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Amplifr’s SMM Guide: Tumblr Marketing Guide

Making sense of the most aesthetic social media platform.

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By Una Gašparović
content manager at Ranking Press

People use social media in different ways. Some people are crazy for text. They breath in the reality and breath out the words, usually through blogging. Others prefer visual expression and aim to present their ideas with images. Some people cling to videos. And lastly, the majority of us just love to chat - communicate, discover, and engage with other people on social media, and this is where Tumblr marketing comes into the picture.

Fortunately, a single online platform, a bit unusual social media network, is a place where anyone can express an idea, a thought or an opinion in any way they want. So, whether you’re inclined to text, video, audio or simply, chatting, look no further than Tumblr.

This social media misfit is a multimedia microcosmos – worth exploring both for personal use, and particularly as a professional, potentially profitable marketing asset. But what is Tumblr exactly and how to start with Tumblr marketing?

What is Tumblr?

Before we go on, can you answer: which social media network is also primarily a microblogging platform? That is correct, the answer is Twitter. Now with Tumblr, we encounter this phenomena again: a combination of the microblogging website and a social community in one.

But, do not get confused – despite this general similarity, these two social media websites are quite different. Tumblr is even more blog-oriented and easier to use. It is equally beneficial for business-focused use, but in a slightly different way. You’ll gain full clarity of its features by the end of this guide.

Risen in 2007 and now (2019) counting more than 452 million accounts, Tumblr is a digital home for over 166 billion (yes, that’s billion, with the “b”) posts. This and similar data places it at the very top of most popular social media websites in the world.

The essential elements of Tumblr

As mentioned, Tumblr is an extremely user-friendly social media platform. It is based on Tumblelogs – a personal space where each user can publish different types of content:

  • Textual posts;
  • Images/photos;
  • Links to external content (articles, web pages, etc.);
  • Quotes (differently formatted than the usual text);
  • Videos;
  • Audio clips;
  • Chat conversations.

A single Tumblr post can be reblogged (that is right, not shared, but reblogged, as Tumblr is primarily a microblogging platform), if published by another user. Tell us, is it possible to click like on someone’s content in a classical blog? No, you could only comment on it. But, Tumblr offers this feature as well, enabling its users to interact with posts by liking them.

The main elements of a Tumblr profile are:

  1. A live feed, where you can enjoy various blog posts from the users you’re following. The beauty of Tumblr lies in its simplicity – all activity in your network is managed and presented on one place – the feed.
  2. Your blog, where you could easily post the content of your choice, making it visible for your followers.
  3. Static pages, such as Questions page as an example (where people are automatically taken when they ask you something) or any other form of custom pages. This element gives your Tumblr profile a bit of “traditional website” look, so it might come handy for professional purposes.

Target audience: who uses Tumblr the most?

Shoulder to shoulder with Instagram and Snapchat, Tumblr is also adored by younger users. Mostly millennials use this social media platform.

The data on Tumblr is scarce, when it comes to its demographics, but the overall impression is:

  • Most of the Tumblr’s users are under the age of 25 – you’re at the right place, if your business is trying to reach a younger target group, such as teenagers and students
  • Tumblr is almost equally used by male and female users
  • There are better places for luxury and expensive products than Tumblr, as the 35% of its audience is earning less than $30k per year.

Is Tumblr made only for bloggers or…?

Absolutely not!

Professionals often struggle to understand the full benefit and potential of Tumblr as a social media network. The truth is – anyone from teenagers to celebrities and politicians can use Tumblr for variety of reasons.

By utilizing the power of its broad audience, companies are finding creative ways to drive their brand and sales growth on Tumblr. The fundamental elements needed for a successful business presence are there:

  • The active community;
  • Diversified target groups;
  • Straightforward and dynamic inline sharing;
  • Quick, but in-depth communicating, and more.

For these reasons, Tumblr is a perfect space for anyone who:

  • Doesn’t have time/a desire to build a full blog with lengthy posts (though, if you have one, you can draw traffic to it from Tumblr);
  • Wants to publish short, punchy, attention-grabbing multimedia posts (but if you wish, you could post the longer ones too);
  • Mainly uses social media on a mobile device;
  • Aims to join a large online community and reach more people;
  • Finds Twitter to be text-wise limiting, Instagram not versatile enough or traditional blogs too complicated and time-consuming.

