Who Should Use Tumblr and Why

On October 27, 2010, wrote:

Twitter and Facebook: yes, sure, everyone’s heard of these social media giants. But there’s another name that’s slowly but steadily catching the attention of media companies, businesses, and celebrities – and one which you, as an Internet marketer, business owner, or startup, might want to check out for yourself.

It’s called Tumblr.

Tumblr has actually been around for awhile – it was launched nearly four years ago – but it’s only now that the potential of this easy blogging service is being recognized and realized by the world of social media users.

In a nutshell, Tumblr is a platform for blogging, much like WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type, and Posterous, but what makes it different from these other platforms is its ability to “socialize” its service. Tumblr isn’t just for strictly “writerly” bloggers or Dear Diary writers; it’s for anyone who wants to share anything, from text passages, quotes, photos, links, music videos, etc. at the click of a button.

In the shadows of Twitter and Facebook, Tumblr has also evolved to become a powerful social media tool – clean-looking, easy-to-use, made-for-interaction, and accessible pretty much anywhere: your desktop, laptop, mobile phone, E-mail, or tablet device. It also has these compelling benefits for those who are looking to leverage social media for business:

Amazing customization: You can squeeze gallons of creative juice out of Tumblr to come up with a really fresh, really good-looking blog. There’s a Tumblr Theme Garden where you can choose from a bunch of gorgeous themes for your blog. Or, if you’re comfortable enough hand-coding HTML, you can create your own theme. You can also add other neat customizations like your own advertisements, your own domain name, a set of configurable pages, and the option to collaborate with other Tumblr contributors (maybe from your own company) on a community-powered blog.

Multimedia mix: To stand out these days in the social media sphere is to be able to create unique, engaging, and shareable content. Did you just cook up some enticing food for thought? Looking to share a viral video? Or do you have a teaser photo/poster for a new product line that you know is just bound to be a big hit? You can do all that with Tumblr: a mash-up of rich engaging content that can catch the eye of customers and prospects as well as make them click, comment, and share. (Or even just like, “heart”, or reblog your post.)

Free URL mapping: Why is this important? Well, it’s important because with Tumblr you have the ability to redirect your custom domain to your Tumblr blog. If you already have a company website, it’s going to be convenient enough to just add a Tumblr blog that’s under the same domain name. (You’ll have URL slugs and XML sitemaps to inspire greater search engine friendliness.) Of course, Tumblr is not the first blogging platform to be able to do this, but it’s helpful to know that the service isn’t going to hinder your efforts to enhance SEO or unify all the sites related to your business or brand.

Analytics and other apps: Tumblr can be integrated with other tools and applications, most notably (at least for the traffic and data measurers) Google Analytics. You can also add cool widgets, cloud generators, dashboard radios, a followers counter, and other such web services and third-party desktop and mobile apps to maximize your – as well as your readers’ – experience of using Tumblr.

Tumblr is free. Need we say more? For businesses with a tight budget, not having to pay for tools and features is a huge plus.

Tumblr isn’t for everybody, though. The blogging service is perfect for short-form content and multimedia, but for those who like writing and long blog entries and articles in order to communicate something sizable, then you might want to stick with WordPress or Blogger. If you, however, like to:

  • Post plenty of hi-resolution photos and videos on your blog
  • Position your blog posts to go viral across a variety of social networks
  • Inspire others with the same blog posts, quotes, links, bookmarks, websites, blogs that you’ve “stumbled upon” and inspired you
  • Write snippets of text or use quotes as a way of branding yourself and your business
  • Embedding audio content or podcasts for your audiences to listen to
  • Blog on the go, from your phone, laptop, instant messenger, or E-mail

— then you really might like what Tumblr, both as a blogging platform and social media tool, can offer. Happy Tumblogging!

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