You’ve gotten a firm hold on using Twitter and Facebook for your business and you’d like to try something else to increase your social presence. Tumblr can be a great way to build a fan base. Like any new marketing channel, though, Tumblr takes time, effort, and and a clear vision to master. We’ve listed the steps needed to understand if using Tumblr for small business is right for you.
Are your ideal fans on Tumblr?
Before even clicking “Sign Up” on the Tumblr homepage, stop and assess your market. Are your fans using Tumblr? Tumblr skews young, with 50% of their visitors under the age of 25. Many are female and without children. If your business already fits this demographic or would like to target it, Tumblr is for you.
5 Steps to Starting a Tumblr for Small Business
1. Claim your name and customize
The first step is an easy one. Claim your name and customize your Tumblr. Tumblr provides a lot of great free themes, but also allows for complete customizations with some coding knowledge. Choose a theme that works for the kind of content you plan on posting. For example, some themes work best with image-only content and look much like a pinboard. Others are designed to highlight content that requires text.
Bonus Tip: Many Tumblr themes include customizable navigation sections. Add links to other social channels, your website, or read our how-to on adding an email signup form to this section.
2. Find Tumblrs to follow
Other Tumblrs are content sources. Content is shared through reblogging, the process of posting something on one Tumblr for another. Reblogging always attributes a post to the original Tumblr. Find Tumblrs that fit your brand identity or post content in a similar market. Try searching tags that fit your business to see related content.
Example: McNally Jackson
McNally Jackson reblogs content from other booksellers, like this post from Word, a bookstore in Brooklyn, NY.
3. Gather content
Be prepared! Have enough content to fill up 2-3 pages of your Tumblr before launching so fans have enough to browse through. Figure out a balance between your own content and reblogged content from other Tumblrs. Once you have content together, you can set it in your Tumblr queue and have it autopost to save time. The queue can be found by clicking your Tumblr name on the dashboard and clicking Queue in the right sidebar.
After you’ve posted initial content and gotten some followers, you can open your Tumblr up to follower submissions and questions for even more interaction. These options are available by clicking on your Tumblr name from the dashboard and then choosing Blog Settings on the right sidebar. Don’t worry – submissions won’t automatically post. You can moderate the content that appears on your page. To make your content more rebloggable, try tagging posts so they show up in search results, just like the search you may have done to find Tumblrs to follow.
ModCloth uses submissions to take questions for their own ModStylists. The stylists posts an outfit suggestion to fit the follower’s needs.
5. Have fun!
Tumblr should be fun. It’s not the place to write long text posts. Stick to visual, video, and audio content that can be quickly absorbed as a follower browses their dashboard. Some of the most interesting and successful tumblers are from brands who seize the opportunity to express a unique, fun personality that connects with consumers in a way that’s never been available to their market before.
Example: C-Town of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.