How to use Tumblr in a social media strategy

We’ll be bluntly honest with you now. Based on every social media guide we’ve explored together so far – for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and now, Tumblr – is it possible to draw a conclusion which one is the best for your business strategy?

Combined together, these five guides to social media networks “weight” around 30.000 words, filled with data from top-notch resources only. Still, can we say – Insta is perfect for this and this industry, while Twitter is a platform is your company is focused on that and that?

Should you use Tumblr to grow your business?

Honestly, there are no universal rules in social media.

As the matter of fact, there are no rules in marketing.

So, in order to pick the suitable, perfectly-fitting social media network for your unique business, a bit of trial-and-error testing is inevitable. Fortunately enough, our guides can provide is an accurate overview of platform’s main characteristics and benefits. But only you can determine which one will work the best for your company.

What makes Tumblr marketing so special

Benefits of using this social media platform to grow and market your business are many. Here are a couple of them:

  • Audience building: by inviting people to contribute to your brand’s Tumblelog, you can deepen the connection inside your audience;
  • Short-form, punchy and straight-to-the-point posts;
  • Brand strengthening – as a microblog, your Tumblr profile can carry the unique domain name, as well as a custom theme;
  • Competition research, either through following of competitors’ blogs or trending topics;
  • Emerging and benefiting from the community – on Tumblr, brands can create significant impact, but only if they respect the community, obtain a more personalized approach and find a niche in which they could give the most.

Ergo, could Tumblr work well for your business? Depends on what your resources and goals are. Stick with us as we explore this make-or-break topic together.

Planning your strategy for Tumblr marketing

Before you even begin creating a Tumblr username for your brand, take time to plan the following steps clearly. The clearer your strategy, the better your outcomes will be. Here are some of the questions worth asking (yourself) at this stage:

  1. Why? Do you wish to create a Tumblr blog only because your competitors did the same? Much better reasons to invest time, money and resources into a new social media channel are: building your brand’s presence, creating a new revenue funnel, educating your customer or improving the customer service.
  2. Who? By assigning someone to be responsible for that new Tumblr blog, you’ll ensure that the strategy is executed with proper attention. Consider delegating or hiring a person who will control the content creation and posting, but also engage with the followers and cross-promote the posts on other channels.
  3. How much time can your company invest? We see social media marketing strategies fail all the time, simply because they gave up too soon. Tumblr blog, like any other blog, requires dedication, patience and commitment in order to work well. So, could you (and your team/client) commit to running a Tumblr blog, long term?

3 ways to incorporate Tumblr into your social media strategy

Tumblr can be a fantastic addition to your already established multi-channel marketing plan. The communities intersecting inside this platform are tight-knit and diverse in interests. Hence, Tumblr offers a wide range of possibilities for even stronger brand presence and influence on social media.

If you’re wondering how to effectively merge Tumblr into the existing social media strategy, read on.

1) Look where your audience is already gathered

This trick can save you a lot of time and nerves. Instead of trying to build a community on Tumblr from scratch, consider searching for already established communities. While looking through them, focus on your target demographic, of course.

How to conduct this search effectively?

In Tumblr Spotlight, you’ll find popular blogs and the communities surrounding them. Before you join a conversation, take time to observe how your chosen audience communicates. Once you decide to contribute, make sure to always bring valuable and appropriate content. Your potential customers and fans are in there, so use the opportunity to engage and introduce your brand in a decent manner.

2) Repurpose, recycle, remodel

Content creation takes a lot of time (most of us learned this a hard way). Knowing this, marketers made an effort to discover various ways how to better manage the content for social media marketing.

For your Tumblr endeavours, you don’t need to reinvent the entire content. In fact, you could just repurpose the existing longer content and form a series of shorter pieces. Short content might actually fit nicely into Tumblr’s environment. Consider the effective formats such as GIFs, images or quotes.

3) Open your eyes for community opinion

The best way to craft a compelling social media content strategy is to pay attention.

