If your company is looking for new opportunities to expand the reach of your business, your brand and its products and services, Tumblr is an ideal tool to incorporate into your social marketing strategy.
If you have useful and informative content that would capture the attention of potential clients or customers, Tumblr is a great venue for broadcasting that content.
A free micro-blogging service, Tumblr doubles as a social network with a built in audience of 6.6 million users and growing - many of whom may not have heard of your company, visited your website, read your blog, or followed your Facebook and Twitter pages.
Tumblr is gaining popularity among a younger crowd. For traditional companies trying to build relationships with that audience, Tumblr is winning points among social marketers and public relations in forging relationships with new consumers who they hope will become new customers.
With 6.6 million users, nearly 17 million blogs, and 1.5 billion monthly page view and growing by 400 million more pages every week, Tumblr shows no signs of slowing down.
Unlike traditional blogging platforms (e.g. WordPress, Blogger), wherein company executives, industry experts and individuals often post lengthy, deep-thought text about specific subjects, a microblog page is used to create a dialogue with customers by exchanging short bursts of content - sentences, questions, photos, video and audio links.
Creating a Tumblr page enables you to engage your intended business audiences, improve editorial coverage, augment your company blog and drive increased traffic to your website.
How Tumblr Works
Think of your Tumblr page as your own website and blog on steroids. Like your business website and your business blog, your Tumblr page serves as a repository for information relating to your business and all of its offerings.
But unlike your website and blog, your Tumblr page is more about communicating with your target audiences and less about broadcasting to them. Somewhere between your Facebook and Twitter pages, Tumblr brings your brand's reputation, products and services to the public arena, creating chatter that goes on every day in homes or around the office water coolers.
Designed for creative expression, Tumblr invites you to enter into a dialogue with your audiences by asking questions, posting individual items of interest, and making comments.
Using Tumblr can help establish you, and your team, as experts in your space or industry by providing valuable bits and bytes of information such as a link to an industry news article in which you are featured, a new service video at your YouTube page, or an audio clip of a recent conference speech.
Tumblr is a place people go to share things they really care about, and where audiences are moved to act.
Like Twitter and Facebook, Tumblr users decide who to follow. They can "like" an item, and re-blog it as you would "retweet" or "share". The same way YouTube embedded links make it easy for a video to become a viral hit, the "reblog" button on all Tumblr posts allows a meme (a newly-coined term that identifies ideas, behaviors or styles that spread from person to person within a culture) to spread rapidly across thousands of blogs with just a click.
Your Tumblr followers also can ask questions and leave messages. If you wish, you also can create a group Tumblr microblog page so that your executives and employees also can contribute.
Since each Tumblr blog has its own URL, audiences don't need to be a member of the Tumblr community to view your posts. The URL makes your Tumblr page available to everyone online.
Here are two Tumblr page samples:
Los Angeles TV station ABC Channel 7 uses its Tumblr page to update audiences with key news events and local happenings.
Renowned fashion designer Kate Spade, on the other hand, posts colorful and exciting images with brief descriptions that interest her clothing and accessory fans.
The simplicity and user-friendly interface of Tumblr makes using it a breeze.
All you need to do is create an account, choose a URL, select a design theme and you're ready to begin posting.
It's that quick and easy.
Once you've signed up, you will have the option to set up a custom domain name. If you have your own domain name, why not use it? Not only will it make your Tumblr page look more professional, it will make it easier for people to find you and to remember your page.
After setting up your Tumblr account, you can begin to personalize your page's appearance.
With Tumblr you don't need to know code to design your page. The service boasts a user-friendly Dashboard and Customization options to make your page look professional.
First select from hundreds of themes in the Tumblr Theme Garden, or create something new and original with full markup and design control.
Once you've settled on your Tumblr page theme, you can begin to select the color schemes for your Tumblr page title, background, text, and links.
As with any sales and marketing presentation for your company, the more professional your Tumblr page looks and the fresher the content, the more effective it will be in helping your company achieve a high return on your Tumblr time investment.
You can choose to make your Tumblr page simple or elaborate. What's most important is that you do it right.
Make certain that you clearly identify your business on your Tumblr page by including:
- Company logo and tagline
- Messaging that puts a human face on your business such as vision or mission statements, company culture, corporate giving
- Photos of company executives and staff, brand products and services, special events, community and charitable activities
- Brand messaging for your products and services
- Special sales, promotions, and events
- Industry honors and awards
Once your Tumblr page is set up the way you want it, you can start posting immediately.
How to Post
Tumblr's platform enables you to post your content from its Dashboard or by downloading the free iPhone, Android, or Blackberry applications.
With Tumblr, you can post easily from your web browser, mobile phone, desktop computer, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can post updates via AIM by messaging TumblrBot, or phone your TumblrBlog and leave voice posts. Tumblr also lets you automatically post from any other site or profile, or use the official Tumblr iPhone app to update your blog as well.
There are also other options including posting links from Bookmarklet and publishing via email and other third party applications that expand your options even further.
In addition to the free iPhone app officially available from Tumblr, you have access to applications for the iPhone, web, desktops, widgets, and browsers, which are all filed away neatly in the official Tumblr app directory.
You will want to add any analytics tracking code to your Tumblr page, as the site is optimized for Google in everything from the site plugs to the site map.
And with Tumblr's built-in privacy system, you are allowed to restrict specific posts, or your whole blog to certain people. In addition, the FeedBurner support allows you to see important RSS feed statistics.
Tumblr is where your content meets a captured audience. Where your conversations with potential and existing customers can take place by posting short-form, mixed-media posts that generate interest within the Tumblr community.
There are seven types of posts at Tumblr: text, photo, quote, link, chat and video. You can also ask or answers questions.
Like Twitter and Facebook, your Tumblr posts appear in a chronological stream on your Tumblr home page, known as the Dashboard.
Use your Tumblr page to target your audiences with fresh and exciting content.
Post a photo of a new product. Create text about a new value-added service. Pose a question to gauge public opinion. Upload audio and/or video links to a recent interview with the press, a radio or television commercial your company is airing, or an industry event in which you attended and/or won an award.
Don't forget that your company's Tumblr page is just one click away from your website and blog. Parlay your captive Tumblr audience into learning more about your company with direct links to:
- Corporate causes
- Products and services
- Mentions in the press
- Compelling sales offers and promotions
Be a resource to Tumblr users who are interested in your company's area of expertise, your products and services, or the initiatives you are taking to better serve the community at large.
And take note: Tumblr is powered by tags. So tag your posts well.
Tumblr can play an integral role in your overall marketing strategy, serving as a valuable a social media tool that can help empower your business "voice," increase knowledge of your brand and traffic back to your website.
As with other social media tools and resources, Tumblr enables you to take ownership of your brand by sending out messages quickly to its community about what your company is doing, your brand and its products and services.
So if you're looking for another quick and easy platform to target your audiences, start posting. Be visual. Strike up a conversation. Promote your own content and the content of others your audiences will find newsworthy and exciting.