How to Use Tumblr for Your Business

social media how toAre you wondering if Tumblr could help your business?

Are you unfamiliar with Tumblr and wondering how to get started?

Do you want to let a new set of customers share your brand or product on this social platform?

If so, keep reading as I reveal how to use Tumblr for your business.

Why Tumblr?

Tumblr is a blogging and social platform that houses more than 132 million blogs and is among the top 15 websites in the United States.

It’s website explains, “Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors to your theme’s HTML.”

According to Quantcast, Tumblr received over 5.5 billion page views in May 2013 alone. With user numbers and popularity on the rise, it’s a perfect marketing tool for businesses that are trying to extend their reach and raise brand awareness.

tumblr screenshot

Tumblr is quickly growing in popularity.

In this article I’ll show you how to get started using Tumblr in your online marketing strategy.

#1: Sign Up

Signing up is easy and can be done in minutes. Enter your email, choose a password and select a username. Try to get an exact match for your brand name or primary website URL. Alternatively, if you’re already established on Twitter, see if your Twitter username is available.

tumblr signup

Provide Tumblr with accurate, complete and updated registration information.

Consider using the same avatar image on your Tumblr page that you use on your Facebook Page, Twitter account and other social media channels.

#2: Dress to Impress

First impressions matter. To build a solid brand presence on Tumblr, ensure you make a good impression and select a catchy design for your page.

There’s an abundance of free and paid themes on Tumblr. Choose from one-, two- and three-column or grid-style layouts and find a design that matches your image. Browse the available themes, select one that fits your business and install it in seconds.

tumblr themes

Tumblr has a large library of free and premium themes to choose from.

Many themes allow for a considerable amount of customization to give you a unique look that’s perfect for punctuating your brand image. Compared to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, Tumblr is much more customizable and doesn’t require any serious programming abilities.

coca cola theme

Coca-Cola’s theme matches their brand.

Once you’ve got your design set, it’s time to get down to the brass tacks of utilizing Tumblr for marketing.

#3: Interact and Share

In addition to posting your own content, find a blog with content you like and click the Follow button to receive its new posts in your feed.

tumblr follow buttons

Find content to add to your feed and begin networking on Tumblr.

Follow a series of blogs and use the reblogging feature to share their content and establish a unique brand image.

tumblr reblog content

Reblog content from another blog right to your blog.

What you post and reblog within Tumblr will define how other users see and think of you. Choose content that will humanize your brand and help to establish trust and customer loyalty.

#4: Think Visually

One of the first things you notice about Tumblr is that pictures dominate the landscape. In fact, half of all posts on Tumblr are image-based.

tumblr gallery

National Geographic shares its Photo of the Day images on Tumblr.

A large percentage of Tumblr users are non-American, so global companies bridge the language barriers with carefully chosen images.

Some ideas for picture posts include:

  • Shots of your product being packaged.
  • Stills of your product in use.
  • Candid pictures of your services in action.
  • Images of your company employees working or having fun.

#5: Get Found With Tags

Take full advantage of Tumblr’s easy tagging system. Start typing a word and Tumblr will suggest a number of possible tags.

Each tag appears with a hashtag in front of it at the bottom of every post. Although it only takes a few seconds to create tags, they will increase the likelihood of your content being found, which should boost your number of followers.

tumblr tags

Tags make it easier for readers to find posts about a specific topic on your blog.

Make sure each tag is relevant and don’t go overboard with more than 12 tags per post. According to Inc.com, “Between seven and 12 tags is the optimum number that will not look like spam but will also draw a net wide enough to catch a lot of searches… and that’s the key.”

#6: Build Your Network Connections

Build your audience, acquire new followers and enhance your brand image by bringing exposure to your company profile.

networking

Social media is all about building connections and leveraging them. Image source: iStockPhoto.

First, follow and interact with lots of relevant Tumblr pages and begin to post your own content.

Follower counts aren’t displayed on Tumblr and you can follow any number of people or brands immediately without appearing spammy. Once you gain some exposure and establish a positive reputation, your follower count will increase organically.

follow

Find new and interesting Tumblr pages to follow. Image source: iStockPhoto.

Next, reblog, comment on or like posts from the blogs you follow. Reblogging is easy and it only takes a couple of clicks to share relevant posts that fit in with your business.

