Tumblelogging and the Tumblr Phenomenon
Blogging, without the… wordiness
Tumblelogging is to blogging what texting is to email. Short, sharp and developed for rich media, this newest platform for sharing your ideas and inspirations is a perfect fit for creatives or anyone with something a little more visual up their sleeves.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so a blogged picture has the potential to communicate a thousand times more than a blogged word. Launched nearly 5 years ago in New York, Tumblr had a slow and steady initial growth and is just reaching the tipping point from the serious early adopters to the keenest edge of the mainstream, which means that brands are starting to sit up and take notice.Tumblr boasts more than 14 million posts per day, half of which are images. So when deciding if this newest frontier is one that you want to conquer, consider the profile of your business and the services or products that you are offering. Also what role do you want social media to play in your marketing strategy? It is important to understand which platforms and tools provide the most appropriate ways for you to communicate with your audience. Is what you do or sell highly visual? Are you a photographer, architect, fashion or interior designer, illustrator, or videographer? Do you sell products that people can appreciate visually? Is the value of your creativity part of your business model? If so tumblr could be a fantastic addition to your web presence.
How to Tumble
Tumblr is built on a tagging/following two-headed model. One way to use it is to search based on popular tags and decide based on the activity graph, which topics are of interest to you and have a critical level of activity to keep them fresh and interesting.
The other method is through the Dashboard. You can follow users that you like or who tumblelog about subjects that interest you; your dashboard is the equivalent of your Facebook newsfeed. This gives you a stream of all the latest posts from those that you follow. Much like Twitter, tumblr doesn’t use a reciprocal model, so you do not have to be following someone in order to them to follow you and vice versa. It is an interest, rather than relationship structure.
Shareability is the most important part of most social networks, something cool or inspiring or covetable is a social currency that people wish to share (as the cooler it is the more social kudos they earn) with their network. Especially in a model like that of tumblr, where you follow people based on their expertise, interests and access to things you mutually enjoy, rather than on whether or not you have a personal relationship, shareability becomes incredibly important.
On tumblr there are two actions which appear on any post: reblog and a heart icon, which signifies ‘Liking’ something. The number of actions any post has received are then calculated as notes, the amount of which are listed at the top of each post – creating an index of the viral-ness of each piece of shared content. This automatically ranks users by their influence and is kind of a combination between a blog and Klout – you are sharing, but you are constantly being indexed around the value the rest of the community sees in what you share. This is a fantastic way to motivate great, appropriate content on tumblrs platform. It also helps to ensure that the value of tumblr to you as a business is high.
Tumbling is an integrated sport
A tool like tumblr can be a fantastic addition to the rest of your online presence, however it is probably too narrowcast to be considered as a stand-alone channel. Three great ways to utilise all of tumblr’s functionality could be:
- Image Gallery: Integrate your tumblr feed in the ‘gallery’ section of your existing website as a viral and open place to store and add to your photos, keeping your website fresh and helping new people to discover your business.
- Search: tumblr helps to facilitate your search results, so you can use it as a boost to your SEO strategy. Image and video results, especially those highly referenced by social communities, can appear high up on the list of search engine results so this can be a boost to your business’s natural search strategies and a complement to your paid strategy.
- Testimonials: Post pictures of services you have carried out, things you have designed, items you have sold etc. Each one is an advertisement of the work you do –and if what you do is suitably interesting and skilled these posts will be passed around as standalone images as well.
Gritt can help to facilitate a marketing strategy for you to incorporate tumblr in your marketing activities, we can also help to make set up changes to your tumblr page to ensure that the functionality is just as you want it to be. We also offer advice on search engine marketing strategy and web development and can help you to integrate tumblr in any of the ways we mention above and many others.
Just give us a call if you would like to find a way to make tumblelogging an integrated part of your brand building.