As of last year, Tumblr had 8.5 times more page views per month than WordPress.com. Let that sink in. The scrappy little purveyor of humorous gif’s has 8.5 times more traffic than one of the most established hosted-blogging platforms in the world. I guess this means we should be paying attention, eh?
What is Tumblr? It’s a blogging platform at heart, but with a twist. This isn’t meant to be a traditional blog for writing that people visit or subscribe to with an RSS reader. Tumblr is designed for short, media-driven content: pictures, songs, movies, quotes, links. On top of that, Tumblr has a social angle (because honestly, who doesn’t these days). If you have a Tumblr account, you can follow other Tumblr blogs by clicking a follow button. All the content from blogs you follow show up in a feed on your Dashboard, similar to Twitter’s timeline.
It might seem overwhelming to add another social to your repertoire, but it’ll be worth it if your audience is age 12–34. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Keep posts short and, if possible, visual. People scroll through their Tumblr feed quickly, similar to scrolling through their Twitter timeline. If your post is too long or too wordy, users will likely scroll right past it. I love those epic 4,000-word New Yorker cover stories and I still find myself scrolling past things in my Tumblr feed that are wordy. It’s just not the place for it.
- Post quickly and frequently. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, the rule on how often to post is a bit more lax. Tumblr blogs may post 10 times in the same day, but Tumblr’s focus on visuals makes scrolling through lots of posts easy. Also, don’t take time stressing over every single thing you post. Tumblr’s vibe is quick, easy-going and off the cuff. Cut loose!
- Show your personality. The thing about Tumblr is that, unlike Twitter and Facebook, there aren’t many hard and fast best practices. As long as you’re having fun, you’re probably doing it at least half right. One great use for Tumblr is to show the personality of your brand. Posting pictures of antics around the office or of the things your employees enjoy. What pop song is on repeat at the office? You could even use it as a way to show off your awesome customers.
Here are some brand examples.
Nike uses their Made by Nike Tumblr to profile young athletes and creators wearing Nike work out clothing.
Coke’s Happiness is.. Tumblr is a visual stream of what Coke thinks happiness looks like.
Popstar Carly Rae Jepsen’s Tumblr shows off fan-made covers of her new single.
Popular Mac/iPhone e-mail client, Sparrow, uses Tumblr to post tips and tricks on using their application.
MSNBC uses Tumblr to post news articles, but always with a prominent photography accompanying a quick story.
Are you already on Tumblr? What tips and tricks do you use?