Tumblr is a social platform that to this day seems to mystify businesses and brands. Since it’s launch in 2007 it has garnered more than 420 million users and more than 217 million blogs have been made with about 113.6 million posts per day. Needless to say Tumblr is a huge platform with lots of users. This author being one of them. I’ve been apart of Tumblr since 2010 and so with 6 years of experience I’ve seen good and bad business uses. Finding the right niche as a business is one of the hardest parts of Tumblr for companies. This is something a few brands have mastered while others have completely ignored the opportunity.

Should You Be On Tumblr?

The first step of deciding whether or not to invest marketing time into a Tumblr for your business is to get the facts on it’s users. The demographics of Tumblr are skewed towards the younger generation. 46% of Tumblr users are between 16 and 24 where 66% are under 35. This along with the almost 50/50 split of genders makes the platform perfect for reaching Millennials and Generation Z. The site is full of young people who are interested in collaborating, seeing silly things, and forming online friendships through their likes, dislikes, and art. Now the question is, “is this who I’m trying to reach?” if you are, then keep reading. If not, feel free to click away, I won’t take the low time on page personally.

If you are interested in targeting this age, then Tumblr might be for you. But before you jump in you should probably know your audience and their personality. There is no single defining characteristic of people on Tumblr but in my experience they are creative. They write, draw, perform, encourage and create a community that has a wide variety of tastes. They love expressing their love for TV shows, movies, books, and there is plenty of fan fiction on the site as well. Tumblr users can be anyone from my little sister to Taylor Swift. Meaning you’re going to need to search for your niche on the site.

So the next question is if this is if your brand is going to fit into Tumblr? Not every business needs a Tumblr and not every business should be using the platform. Tumblr is an image driven blogging platform. If your company doesn’t have images to share, then there is no point in beginning. To use Tumblr effectively you need photos, videos, gifs, and a good curation of content. Sure, you can use the platform to just blog but that’s a bit boring and your engagement isn’t going to be very large. Besides, blogging for your company should be on your site, not a separate URL if you want to actually drive sales. So be prepared to amp up your efforts and figure out just what your audience wants to see.

Create Your Tumblr Branding

Now, if you have survived these to caveats its time to make a Tumblr. The Social Media Examiner wrote a great instruction guide and step-by-step process flow on how to set things up along with helpful hints. Some of the most important things you should keep in mind are designing your page to reflect your brand and learning to tag effectively. I suggest first making a personal account to get the lay of the land and figure out how all of the features work. That way when you launch your business Tumblr things run smoothly and you know how to post, tag, reblog, and comment.

Once you have these things figured out you have to create a strategy for how you are going to approach your company’s Tumblr. Will you be using the platform solely as a blog with images mixed in? Maybe you’d like to tell the stories of your customers as Patagoina does with it’s Worn Wear blog. By creating a generational image Patagonia has mastered the art of story telling. They draw users in by pulling on their heartstrings with stories of used clothing and family legends.

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Perhaps instead you will produce and curate content fitting of your fun brand just Beloved Shirts. The company creates gifs and showcases customers wearing their products on their Tumblr. This has created fun brand person full of color and life, much like their products.

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The Mermaid Inn has created an excellent place to curate things that belong with their brand. This includes not only posts of their own making but a side bar with what they have liked. These likes can be anything from photos of Mermaids to posts about their home city, NYC. Once you have decided a use make sure you stick to it. Find a good mix of posts to reblog to your site and original pieces.

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A Few Last Notes

Encourage your patrons to follow you on the site. Offer Tumblr exclusive coupons and link to it from your main site. Tumblr is informal and fun so roll with what comes your way. Find art and funny things that you think reflect your brand well. Open up an ask tab and let users ask you questions. This could be an excellent place for you to provide customer service. Follow influencers and people who also produce similar content. They will give you great ideas and help you grow your account. Don’t forget about the scheduling tool. This means you can spend some time at the beginning of the week scheduling posts, let the posts run, and check back the next week. Create visual pieces that link to articles and products on your site. Always remember to tag everything because it means you have a higher chance of being found via search. And check the Spotlight section to find inspiration.

With a little time and curation your Tumblr can become a favorite for your followers and customers. In fact, some of my favorite posts come from brands on Tumblr. You never know who you might reach.

Looking for some more inspiration? Try looking at some of my personal favorite business Tumblrs.

General Electric

Denny’s Diner

Whole Foods

Penguin Random House