An excellent way to incorporate Tumblr and use the best of what this (micro)blogging network has to offer is to simply listen to its community. Often, the users themselves post about “the content they want to see” or they openly critique brands. The latter might be useful for you, as it clearly shows what people do not like and thus, what kind of an approach should be avoided.

Why some of the Top 100 brands are using Tumblr

Still questioning the power that Tumblr could have on your business? Listen, while everyone is raving about Facebook or Instagram, you could benefit from choosing their a bit unusual, but also quite powerful sibling – Tumblr. Seriously, many brands have undeservedly overlooked Tumblr and its exponential growth.

Top brands, on the other side, are well aware of Tumblr’s benefits – 31 of the Top 100 brands (and counting), such as MTV, Disney and Ralph Lauren, are passionately using this platform to connect with their audiences.

Needless to say, they know what they’re doing and Tumblr is not being chosen by chance. These are some of the reasons why you should consider joining as well:

  • A long shelf life of content;
  • Richness of content types a brand could use/combine;
  • A supportive, devoted, young community hungry for quality content.

Upgrading your marketing strategy with Tumblr

Every family has that “odd one”, a member who acts and communicates in a slightly different, weird way. And in the social media family, Tumblr is that misfit sibling.

Its unique voice and structure could actually bring clarity to your entire social media strategy. Because on Tumblr, you can let your creativity go wild! If any content seems to weird for Facebook or Twitter, chances are huge it would perform well on Tumblr. This freedom enables you to creatively experiment. During this trial-and-error process, take the time to carefully observe your target audience, their (usually) open and direct reactions.

Remember, the biggest asset of Tumblr are its close-knit, engaged, passionate communities. It represents a fusion between a blog and a social media network. So, use your audience’s reactions to your marketing advantage.

How to structure an effective Tumblr post

How much easier the life of a marketer would be, if the hearts of fans could be won merely by posting random content! But we’re all aware how these stories end. The strategy of “let me just throw an avalanche of irrelevant, unoptimized posts and pray for to the Lord of Internet to bring me fame and fortune” cannot result in engaged audience, increased profits, nor a well-established social presence.

Additionally, every social media network is a realm for itself. Thus, a post that performs phenomenally on Facebook, might cause nothing more than crickets on Tumblr.

Ah, it would be so nice if someone could do the research, dig out the data and show the best practices for posting on Tumblr! You agree it would? Hold my beer.

The main types of content for Tumblr

As many of other social websites, Tumblr is a mostly visual-oriented medium. Meaning, despite its (micro)blogging nature and a possibility to post long form text, all types of visual content work well on this platform.

With that said, could you reuse the content already posted on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and similar platforms? A rule of thumb in this case is: of course you should consider reusing the content, but never ever (and by never, we mean not in your entire social media life) duplicate the exact same content onto different platforms.

Always make sure to adjust your posts to the specific requirements of every social media website.

Moving on, some forms of (visual) content have proven to work particularly well on Tumblr:

1) Photos and illustrations

As approved by Captain Obvious: in a visual-friendly Tumblr, compelling images and entertaining illustrations are more than welcome! Needless to say, the quality of all visuals needs to be outstanding. But, if you do not have a fancy equipment, don’t stress. Try using Instagram, but in this case as a photo editing tool. Insta’s simple, a bit vintage feel resonates nicely with the younger demographic on Tumblr.

2) Memes

This entertaining type of content took the world of social media by storm. Viral in their essence, funny memes are also easily made and quickly shared all across the Internet. With a little help of meme generators available, you could create custom memes related to your industry/niche/brand. Simply pick one of the typical meme images or find a funny photo yourself, insert a witty phrase and voila! Go ahead, it literally takes a couple of minutes to create a memetastic share magnet for Tumblr.

3) GIFs

If memes and gifs were fighting for domination in a real-life battle, the result would be even. These two forms of visual, regularly humorous content, are incredibly popular among Tumblr users. If you wish, create custom animated GIFs (or Graphics Interchange Format) or simply use the existing ones. The search is possible inside the Tumblr as well. Then, blend the chosen GIF with a witty caption and enjoy the increased engagement it will most probably bring.

