When most people think about social marketing, they immediately think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. The platform that many don't think about right away is Tumblr. That's probably a mistake.
Because Tumblr has an active demographic that trends young and creative. There's gold in those hills, and too many businesses look past it. That's good news for you though. The fewer marketers there are on Tumblr, the easier it is for your content to stand out from the crowd.
Speaking of crowds, that's another reason overlooking Tumblr is a mistake. The platform claims to get nearly 300 million unique visitors every month. That's a big crowd to share your content with and buy your wares. And don't forget that Tumblr is a Yahoo property, which means potential exposure to another 800 million people each month.
Not only that but Tumblr can be great for SEO when used as a supporting site. If you create great content and start building a decent following, you'll be able to take advantage of Tumblr's inbuilt promotion system and SEO friendly features.
Finally, if all that wasn't convincing enough, the content that you share from within Tumblr can easily be shared to your other networks. Encouraging your users to share or having them reblog your content can increase your social media reach and cross promote your other social channels.
So, now that you know you need to be on Tumblr, let's figure out what you should be doing once you're there. To help with that, we'll look three strategies you can use to grow your brand and get more sales.
Run Contests Your Audience Actually Wants
Contests are a good way to attract new followers and develop new advocates for your brand. The problem with most contests is that the prizes are either terrible, or they attract people who will be with you for the duration of the contest, but then dump you once it's over.
When you run a contest, you should select a prize that has value to your core users. The goal of the contest isn't to attract as many followers as possible. The goal is to attract as many brand advocates as possible. You want to gain followers who will share your content, interact with your brand and purchase your products. Does it really matter that you have a million followers if none of them is buying anything? Of course it doesn't.
Instead of running a contest with an extravagant gift, offer something that your users will value and associate with your brand. If you do, you'll start attracting fans that care about your business and not just your prizes.
Chronicle Books did this to perfection on their Tumblr account. They know that Tumblr is a place where many people come to showcase their artwork or writing. Chronicle Books is a book publisher. That seems like a great match, doesn't it?
It sure does, and Chronicle took full advantage of that when they ran a contest looking for talent. During the contest, Chronicle Books asked their followers to submit ideas for funny books. The winner of the contest would receive a contract to have their idea turned into a book. The possibility of being published by an established publisher is quite a prize. It probably would have worked well regardless of the audience, but with Tumblr's demo, the contest was a stroke of pure genius.
Coupons Coupons Coupons
Discount coupons are everywhere. You can make them exclusive to Tumblr or use the same coupon across all of your marketing channels. Coupons can be boring, but there's a reason they've been around forever. In case the reason isn't obvious, it's because people really like to save money and coupons or discount codes help them do that.
Besides, coupons don't have to be boring. Don't believe me?
C-IN2 Clothing probably doesn't think their 25% off coupon or B1G1 free coupon was boring. Okay, well the discount part is definitely nice, but on it's own not very share-worthy. However, their core demographic probably didn't find the image they paired the discount with boring. In fact, the people using the coupon most likely either wanted to be the man in the photograph or be with him.
This is another example of a company knowing their audience and giving them what they want. A discount paired with a fantasy. Either way it grabbed their audiences' attention.
Stay Interesting or Be Gone
One of the primary goals of social media is to engage your fans. When you make them happy with an awesome piece of content, they thank you by sharing it with others.On the other side of that equation are bland brands. These are the companies whose content seems a bit cold, almost like it was created on an assembly line. There's no heart. No emotion. And no chances taken. That is a bad combination when it comes to marketing. Bland gets you banned from people's hearts my friends.
Coca-Cola does Tumblr the right way. Even though all of their content is branded, it's on point and matches up perfectly with their Tumblr tag "Where Happiness Lives Online." They build content around memes like throwback Thursday (#TBT) that relate to their older "classic" advertisements. It's a perfect fit and their fans love to share them. Additionally, they use tons of kitten .gifs, among other cute animals, in their Tumblr content. You definitely can't go wrong with kitten .gifs; I mean that's what the internet was invented for, right?
At the end of the day, marketing on Tumblr is just like marketing via any other social media platform. You need to connect with your audience and engage them with content they're going to love. In Tumblr's case that's usually going to be something visually appealing, but as the Chronicle Books example shows us, that's not always the case. Tumblr is filled with young internet enthusiasts who love to share and don't mind being marketed to as long as it's interesting. So break out the photos and give your followers something to share.