choose form various styles, layouts and designs, and create a unique page for your brand that stands out.

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3)   Posting and sharing. Once you’re set up and posting your own content, start following other blogs. Once you’re following a few, and reblogging their content, people will associate your brand with the blogs you follow and the content you share or reblog. Carefully considering the types of blogs you follow is worthwhile.

4)   Imagery. Unlike twitter, the focus on Tumblr is on images. The majority of posts are image-based. Using a range of images to promote your brand to a wide audience is the key with this site. Any images that humanize your brand, such as an image of what happens behind the scenes at a shoot for a magazine may be appropriate for a publishing company, while an image of your product being packaged may be appropriate for a footwear business, or a tailor may post an image of an item being designed or made. Images of staff at work is another idea.

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5)   Tagging. Tagging on Tumblr is easy. When you start typing a word the site will suggest possible tags. If you choose to use any, they will appear with a hash in front of them at the bottom of your post. Using tags is a good way to boost the number of people finding your content and following your blog, by making it easier for them to come across your brand.

6)   Networking. Building your connections on Tumblr is the way to gain exposure. So, following and interacting with other pages is essential. Reblogging, commenting on, or liking posts that are in line with your business is a quick way to develop connections and build a community of followers.

7)   Keep it coming. Post frequency is much higher on Tumblr than on other sites like Twitter or facebook. And because it’s not news-focused, your posts don’t need to instantly engage with a current trend or topic. As long as it is valuable and engaging, post away.

If you need some inspiration, check out this Tumblr blog, a showcase of how some of the big brands use the site.