4) Quotes

How not to love Tumblr, when it has a special sections for quotes? This extremely easy-to-make type of content became even easier on Tumblr. And also – it looks amazing. An inspirational quote can inspire more engagement on your blog, open up lively discussions and more. Usually, this content model receives a lot of shares too.

What kind of posts work well on Tumblr?

The uniqueness of your business (brand) mostly determines the tone of voice and the overall style of your posts. Despite all trueness this statement carries, a couple of guidelines will bring you more Tumblr clarity and help you craft your content strategy as well.

Narrow niche and humor

Apparently, as you’ve noticed from the best content types (memes, gifs) for Tumblr, humor works well on this social media platform. But, random, uncentered humor doesn’t, especially if you’re trying to position a company blog in a best way.

When deciding on the type of posts you’ll focus on, consider this: narrow-niche content, combined with an adequate amount of humor, is an excellent recipe for a Tumblr post.

Do not worry if humor is not your strongest trait! Still, keeping to a specific, well-defined niche or industry will put you in the advantageous position on Tumblr, where an avalanche of posts appears every minute.

Sign up to Amplifr and connect your Tumblr pages to analyze the engagement and see what your audience really needs.

Listen to your audience

Next, the kind of posts that “speak” to a particular target group are desirable. When deciding on the structure and content of your posts, consider the centering thought: who am I speaking to?

If your posts address the common interests of a specific group, and offers additional information or solutions on those topics, people will naturally gravitate towards your Tumblr blog.

What about hashtags?

Excellent question! While using hashtags on Twitter or Instagram can improve on your visibility and therefore, growth, using them on Tumblr is a necessity. On this social media site, hashtags are constantly utilized for search.

Tumblr users rely on hashtags to do an internal search, whenever they want to discover a new blog worth following. No matter how breathtakingly wonderful your Tumblr blog is, the chances are slim it’s going to be found without relevant hashtags.

Using hashtags on Tumblr

A couple of instructions will help you win at the game of Tumblr hashtags:

  • There is a dedicated section for hashtags inside the Tumblr post editor – do not insert hashtags directly into your post, but rather use this particular section (placed at the bottom of the form) as you prepare to click “Publish”.
  • The hashtags written into the post itself won’t appear as clickable links, depriving you from mentioned search possibilities.
  • Use popular hashtags to increase the exposure, aim for currently trending tags. Always make sure they’re relevant to your business and marketing goals.
  • Be careful about the number of hashtags – an excessive use of tags on Tumblr will be viewed as spam. Your blog could even be banned!
  • Anywhere between 5 and 10 tags is an optimum number for Tumblr, providing enough information for successful search, while avoiding the spam trap.
  • The continuous posting of high-quality content, complemented with relevant (hash)tags can bring you in front of the large audience, so try to blend those elements together.

The right length of a Tumblr post

Among social media marketers, opinions on the perfect length for Tumblr are conflicted. Some say that longer posts work the best, while others emphasize the microblogging dimension of this platform.

Which side speaks the truth? What should you listen to?

Most probably, neither of them. Remember when we mentioned how Tumblr is “an odd one” of the social media family? When it comes to the ideal post length, it definitely is a weird sibling.

Take a look at some of the statements and then, carefully observe your own content, the strategy you’ve created and the goals you have with Tumblr. With all that in mind, you’ll know just how long your posts should be. At the end, try out both short and lengthy posts, to see which resonate the best with your perfect audience!

  • As a microblogging website, Tumblr is primarily a place for brands to inspire a dialogue with their customers, encouraged by shorter, punchy posts – quotes, questions, visuals, and similar.
  • But often, the chances are huge that the post which went viral is in fact, a long one.
  • While Tumblr users have the attention span of an average three-year-old running through a toy store, the unusually long post could draw significant attention.
  • If you’re not confident in placing lengthy content, consider linking a purely visual post to an external, comprehensive blog post.
  • Your Tumblr is not merely a profile (as in other social media sites), it is a blog, a rather independent web entity. Therefore, it can (should) be indexed by Google. Knowing how SEO likes longer posts, why not use the chance to be seen both on Tumblr’s internal search and Google
  • Finally, if you choose to turn to longer content (alongside with short-and-sweet content), do it once in two or four weeks. The attention loses its meaning if it’s drawn all the time.

