- Content Marketing
Let's Measure Social Media ROI in a Way That Isn't StupidTo Grow Your Social Marketing Budget, Determining ROI Is a Critical Job SkillWe Need to Rethink Our Definition of Engagement
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career GrowthSandy Carter's 6 Social Business Lessons to Learn from Candy Crush5 Tips for Creating a Company Culture that Connects with Your Sweet Spot ClientsWhy Leadership Should Be a Collaborative Exercise
8 Internet User Statistics Every Small Business Should Know AboutIs Your Small Business Doing Content Marketing Wrong?5 Free and Effective Social Media Tools Perfect for Small Businesses
- Social Organization
Beyond Engagement: Why Advocacy Is Always About the PeopleFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
The Pros & Cons Of Tumblr For Online Marketing
Posted on May 7th 2012
One of the predominant questions surrounding Pinterest’s meteoric rise to the upper echelons of social media visibility has been “didn’t Tumblr already do this years ago?” Indeed, the very image-heavy microblog aspects which lie at the core of Pinterest’s astounding success are essentially copied from the Tumblr model which was attracting billions of page views well before Pinterest was a gleam in their founders’ eyes.
When online marketers think of social media, Tumblr is not necessarily the first candidate, but it does offer some interesting possibilities. Here’s a list of Pros and Cons to help you decide if you want to dive in.
Tumblr is essentially a microblogging platform set up along Twitter lines, but it allows longer blog entries and incorporates an emphasis on images which Twitter lacks. The site is primarily utilized by visually oriented microbloggers to showcase their own art work, photography, or images. Tumblr is set up to appeal to entry-level bloggers and is significantly easier to master than a platform as onerous as WordPress.
When it comes to learning curve, Tumblr unfortunately falls behind competitor Posterous as the interface is not intuitive and some functions are a befuddling. For example, the suggestions for first-time users are only accessible after the creation of the account and profile, which is a bit like the prototypical closing of the barn door after the horse is gone.
Both Tumblr and Posterous could learn a lesson or two from the upstart Pinterest which is structured in such a way to accommodate the most computer-phobic user imaginable and is thus rated as super-simple.
Instances of utter obtuseness
Tumblr suffers from several instances of utter obtuseness:
- Three of the types of posts supported are quote, link, and chat. Why the first two are a “type of post” rather than an element of one is a mystery, and chat is not at all what you’d think it is (a way to chat with other users) but is an indication that the blog contains dialogue! Huh?
- The dashboard is also obliquely designed to be too similar to your blog! Beginners could easily become confused and think that they’re actually composing their blogs when they’re in this Dashboard which varies significantly from the style of the blog along the lines of Google’s Blogger and the industry standard WordPress.
- There’s not much in the way of analytics
- The text editor is not fully WYSIWYG and the text field would challenge a gnat with a magnifying glass as for some inexplicable reason it’s microscopic.
- You can only place a caption on a new image post and not a headline. Why? Ask youthful entrepreneur-founder David Karp who is probably too busy relishing his billion dollar valuation to spend a few hundred bucks on fixing his site.
- They suffered the longest outage among any major social network, going down for a full twenty-four hours in December, 2010.
Features that merit wide adoption
On the plus side, Tumblr does have some features that work very well:
- The Mass Editor allows you to view scores of posts all at once through a thumbnail view so you can tag, untag, or change tags on any you select, all at once. This is a feature that many blogging platforms would do well to adopt!
- Multiple blogs are easy to manage through a single dropdown menu.
- The Random feature allows your reader to choose one of your posts to read chosen by sheer chance, which can be fun.
- The site lets you search through your email contacts to see if any of your contacts are on Tumblr.
- There are a large number of attractive and functional free templates.
- Mobile-friendliness is a Tumbler keystone, and you can even create an audio recording post by phone.
Tumblr essentially works best when it is not considered as a microblog or as an alternative Pinterest, but a community where participants can “tumble” all their media together to share it with their friends.
All of the usual social media prerequisites apply here too, therefore a marketer can only get back out of Tumblr what they are willing to contribute. However, the virality potential is definitely there if you are able to generate the type of content which is sought by the community.