Should You Tumblr?

Image via Marissa Mayer’s Tumblr!

I just spent the last weekend grilling my friend’s fourteen-year-old niece about her cohorts’ use of digital media.

Did you know that teenagers don’t use email?

They love Snapchat and something called Kick?

And Facebook — never, ever Facebook!

Everything changes so fast. Even my opinions about Tumblr. You may have heard a thing or two in the news about the blogging platform/social network Tumblr since it’s recent acquisition by Yahoo. For like more than a billion dollars. Obviously someone was impressed by the 100 million strong blog network.

I, on the other hand, was initially very put off by the service’s poor reliability and its incredibly bad performance in search.

Now I’m starting to explore what it can do for brands and I’m starting to like it a lot more.

Why? Because while it is a lot like a blogging platform, it’s also as fast-moving and mobile friendly as Instagram, and relationship-driven like Twitter.

Marco Arment (who basically cofounded Tumblr with David Karp) wrote an insightful blog post over the weekend:

MySpace was where you went in the past, WordPress and Movable Type were where people went if they had the patience and writing output to maintain a traditional blog, Facebook was where you went to define yourself by schools and checkboxes, and Tumblr was where you went to make your own identity and express your creativity.

So that’s how I came to appreciate Tumblr, because it’s a little bit like platforms I like for marketing, and yet a little bit different. I am trying it for a restaurant client after perusing how many restaurants are using Tumblr successfully. Here’s a good list.

So, do you Tumblr for your business?

Here’s a few reasons you might consider it:

You’re in a Tumblr sweet spot

Obvious categories include food, retail, fashion, books, creative fields. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Your product is highly visual

You either have or can produce a number of visual assets (see Cirque de Soleil). Or, like Sharpie, you have a product used and beloved by many.

You use Tumblr for a clever campaign

Maaco is a great example of a business that is not particularly interesting or visual on its face. Yet they are doing a very clever and interactive campaign called “Maacover” on Tumblr right now, prompting fans to submit their own photos of junker cars that need new life. Which just goes to show a little creativity goes a long way.

Getting started on Tumblr

1. Pick a good name. Your business name is a great place to start.

2. Find and follow blogs in your niche

3. Pay attention to what’s on your Dashboard — that will be other blogs’ posts relevant to your business category.

4. Participate in the community. Be sure to reblog and look at other blogs.

5. Tag your posts with relevant keywords so people can find you!

6. Publish great content regularly — especially pictures!

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2 Responses to “Should You Tumblr?”

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  1. Mixed Links for Nonprofit Marketers - May 24, 2013

    […] has been in the news the past week with its buy-out by Yahoo! Find out more about Tumblr and if it’s something you should consider to boost your nonprofit’s brand […]

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