Shaping the successful Tumblr posts

We are bearers of some good and some bad news today. The good one – rest assured that visual content is welcome on Tumblr and loved by its diverse communities, no matter the niche. The bad news – there are conflicting data on many rules for Tumblr, including the one of post length.

The important factor still remains: carefully observe your target audience, always striving to post the content they will like and gladly share. Follow this rule, don’t be afraid to set your creativity free and experiment with content types. Post by post, you’ll find ways to use the best of Tumblr.

What are the best posting times for Tumblr?

The chronological news feed, as a concept in social media, has its pros and cons.

At one side, a chronological, unstoppable flow of content could be used efficiently, once you learn the secrets of best posting times for a particular platform. On the other side, a real-time feed is a strange beast, and often, those posting time secrets might hit you right back.

Meaning, if everyone is posting at same, “perfect” times on Tumblr, what are the chances of your post actually being seen?

Fortunately, not everyone is in the same time zone. The Tumblr users, both business and private ones, are spread all across the world. With that said, it is worth trying to follow those ideal posting times, while at the same time, monitoring when the majority of your target groups are most active.

The data behind the best posting times for Tumblr

Some people call it science. Others, the art of social media posting. We call it useful information! Do not blindly stick to these guidelines, but instead, use them as a base for building of your unique social media strategy.

Let’s see what we got here:

  • As you know, the majority of Tumblr users are rather young – teenagers, students, millennials. Accordingly, the best posting times will differ from ones on Facebook, as an example (focused mostly on older demographic).
  • Next, Tumblr posts are likely to get noticed after high school or college obligations.
  • Furthermore, the early morning right before school, at lunch time, and a bit before dinner are also convenient times for Tumblr checking.
  • But mainly – Tumblr crowd is made out of night owls.
  • By posting top-notch content at peak times and with the right combination of popular tags, your posts could get to the top of search results – hello, targeted traffic!

Best posting times in numbers

As promised, we examined the data from all across the wonderful worldwide web, to dig out the high-engagement posting times for Tumblr in particular. Memorize this: when people on Tumblr (including your future customers) search for content, they’ll see the recent posts. It would be such a pity for your amazing content to be invisible, simply because it’s not synchronized with peak times on Tumblr.

First, analyze your target audience, especially if you’ll represent a local business. See in which time zone the most of your ideal customers are and mold your posting time according to that model.

Fail-proof yourself by posting in these time points (in your target market zone):

  • Throughout the night, starting from 7 p.m. onwards (for mentioned night owls);
  • Early in the morning, a bit before 7 a.m. (before school/college classes/work);
  • A particularly active period in the evening – from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.;
  • High-engagement weekdays – Monday, Tuesday and a definite winner in this category is Friday;
  • When it comes to weekends, there’s slightly more user activity on Sunday In general, weekend is a good time to post on Tumblr.

The magic of consistency

So, you analyzed your target audience and figured out where they’re focused. Then, you took a peek at your competition as well, deciding from which of their habits could your company benefit from. Hopefully, you boldly tested various scheduling scenarios, in order to determine the most effective posting times for your social media efforts.

Surely, all this takes some time, but if done with patience, consistency, and in a systematic manner, the results will speak for themselves.

Consistency pays off on any social media medium.

The success and potentially, profitable success on social media requires time. But, what do you get from being consistent (and persistent) on Tumblr? Listen, what Tumblr offers is a unique blend of a robust blogging base, with a rich social experience. Imagine the potential of a community built on such a foundation? Now, that’s what we call – powerful.

Time to wrap up this timing data

Every marketer’s dream is to optimize the posting operations and maximize all marketing efforts (particularly in social media).

The optimal time significantly helps in this mission, and should be considered in the overall strategy. When speaking of Tumblr, the night seems to be the potent time for posting. Also, Tumblr active users (or Tumblrians, that’s a nice, new word) are active on weekends, especially on Sunday.

Sign up to Amplifr and connect your Tumblr pages to make data-driven content schedules — with right timing.

If you want to be seen and your content deservingly clicked, liked, shared/reblogged, and commented on, focus on several factors:

  • The immaculate content quality;
  • A proper and balanced use of (hash)tags;
  • And of course, the spot-on timing. Hope we helped! The time will show. More importantly, the perfect posting times will show.

