Tumblr has a bit of a red headed step child complex when it comes to social media marketing for businesses. If you have a link to a Tumblr profile on your website most visitors only click the familiar “t” icon because they thought it represented access to your Twitter profile. However you shouldn’t care if they arrived for the wrong reasons because if you are using this channel correctly your customers will be captivated from the moment they make landfall. Tumblr can be a very effective engagement tool worth adding to your content marketing plan, providing you with access to an audience that you are not currently reaching on your other networks. Today we’ll take a look at how you as a business can expand your social network reach by successfully using Tumblr.
7 Ways Businesses Can Successfully Incorporate Tumblr into Their Social Network Marketing Mix
1. Optimize Your Tumblr URL and Profile
Carefully select your Tumblr URL. While big brands may simply use their brand name (as in Coca-Cola.tumblr.com) you as a small to medium business will want to optimize the URL to be found on internal Tumblr search. Thus, an LA based real estate marketing firm using Tumblr to promote their home staging service would incorporate both their location and home staging keywords into the URL, as in “LA-Home-Staging-Tips.tumblr.com”. Once you’ve selected your URL you will need to complete your profile by incorporating your brand name, crafting an engaging tagline, and even consider developing a brand hashtag to accompany your profile.
2. Customize Your Background to Speak to the Tumblr Crowd
Replace the default profile photo and background on your Tumblr profile immediately. However, it is advised to avoid using the same backgrounds that you have on your other social network profiles. Tumblr hosts an expansive yet eclectic community of artisans, techies, hipsters, anti-hipsters, and bloggers, many of which are opinion leaders for a wide variety of industries. You want your business to make an impression on Tumblr and show users that you are not simply there to hock your wares, but to contribute to the community. This new persona of yours unfolds with your background which should be vibrant and eye-catching while still speaking to your offering.
3. Enable and Encourage Users to “Ask Me Anything”
Similar to Reddit, Tumblr offers an Ask Me Anything function that allows users to engage others, brands included. Simply click the setting icon, check the “Let people ask questions” box, and save your setting. Encourage users to indeed ask you anything by stating so in your profile description and when you make posts. This is one area where brands have an advantage on Tumblr. As a business you are a perceived authority in your industry and so users may actually be the ones to start the engagement process. Make yourself available and wide open to their inquiries.
4. Let Captivating Photos Lead Followers
Photos dominate the landscape of Tumblr so your business will want to come well armed with a slew of high-resolution original brand-owned photos. These photos should be in-use back on your website, incorporated into blog articles and other content-rich product/service pages. That way when you share these images as Tumblr posts you can link them back to the source (your site) and score referral traffic. Tumblr allows you to place links both within photos (hover your cursor on the top right corner of the image) and within the text introducing the content. Once you’ve linked your photo follow-up by writing a captivating heading that encourages users to click-through to view more, and insert the link within it. For example, an interior designer can post a great photo of a unique seasonal home decorating idea and write a headline stating “10 Radical Holiday Home Decorating Ideas for 2014-15” with a link to the article placed within both the image AND the text.
5. Post and Link Infographics
Tumblr serves as a host to some of the best infograhics around with pieces applicable to nearly every industry. Ideally your brand will be creating infographics to support your website’s content. In the same manner addressed above for photos, infographics should also be linked from your Tumblr posts back to your website to garner referral traffic. Don’t just post your own infographics on Tumblr, you should pay goodwill forward by using Tumblr to curate the applicable work of others, something that will be noticed by users and be followed with reciprocal actions favoring your own.
6. Create Wisecracking Memes, GIFS, and Graphics Solely for Tumblr Followers
What happens on Tumblr stays on Tumblr, right? OK, while nothing on the web is safe from spreading outside of a particular network Tumblr is somewhat self-contained. Brands know they can get away with posting more tongue-in-cheek content here than anywhere else and as a business you want to do just that using memes, gifs, and other graphics. Tumblr users want sharp wit, humor, self-deprecation, parody, satire, and they even want to be shocked from time to time, within reason. One of the most “straight laced” brands around, Denny’s, has earned status as the best received brand Tumblr. Their oddball humor and complete disregard for the health & fitness trend also so prevalent on Tumblr is appreciated by many. Memes, gifs, and graphics that stand alone allow you to deliver this sort of content away from your site. They speak for themselves so unlike photos and infographics used on Tumblr you need not link them back to your website. It will irritate Tumblr followers if they click on your meme and they are sent packing to a page on your site when all that they wanted was to look at a larger resolution, possibly so that they could share it on their own profile. You may brand this content but it should be done subtly (w/a slight watermark) so that you increase the potential for it to go viral while still getting some of the credit.
7. Don’t Forget to Tag Posts
You don’t need to use #hashtags on Tumblr but you do need to add tags to posts if you want your content to be found by users that are not already following you. However, unlike Instagram, where up to 30 #hashtags per post are searchable, Tumblr limits these to five. Search through tags related to the content that you are about to post, identify popular (but not too popular) ones, and attach them to the post before publishing.
To date Tumblr hosts over 205 million blogs and is nearing 100 billion posts. It has over 230 million active users and has grown big enough that Yahoo dropped over 1 billion dollars to acquire it. It not only makes sense that your business add Tumblr to its social network marketing mix, it’s downright essential. Follow the above advice and find your unique voice on Tumblr. Your brand may very well tap into an audience/customer base that you never knew existed.