tumblr250So you’re familiar with Facebook, tried Twitter and played around on Pinterest – the next step for your business could be social blogging.

This mini guide will show you how to use blog platform Tumblr for your business and how to get the most out of the channel.

What is Tumblr?

A micro-blogging platform and social networking site, Tumblr hosts over 64million blogs. A few things set Tumblr apart from other blogging platforms (such as WordPress) – it has in-built tagging and sharing functionality, it’s really easy to use, and it’s shown great responses to visual content.

How can it be used for business?

Tumblr biggerPrimarily, Tumblr is a brand awareness channel – rather than a direct traffic or sales-driver (although it can do these things too) – it’s all about putting your brand in front of people who wouldn’t normally see it, and allowing the message to spread.

It should be used as a shop window to your brand – populated with the most visually-appealing aspects of your business, in order to catch the eye and elicit interest. Remember, visual content on Tumblr gets the best responses.

Replicate content (or an image-led, summarised version of it) from your website on Tumblr, using the channel in a similar way to other social channels – as another platform for outreach.

Alternatively, if you’ve always wanted a blog, but don’t have the resource to implement one on your own website, Tumblr enables you to create one quickly and simply, with your own custom url and the opportunity to add your own branding.

Is it right for my business?

Tumblr is popular with the teenage demographic, with around half of its users under the age of 25, so if you’re keen to target college students, university undergraduates or first-time jobbers, it’s definitely worth considering as a marketing channel. Sports brands, fashion retailers, record companies and movie distributors have all been active on Tumblr as a result.

A quick scan at the most-popular tags reveal the channel’s focus on the visual – Art, Illustration, Fashion, Interiors, Design, and Makeup all come high, making it ideal for businesses in these areas: art galleries, beauty brands, hoteliers, design agencies – and again – fashion retailers.

If you don’t immediately fit into these categories, but still want to tap into the opinion-leading youth market, don’t despair – there’s still space for everything from Politics and Education to Tech and Travel – just remember that images (both still and moving) make the most impact, so tailor your output around this.

What content should I post?

We know that imagery is vital when it comes to posting on Tumblr, so how can you gather unique, visual content?

One of the best ways of doing this is to capture your own content by enabling review functionality on your very own website – however the main focus should be on capturing photos and videos (not just text).

Our award-winning Social Reviews Application has been developed with this in mind, so your online visitors and customers are able to quickly and easily upload photos and videos – all this content can then be used by you to push out on to relevant social channels.

How do I get started?

Setting up a blog on Tumblr is incredible easy:

1. Create an account

Sign up with your email, password and choice of username. This username will be your domain name, displayed as username.tumblr.com.

It’s worth noting that domain names are unique – so if someone already has the one you want, you’ll have to choose something else (a good reason to join asap and claim the one you want!).

2. Follow people

It’s worth taking some time to explore, and to gain inspiration from other users. Use the ‘find blogs’ button to see featured blogs around key topics, or find people you know via your Gmail, Twitter and Facebook profiles.

The people you follow will define the information you see in your newsfeed – in the same way as the people you follow on Twitter, or the people you are connected to on Facebook.

3. Choose a design

You can customise your blog from the settings area of your account. A number of layouts (called ‘themes’) are provided for free, but you can also buy ‘premium themes’ if you’re after something more advanced/specific.

Unlike on some blogging platforms, full flexibility over the design isn’t available – but you can add your own custom HTML or CSS to add a further dimension to you design.

4. Start posting

Interesting images with a short amount of text work the best. Consider using montages to give greater impact, or anything with a dash of humour (remember to use the ‘LOL’ tag). You can also link up with Instagram – the smart phone photography app that’s turning everyone’s snaps into something special – automatically posting your pics to the platform.

5. Be frequent

Brands on Tumblr tend to post more than they do on Facebook, but less than on Twitter. Around 1-5 times a day is a good guideline. If you’re struggling to find the time, the mobile app will help you post on the move. Also consider creating a bank of images at the start of the month and then you have a bank of content to post over the following days.

Who’s doing it well?

A few businesses who have embraced the Tumblr trend:

The Economist – the global news source delivers a clean, crisp presence which showcases its satirical cartons and cover stories

TOPSHOP – the fashion retailer focuses on the latest ‘as seen on the street’ looks, leading to commentary and engagement from its followers

Ace Hotel – achingly-cool collection of retro-effect photos, art event news, fashion and food from the boutique hotel brand

Flavorpill – commentary on all things cultural, including art, books, music and pop culture – from the low to the high brow

The World We Live In – beautiful travel photography to inspire you, from destinations around the globe

Need some help?

Digital Visitor’s social media services include the creation and management of business profiles across multiple channels, including Tumblr. Get in touch to find out how we can help develop your online presence today…

Are you using Tumblr for business?