How to form and keep an engaging following on Tumblr

Let’s take a moment to recall of the main strength of Tumblr. Was it the variety of content types? That is definitely a strong feature, but no. Maybe, the searching possibilities? Another strong asset, that could help you out in your social media strategy. Again, no, the power of Tumblr lies in something else.

Great job, you remembered! The essential force behind Tumblr is: its close-knit, insanely engaged and devoted community. Better said, the richness of particular, niche-centered communities.

On Tumblr, brands can literally find an audience, served on a silver platter. Nowhere else online could you tap into the already formed community, that’s aligned with your target market. Through the internal (re)search on Tumblr, simply by using niche-focused keywords and topics of interest, a business from any industry can find potential, perfectly fitting customers. Sounds dreamy? Well, that’s the reality of Tumblr.

A make-or-break factor of Tumblr success

You know who your ideal buyers are. Through the ridiculously simple Tumblr search, now you also know how to find the already gathered audience. But, social media is a tricky realm. The most important factor, which determines your success on any platform is, at the same time, a hardest one to achieve and retain.

Without any doubt, we’re talking about the engagement.

An impressive number of followers is a nice, an ego-pleasing thing to see. Now honestly, if that same giant audience isn’t engaging with what you’re posting, not a tiny dime can be earned through that venture.

No engagement – no $, simple as that.

The basics of engagement on Tumblr

Our dear social media misfit, Tumblr, is also special for its following principles. On most social media platforms, the number of followers plays an important role. This is not the case with Tumblr – here, you’ll rarely see that a blog displays how many followers it has!

Inside Tumblr’s world, users care about interaction, connection, and building of solid relationships. Compared to this social network, some others even seem a bit shallow, right?

Fortunately for marketing professionals (and enthusiasts), a mindset of “community” instead of mere “following”, stands behind every strong and moneymaking strategy. Once these principles are implemented on Tumblr, it’s a win-win situation: a brand learns how to build and nurture a community (because it has to, in order to survive on Tumblr in the first place!) and lastly, it can profit from that lesson.

Baby steps to an engaging following

Alright, so Tumblr is all about engagement and community building. But, the question that we often hear is – where and how to begin? Which steps lead to having a raving fan base on Tumblr?

Know thy audience

  • What kind of audience gathers on Tumblr?
  • How does this audience fit into my brand’s target market?
  • Which interests are in the focus in this group?
  • What “language” do these people use, how are they communicating?
  • Where does my audience hang out?
  • In what kind of products are they most interested in?…and similar.

Know thy offer

Besides relevant posts, accompanied with right hashtags, try to precisely define your offer. And by “offer”, we don’t mean only products or services. Rather focus on the information and value:

  • What can this audience learn from my posts?
  • How can I (my company) contribute to this community?
  • Does my content bring value, while simultaneously building the trust?
  • Am I showing the respect towards the community (and how)?

Know thy goals

  • Over a half of Tumblr’s user base are young people – is that aligned with my business?
  • Tumblr is a place for fandoms or smaller communities who intensely share the content around similar interests – how could you market to them, how is relevant to a particular interest?
  • How could you personalize your brand? In which ways could you express a genuine, relatable personality, while remaining the ambassador of a business?
  • The fame on Tumblr is real – how could you come close to these bloggers, Tumblr influencers, or inspire them to re-blog your content? (Also, merely observing what these Tumblrencers are doing and how they’re communicating with the audience, could improve your own marketing strategy for this platform.)

The engagement itself

Your own way of interacting with Tumblr followers will determine how well you’ll perform on this peculiar network. The law of social media engagement, and communication in general, is quite straightforward – you must give, in order to receive.

Engage in these engagement fundamentals, to fully enjoy the rewards of Tumblr:

  • Like the content other users are posting, but not for the sake of liking, but because they resonate with your brand/voice.
  • Reblog the content you like, which also is relevant to your niche – this draws attention to your brand and inspires a similar action.
  • Do not hesitate to comment on other user’s posts, either to express an opinion or give a compliment.
  • Trending topics – always be on top of things, emerging in discussions around trending tags, while elegantly adding appropriate value.
  • Follow other blogs to drive more engagement, and gather more notes.

