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Tumblr: Social Media’s All-In-One Hot Spot

Social Media’s popularity has grown so large, in such a short amount of time, you need a scorecard to keep up with all the different types of SM (you know, Social Media, that was my first and last attempt at being “hip”, sorry) outlets/platforms.

At the top of the social media hierarchy are the “Big Three” Facebook, Twitter and YouTube along with the social media’s version of a diary/journal, Blogging (led by WordPress and Blogger).   There’s probably very few people in America, if not the world, who haven’t heard of either of them or who are currently or have tried either/all of them (you would be surprised at the number of people who excel at multi-social media tasking) and there are just as many who aspire to become the next Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or WordPress.

Among the newer attempts that has tried and succeeded to stand out in the social media crowd is Pinterest, a site that’s has swept the Internet (well, mostly female fan base), a kind of Flickr/Twitter mash-up that’s simple in execution and quick in getting your photo with quick message out to the world.

One would think that the next logical step would be an inexpensive and quick format where you could combine elements of all your Social Media favorites?   Would you believe that not only does that format, called Tumblr, exist, but that it has been around since 2007?

 

You may not have ever heard of Tumblr, but there’s a good chance that teen-age/college aged kids have.  Over half of Tumblr users are age 25 or younger and there are slightly more male users (51%) than female among the so-called “Tumblrers”.  According to Tumblr, it hosts over 67 MILLION blogs and nearly 17 BILLION page views, MONTHLY.  These are totals that rival Facebook in popularity.  What attracts people to Tumblr is a number of things.  First and foremost, is its simplicity.  It takes the traditional blog format and makes it nearly Twitter simple with Facebook social appeal.

The “famous” Tumblr Dashboard Buttons

The Tumblr Experience gives you 7 ways/types to post to your blog (Text, Photo, Quote, Link, Chat, Audio, Video) via its very user-friendly dashboard.  Many of its diehard fans swear that the Tumblr dashboard makes blogging faster than the more popular Blogger and WordPress platforms.  Tumblr also has embraced the smartphone world with its easy to use app for many platforms (for example; IPhone, Android, IPad, various tablets)

The Tumblr iPhone App

as well as made using YouTube videos easy to place on their blogs.

In my opinion, the element of Tumblr that is the most successful is the way you can interact with other Tumblr users. You can search Tumblr for topics that appeal to you, in the process, finding other blog/bloggers to “follow”.  Once you do this, you can like posts from various bloggers and/or reblog their posts and vice versa.  Tumblr is a great “word of mouth marketing” (WOMM) tool.  But the $64,000 Question is, how can a business use Tumblr to its advantage?

Tumblr, despite its large blog count and monthly page views, isn’t for everyone, personally or business-wise.  The format and style, which tends to be snarky and “in your face”, is more geared for shorter comments, more visual content and, initially, it may seem that your Tumblr blog needs more time to devote to developing your audience as well, with an emphasis on social media more so than advertising.  As we are all learning, promoting your product, business and/or brand has undergone dramatic changes in the 21st Century:

You should go beyond just trying to push your product on Tumblr—try to embody a lifestyle. Sure, you can post product pictures, but don’t be so pushy; instead, be human. If you have a clothing company that just got samples in, show how excited you are and make your Tumblr audience feel special by giving them a first look. Try posting something like, “Just got first samples of our new product line! Take a peek!” with some pictures. You can also post about your brand’s history (i.e. where’d your slogan come from? Who designed the logo? Who’s the person answering customer service calls?), along with anecdotes about customer interactions and pictures of office celebrations to give people a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Now more than ever, people want to know from whom they’re buying products, so Tumblr is a great way to let them see how great your company is. This helps build loyalty, and your bottom line.–taken from A Quick Guide To Tumblr For Business

Currently, businesses with a visual/news/entertainment slant, such as The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Standard Hotel, NPR and The Huffington Post, as well as fashion businesses like Ann Taylor, J Crew and Oscar de la Renta  have embraced the Tumblr format.  I expect that to change as more people become knowledgeable of Tumblr.  An example of that change?  Even that powerhouse, Twitter, uses Tumblr, when they have the occasional glitch.  The thing that will make Tumblr even more noticeable will be its advertising potential.

Much in the way that Pinterest caught the attention of advertisers who covert the female demographic, advertisers and businesses have seen the appeal of Tumblr in attracting the younger crowd.  But an interesting thing has started to occur, according to Quora:

We all know Tumblr skews to a young demographic, but perhaps most surprising is the 46% of Tumblr users over 35.

It seems that Tumblr’s not just for the kids, these days.  That older demographic may explain why Newsweek magazine, yes, that Newsweek, has jumped on the Tumblr bandwagon.

The bottom line? If you don’t have access to video and, especially photos that you can populate posts with and the time to cultivate your audience by interacting among the Tumblr faithful (which may seem daunting, initially but, trust me, it’s not that bad, it just takes time to do so) then Tumblr may not be for you.  However, if you need a blog that is quick and easy to set up and have running ASAP, Tumblr is worth a try.  While not as powerful as WordPress or Blogger, what Tumblr has in its favor is that it is much easier to use.

Look at it this way, Tumblr is a fairly inexpensive way for businesses to expose their products/wares/services to a different audience, in a different style than you’re probably used to, sure, but the benefits of doing so can be plentiful without great cost.  There are many factors that, if handled correctly, make Tumblr a gold mine!

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