In Part I of our Tumblr tutorial, we looked at some of the ways brands are currently using Tumblr. This Part II offers more details on set-up and particular issues that will be of interest to social media and marketing brand managers for establishing Tumblrs for corporate use.
- Tumblr dashboard serves both as a publishing platform and an aggregate reader.
- Posts can be reblogged and liked by followers directly from the dashboard menu.
- Tumblr blogs can be linked with custom domain names.
- “Ask” feature allows readers to directly ask bloggers questions.
- “Submit” feature allows readers to submit content to other Tumblr blogs with the blogger’s approval.
Unlike a traditional WordPress blog or an established Twitter handle, an interesting part of the Tumblr culture is the “disposable” blog, or one that has a short-shelf life and is built on a transitory theme. Some brands have used specialty Tumblr blogs for short-live campaigns (Ann Taylor, Target.) Part I of this Tumblr Tutorial and our e-Book on Tumblr cover content in more depth.
|Fan art on display at the Tumblr HQ|
Promotion of Fan Art and User Generated Content
Setting a click-through link (“watermarking“) is a simple way to drive traffic back to your official site or to your Tumblr blog once your post has been reblogged.
The definition of “Tumblr Famous” refers at least in part to follower count. Tumblr fans will also use the term as a pejorative. For brands, it is important to note that part of being considered a legitimate part of the Tumblr community is the level of participation the authors put in.
|MTVUK offers a teaser on Madonna|
Tumblr is an excellent platform for breathing new life into older content from your more mainstream, long-form media sources. A tidbit or factoid that was cut during editing can make perfect sense on Tumblr, coupled with a repurposed visual. Likewise, a synopsis or teaser with a visual from your long form content works on Tumblr when added in with a redirect to the larger piece.
Tagging a post with multiple descriptors may seem like overkill, but each of the tags will sort to a different discovery stream. Tumblr users often surf from within Tumblr itself, so the more exposure you give a post, the more likely it is to be read for a new follower to be added.
Built-in analytics are lacking on Tumblr. Beyond a follower count, there isn’t much to be gleaned from Tumblr-provided tools.
|Sample data from TumblrStats|
Some third party providers can fill in the gap. Google Analytics can provide data on Tumblr once the blog has been enabled. TumblrStats allows you to call up any Tumblr blog by username and is useful for a top down look at your Tumblr as well as for performing research on other blogs’ use.
Tumblr increasingly is dealing with spam Tumblrs that auto-follow and reblog content. Spam accounts, phishing accounts, accounts focused on content (pornography, self-harm, etc.) you’d rather not have associated in any form with your Tumblr community can be blocked from following, commenting, and reblogging your content via the “Block” feature.
Just as participating in a Tumblr meme without understanding the context can be risky business, so can reblogging without reviewing the content of the original Tumblr blog. Therefore, an important step in the reblogging process for a brand is to review the blog before posting. Many Tumblr blogs are dedicated to unsavory topics (thinspo, cutting, pornography, etc.) Although Tumblr recently instituted a “no self-harm” policy, the nature of the platform with its individualized subject streams still lends itself to niche subjects. Reposting, or using another Tumblr’s content without using the “Reblog” feature, is considered to be very poor form on Tumblr.Part I of our Tumblr Tutorial for Brands can be found here, but for a more complete look at Tumblr, please download our free e-Book. And let us know what you think, won’t you?