Other ways to further engage your followers on Tumblr are:

  • Through contests – as on any other social media network, consider hosting a simple, yet growth-inducing contest; this is an excellent way to interact with the existing fans and also, attract new ones
  • With advertisements – Tumblr offers an interesting set of options for bloggers wishing to promote their content on this network, so consider including ads as a way to reach more people. The options (currently) available are: Sponsored Posts, Video Posts, and Sponsored Days.

A finish line – engaged following

Essentially, if engagement is what you seek on Tumblr – make sure you’re engaging too. Provide value, respect other users and their work, and perhaps consider additional methods to attract new followers, such as contests or ads. As your audience grows, keep repeating the process of communicating and engaging with them.

That is by far the most rewarding and equally enjoyable way to build and keep an engaged following on Tumblr! The brands which cracked this code are unstoppably growing their Tumblr audiences.

Why wouldn’t you?

The biggest mistakes everyone’s making in Tumblr marketing and how to prevent them

Trying to use Tumblr in the same way as any other social media site, feels and looks like running in a hamster wheel. How do we know this?

Honestly, a few of the mistakes you’re about to discover in this article are our own (learned those the hard way). Also, the majority of these Tumblr misconceptions (and misunderstandings) we see almost daily, done both by marketing enthusiasts and professionals.

Suppose that you’ve heard how powerful this social media platform can be. Guess you stumbled upon some insanely successful Tumblr blogs and wished to use that power for your business. Certainly, any company, no matter its size and whether it is already established online or not, could benefit (and profit) through strength of Tumblr’s communities.

With over 738 million visitors every month, Tumblr is a true goldmine for businesses of any kind.

But one thing is certain, approaching Tumblr without taking notice of its individuality, will result in a massive time loss. Furthermore, as a brand, you would miss out on the potential of Tumblr as a weapon in your social media strategy. What a waste!

Why is Tumblr so difficult to master?

Working with Tumblr proves to be trickier than to manage other social networks, such as Twitter or Instagram. The main reason behind this is also, the biggest strength of Tumblr (paradoxically).

You see, this platform is primarily focused on millennials and youth demographic in general, with a strong sense of community. Flooded by posts inspired by social justice, humor, art, and accompanied with the freedom of voice (read: often uncensored content) you’ll rarely find on other social media websites, Tumblr might be difficult to understand.

In order to survive in such a place, businesses need to make sure they’re a good fit for this platform. Any company wishing to grow their presence through Tumblr, has to “play by the rules”. Often, that rule is “there are no rules” and “you’re free to express yourself here”.

Finally, it is easy to turn off Tumblr’s communities or fandoms with the language or approach that doesn’t resonate with them. But take a sigh of relief: there are ways to ensure a smooth, profitable growth on Tumblr, usually by avoiding common traps. Follow us as we unravel them now and prevent the wasted time and effort of happening to you.

Most common Tumblr marketing mistakes

1) Caring about the number of followers too much

On most of the social media websites known to man, the number of followers matters. And don’t get us wrong, a business can certainly benefit from the large audience as well. But, take note that the actual number of followers doesn’t carry the same weight on Tumblr, as it does on other social media platforms.

Rarely you’ll see the actual count displayed on Tumblr blog. Here, everything revolves and relies on connection, communication and tight-knit community. No need to stress about the number of followers too much, rather focus on engagement and long-term relationships.

2) Not utilizing the richness of content types

So, you finally have the possibility to explore and fully leverage various content types! Who would miss on such an opportunity? You would be surprised. Now, Tumblr offers 7 different types of content nicely integrated into the blog.

As a business, make sure you’re enjoying the freedom, as every content model communicates with your audience in a specific way.

Pick from the menu:

  • Text;
  • Photo;
  • Quote;
  • Link;
  • Chat;
  • Audio;
  • Video.

In Tumblr, this particular feature is our favorite one, to be honest! Let’s see what makes Dofollow links that irresistible. Unlike on most other social media networks, you have better control of how your Tumblr blog appears, especially when using Dofollow links. As you know, Tumblr offers social sharing or reblogging, or an ability for other users to share your post on their blogs.

