Should Your Business Be On Tumblr?

September 5, 2013

Social Media, Extra Bullets, Tumblr

Should Your Business Be On Tumblr?

In the world of Internet marketing, plenty of businesses are doing a passable job, but a few have really grasped the importance of social media and developed their online brands in a remarkable way. One company that is hitting social media marketing out of the park is General Electric. GE takes its familiarity with the image-obsessed Tumblr community and uses this knowledge to its advantage by posting interesting images that users will be compelled to share.

By tying these images into its brand through succinct descriptions, GE subtly weaves its branding message throughout Tumblr without ever making an overt sales pitch. The company also takes advantage of its long history to provide images dating back to bygone eras, which serves to simultaneously capture the attention of viewers interested in history while subtly proving GE’s longevity and trustworthiness.

You don’t need to be as venerable a company as General Electric to benefit from the Tumblr platform, but you can learn from its success to launch your own successful marketing campaign. But keep in mind that not all social media websites are created equal, and what works for one company may not work for another. Keep reading to find out how to properly use this online marketing tool and if it is the key to your company’s online success.

How Tumblr Is Different From Other Sites

If you’re not deeply entrenched in social media already, you may not be familiar with this highly popular microblogging platform. Tumblr is one of the fastest growing social sites, boasting more than 216 million monthly users, and it’s become a popular choice for businesses from a variety of sectors. Although not initially designed for commercial blogging, Tumblr has been used to great effect by a variety of businesses.

The basic premise of Tumblr is pretty simple. After signing up, you get a dedicated blog space so you can upload images, links and text. From there, viewers can comment and share your posts through a “reblogging” feature, similar to retweeting on Twitter, that encourages virality. The platform is ideal for short blasts of interesting content rather than lengthy posts on any given subject.

Perhaps Tumblr’s greatest strength for companies is that, unlike Facebook, Tumblr is clearly not sales-focused. This creates a more intimate bond between the business and its customer base, and customers are more receptive to marketing messages when they don’t feel that they’re being bombarded with sales pitches.

Finding The Passionate Users

Tumblr has a few tools that make it easy to find users who may be interested in hearing about your brand’s message. All posts in Tumblr are marked with tags that designate the topics or keywords that describe the post’s content. For example, GE’s engine blisk post,

This stunning looking engine blisk is part of a GE CF34-8 aircraft engine designed for regional passenger jets. The CF34-8 series has logged over 24 million flight-hours and 18 million flight cycles.

included the hashtags #GE Aviation, #engine, #aircraft, #aviation and #moving.

Tumblr allows you to track the hashtags you use to find readers who are interested in the topics you’ll be blogging about. This allows you to reach out to those who may become brand advocates or customers down the line. You can also see what other Tumblr users are doing with those tags, allowing you to make changes to suit the needs and preferences of your audience.

Pros And Cons Of Tumblr

Although reaching out to a potential user base of 216 million people may sound appealing, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Tumblr might not be not the right choice for every business. Be realistic about your needs and abilities, and use an Internet marketing campaign that will play to your strengths.

Here are some of the biggest Tumblr pros and cons:

Tumblr Pros For Your Business

  • A huge member base
  • Posts are shorter than regular blogs and require less content
  • Image-heavy format makes it easy to share interesting images and links (including animated gifs)
  • You can implement many different themes to make your blog stand out

Tumblr Cons For Your Business

  • There’s a lot of competition, so you may struggle to stand out
  • If your customer demographic doesn’t use Tumblr, the return on investment is not worth the time spent updating your blog
  • Your ideal customers may not be on this social media platform, so research is necessary

Also, bear in mind that no matter what kind of social media you use, it makes up only one part of your online presence. Successfully marketing on the Internet relies on having multiple channels of communication with your customers. Nothing is more important than your company’s website, which should always serve as the “home base” for your business on the Web.

Getting Started

If you’ve done your research and determined that Tumblr is the right choice for your business, you can get started with a free micro-blog right away. Tumblr’s own help pages can help steer you in the right direction when you first start out. From there, it’s simply a matter of posting interesting and unique content that other people will enjoy. If you still have questions, try implementing these 11 Killer Tips for a Successful Tumblr Blog. You could also have a look at these Tumblr Tips.

[Image: GE]

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About David Soto

David Soto works with small businesses on developing strategies for their social media assets. He likes to write about best online practices for businesses and professionals.

View all posts by David Soto

5 Responses to “Should Your Business Be On Tumblr?”

  1. Angie M Jordan Says:

    I like Tumblr a lot! I agree that it is important to make sure that your target market is there before you dive into building a presence there! That is true for any social media platform! Great post!


  2. Dave Thompson Says:

    Tumblr is a good platform for internet marketing since it has a strong member base and it supports images and gifs too. Tumblr should be only considered if you are already present on all the important social platforms. It should be used to widen your social reach.


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