Monday, January 14, 2013

Do You Need a Tumblr?

Which brands can get the most out of using Tumblr? What brands have to be on there, and which ones can stick to Facebook/Twitter? For brands that don’t know where to start with it, what are some tips for connecting with Tumblr fans?

1. Less complicated than a blog but more flexible than Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr works best with visual content—for example, memes that can be expressed with mashed-up pics (think Texts From Hillary, McKayla Is Not Impressed, and Binders Full of Women). You don’t need to write a full-length post, but you’re not limited by the lack of a headline, 140 characters, or a single photo size.

2. As such, a Tumblr is ideal for those in a creative field. For example, photographers use the platform to showcase their portfolios, especially since a Tumblr is easier to maintain than a regular website. It’s also worth noting, as Jeff Bercovici recently did, that many writers have used a Tumblr to score a book deal; see Animals With Casts, Dear Old Love, and My Parents Were Awesome.

3. At this point, most brands don’t need a Tumblr. Tumblr is more of a luxury than a necessity. It caters to youth brands with a niche and savvy customer base.

4. The downside to Tumblr: it’s one-directional. This isn’t a platform for two-way conversation. Tumblrs facilitate the pushing out of content, not pulling it in.

5. Nor is this the place for FAQs. It’s a place to pull back the curtain and show a little leg. For example, Mashable offers glimpses of the scenes at its HQ, while Newsweek and PRWeek provide marginalia of what didn’t make the cut into the main website.

Addendum (1/15/2013): Success!

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