But the secret is (drumroll, please) – every reblog is a Dofollow backlink, which leads a visitor to the original post on your blog. You can use the best of this feature by including the link to another of your blog posts inside the Tumblr post itself. This way, both your Tumblr post and the site included will get the backlinks. Do not miss on that.

4)Forgetting about the “community comes first” principle

This is a big one. Nurturing an audience is one thing and building a community is another. The line between those two is rather thin, we agree.

On social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, the general principle is to grow and then, nurture your audience. Tumblr is a little bit different, as it offers niche-focused already established communities, which you could tap into, in order to gradually create your own. In essence, the community is everything on Tumblr!

One of the most common mistakes brands are making on Tumblr each day, comes down to:

  1. Not understanding the voice of a particular community you aim to join/develop;
  2. Posting a too brand specific, excessively promotional content, without providing value;
  3. Diving into Tumblr marketing quickly, instead of taking time to observe the audience and how users communicate on this platform;
  4. Posting, before identifying what kind of content inspires the engagement on Tumblr Not replying, reblogging other people’s posts, basically – not engaging themselves.

5) Auto-posting the content from other platforms

Tumblr is trendy. It’s where all the cool businesses go. And many people make this mistake – posting on Tumblr just because it is popular. So they follow the “quantity over quality” mindset, thinking that mere presence on a multitude of social media channels does the job. Trust us, that is not a way to run a marketing strategy.

Consequently, out of need to shorten the time-consuming content creation and a posting process, brands often auto-post or cross-post the same content from one social network to all others. Auch!

On Tumblr, auto-posting turns your content into a pile of fluff – an unoptimized, valueless overall presentation.

So always make sure that your Tumblr posts are created with the platform’s on mind. Followers show no mercy towards fast-and-easy posting, but do respond positively to effort, quality and value.

6) Not reblogging content other users are posting

As you’ve already learned through all of our previous guides – if you, as a business/brand want engagement, then make sure you’re engaging as well. Either through reblogging, commenting, liking or following of like-minded Tumblr blogs in your relevant industry, you will position the business in a much better way.

Particularly, the key of success with Tumblr is a balanced combination of quality posting and reblogging. If you only post content on your blog, in a rather selfish way, you’ll be ignored by the community. Simple as that, it is the law of thumb on Tumblr.

Another mistake many brands are making on Tumblr (but you won’t, because you’ve learned it here!) is using the trending hashtag without a prior research. You see, a level of social activism is high on this platform. Oftentimes, a trending hashtag might present a sensitive topic! Young users of Tumblr are passionate about complex social problems, so stepping into popular conversations could be a tricky task.

Sign up to Amplifr and connect your Tumblr pages to receive reports on your overall performance.

Before including hashtags, double-check the story around it, make sure your post represents the company’s perspective in a good way and only then – post your heart out.

Wrapping up

Well done on learning a superabundance of advice about Tumblr marketing! We deeply admire you for getting this far in a quest for social media wisdom. Certainly, your business could be empowered in many ways with the use of Tumblr. This highly visual, dynamic, and inspirational social media and blogging network offers a plethora of possibilities. Make sure to always post the highest-quality content, engage with the wonderful Tumblr audience, avoid the common mistakes we revealed to you and – have a lot of fun with Thumblogging!

Key takeaways

  1. This social media misfit is a multimedial microcosmos, definitely worth exploring both for personal use, but particularly as a professional, potentially profitable marketing asset.
  2. Tumblr presents the unique blend of microblogging and deep social interaction.
  3. The main elements of a Tumblog are: a live feed, where you can enjoy various blog posts from the users you’re following; your blog, where you could easily post the content of your choice, making it visible for your followers; static pages, which might come handy for business purposes.
  4. Community is everything on this social media platform.
  5. Engage in all Tumblr engagement fundamentals, to fully enjoy its rewards;
  6. Most common Tumblr marketing mistakes are: caring about the number of followers too much; not utilizing the richness of content types; forgetting about the “community comes first” principle; auto-posting the content from other platforms; not reblogging the content other users are posting; using trending hashtags in a wrong way.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to hit us up on Twitter and Facebook, or drop us a line.

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