By Bliss Hanlin, Community Manager at eModeration
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.
Getting started with Tumblr is simple. Its ease of use is one of the drivers of its popularity as a microblogging platform. Upon registering, you'll have the opportunity to choose a URL. A customized URL can be selected after the registration process.
Themes are the visual "look" of the blog. Free themes are available, but are considered somewhat passe by the users. Themes are built in HTML
or CSS and so can be custom designed to suit your brand. More useful widgets can be found in this directory by ILoveTumblr.com
The Tumblr bookmarklet
makes it simple to post to Tumblr while surfing the web. Just drag the Tumblr bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar and use it when you find something blog-worthy.
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
.) Part I of this Tumblr Tutorial
and our e-Book on Tumblr
cover content in more depth.
Promotion of Fan Art and User Generated Content
In a community that centers on visuals and design, it should be expected that fan art be part of the experience. Savvy brands promote and elevate fan art via direct upload and reblog.
Using a Tumblr brand blog as a live, second screen reblogging important screenshots, quotes, animated GIFs, and fan reactions to moments as they happen in real time was a practiced pioneered by the American version of Doctor Who
to great effect.
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
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.
Feeds and Subscriptions
The default Tumblr blog doesn't have a native commenting system. To make interaction as fluid as possible, you will need to add the Disqus add-in
. Moderation of comments
is possible via the Disqus admin panel. Disqus allows comments to be posted as stand-alone blog posts
- a great way to value contributors and introduce a topic to a wider audience.
To make sharing seamless, a custom-built theme should include Twitter and Facebook integration for readers and followers. For management, third party tools will allow you to post and track from one central dashboard. Some of the integrations available include: Hootsuite
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.
Trending Tumblr Memes
Participating in a trending Tumblr meme can be one way for a brand to show its more approachable side on Tumblr. The "Explore
" link on Tumblr (currently located on the Dashboard's sidebar) can help surface current topics and interests, and the "Search" feature offers a "Track" option as well. Sites like KnowYourMeme
aggregate knowledge on a popular trends. Reviewing the history of a meme before jumping in is a wise step to avoid an inadvertent #socialfail
Spamming / Phishing
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
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
, pornography, etc.) Although Tumblr recently instituted a "no self-harm
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?