This is a simple yet effective way to nurture relationships within the Tumblr community and is especially powerful when reblogging content about you from your customers’ pages. It can create a tight-knit legion of brand ambassadors.

sharing

Build and nurture your relationships by sharing.

#7: Stay Active

Like most other social media sites, it’s important to maintain consistency on Tumblr.

According to Mashable, “Although fans will often complain if brands post more than once per day on Facebook, that is not the case with Tumblr, where post frequency is much higher. Of the brands studied, some posted as much as 10 or 15 times per day, although most hovered in the one to five range.”

post

Be strategic about how often you post. Image source: iStockPhoto.

This means that you can post an abundance of content as long as it’s valuable and/or entertaining. Provide your followers with a steady stream of great content to keep them interested and minimize unfollows.

Unlike sites like Twitter where up-to-date material thrives, evergreen content does well on Tumblr. This is because Tumblr isn’t a news-based network and what’s popular now could still receive attention two years down the road.

Conclusion

Tumblr’s popularity is growing quickly and brands that take action now stand to have an advantage over those that wait.

What do you think? Do you use Tumblr in your marketing initiatives? Has it helped grow your business? Let me know in the comments section below!

Images from iStockPhoto.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Jayson DeMers

Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content, SEO & social media marketing firm. Other posts by »




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  • @shavydavy

    That sounds like a great addition to my marketing campaign. Thanks!

  • http://www.abiolatv.com/ Abiola Abrams

    Thanks for this post! It’s very helpful for the new author site I am building for my next book. Much appreciated. xo

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    No problem! Glad to help.

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    You’re very welcome! Good luck with the new site =)

  • Kara Findley

    I agree that Tumblr can be great for businesses, especially big brands like the ones shown here. But if you have a smaller team, #6 and #7 can be difficult, so sticking to Facebook and Twitter may be better than overextending.

  • http://www.socialclinch.com/ Daniel Campbell

    Great advice! I will be adding more content to my current Tumblr account.

  • http://sproutsocial.com/features/social-media-engagement Sarah @ Sprout Social

    Great tips and info on Tumblr, Jayson. I’m not an avid Tumblr user, but I do see the value in the channel and the potential to build a strong and loyal community. The best example of Tumblr that I’ve seen was a restaurant posting updates as they built the place. It was easy to scroll through and see the progression. Plus, like you noted in this post, the Tumblr page was customized and resembled a website more than a third party social site. If I remember the name of it, I’ll share it!

  • Nanci Arvizu

    Great info! Thanks. I recently started a tumblr blog for my new business and am slowly growing. Just takes time and consistency!

  • http://www.seomasterexpert.com/ Swapan Kumar

    Amazing post especially for newbies.. Great Post Jayson!! Thanks for your efforts and thanks for sharing such an insightful post!!

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    My pleasure, Swapan!

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    Yep, it sure does. Good luck!

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    Interesting idea, Sarah! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Hi Jayson! Thanks for giving us some great info on Tumblr and examples of how it can be effectively used. As with all social platforms, it definitely takes time and consistency to build a profile and a following, but I’m sure for many it’s well worth it!

  • Diane Ashby Penna

    It seems to me that Tumblr may be heavy on younger users, such as teens. No? We’re not using Tumblr as a media platform for our business, but I am wondering if it would be worth it to open an account. We target adults and seniors, though.

  • Diane Ashby Penna

    I agree that it’s better to have one or two platforms that work really well, as opposed to lots of platforms that don’t draw in much traffic. I only work 4 hours a day at our marketing. Doesn’t leave much room for networking on the sites that won’t successfully reach our target market.

  • Dynamics Golf

    Nice post. My slight concen is that means more work and possibly more duplication of existing content, but I think I might try focusing the Tumblr messages, and images more at the end user (my customers, customers) of my golf solutions, rather than focusing on my customers which is what the blog and website does. In fact that method could boost sales…

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    I agree! Glad you found the tips helpful =)

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    I agree that’s heavy on younger users — it’s always worth a shot though!

  • Dara K

    I have been working on my tumblr. It’s not quite there yet, but this post is definitely helping me. Thanks!

  • AmandahBlackwell

    I haven’t used Tumblr for my business, but I think I could use it for the YA book I’m developing. From what I understand, Tumblr has a younger demographic. I haven’t had time to check it out, but it’s on my To Do List. :)

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    You’re very welcome!

  • http://www.corysstory.com/ Jayson

    Definitely do! Yes, it’s a younger demographic.

  • Paula Sours

    Thanks :) .

  • essensu

    I started a tumblr blog a year ago, and I purchased a custom template. We interact, follow, and like posts, but our following has grown at a slow pace. The average demographic is very young. It’s something to keep in mind. We however, do want to reach our younger audience, so we keep at it.

  • Mei Ling

    Great tips, easy-to-follow ideas. Thanks!

  • The Neighbors’ Place

    What advice would you give to a nonprofit interested in starting a blog on Tumblr?

  • http://momschoiceawards.com/ Mom’s Choice Awards

    Repurposing content is important no matter what the size of the business, but it is critical for small business. FB gets better returns with photo posts and so does Tumblr … so why not share twice?

  • Michael Wilson

    I think that using Tumblr for your business is one of the better decisions that one should make. There are a lot of users on there who love to post the pictures that they take themselves or find online. You can find some pretty cool and unique content on there that you maybe wouldn’t find somewhere else. Pictures, I think, are the primary purpose of using Tumblr and you have to post some pretty good ones to get noticed.

  • Pingback: How to Use Tumblr for Your Business | Social Media Examiner | bismain | bismain

  • http://unionmetrics.com/ Sarah

    Great write up, Jayson! Another good tip with tags is to remember that Tumblr only tracks the first five; any after that will just be used to organize your own blog and won’t enable your post to be found by anyone searching those tags on Tumblr. Make the first five tags count!

  • tracie

    Is tumblr a good option as a main website? I want to create a new content business and plan to put a lot of content (blog, video, how-tos, etc) into it, along with the usual stuff (about me, contact, etc). Would it make a better platform than say Weebly (the current host I am considering)?

  • marg ryan

    Thanks Jayson. Would you have any stats on wordpress vs tumblr? I like all that you’ve listed above, but think wordpress can do the same as tumblr, so trying to determine which to choose. Any comparison in usage / demographics / reach would be great. thanks in advance. M

  • http://www.sachinchandra.com/ Sachin

    WordPress only provides blogging/site platform while tumblr comprises the multi channel business platforms like followers, image sharing, blogging, likes and other business promotional stuff.

  • brooklynbrentton

    :x

  • Gerri Baum

    I’m finding that Tumblr is greatly used by the ‘millennial’ generation. So if a brand is targeting teens, it’s a great place to be. Thanks for sharing its relevance.

  • http://angel.co/ahmed-medien Ahmed Medien

    This looks very beautiful, but this isn’t unique to Tumblr really. I’d say before going ahead and starting a blog on Tumblr, one has to determine what is their strategic goal that they’re trying to reach? Could be to target millenials, teens and betweens who are often the most connected on Tumblr. Otherwise, what I find the most difficult here is to build the audience. How can you get more people following is no easy recipe. You gonna have to wait and be consistent and I think sometimes you gonna be frustrated cause you gonna be doing everything like it should, but you won’t be making progress. So, how about it what do you do to sustain your tumblr and keep on progress organically on the platform? Do you want to write another article maybe? I’d read and share. :)

  • Keith Eneix

    Great post Jason, in regards to the demographic on tumblr, what types of businesses tend to do really well in this space?

  • Greg

    great post.. Awesome site to add for social bookmarking and backlinks!

  • Jorge Torres

    This helped me understand tumblr.

  • Kelli Martinelli

    This was really helpful! I’m creating a social media plan for an emerging brand and I think Tumblr is their best outlet for building brand awareness and positioning them as topical experts. Are you familiar with paper.li? I’m considering recommending that as well, to curate Newsletter-type content. Do you know if that can be integrated into a Tumblr blog?

  • Wendy

    what would you say the age demographic on Tumblr is ? While is is clearly younger, I am wondering on actual sweet spot range??

  • http://nickdavis.com.au Nick Davis

    Awesome intro to Tumblr. Could do with some more detailed tips and techniques for increasing followers, i.e., what kinds of images best trigger reblogs from users. Also what kind of content is most popular–I tend to see more band-related images and animated gifs than anything else. Perhaps that’s just because of the types of followers I have.







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