Tumblr is extremely easy to set up and customize. There’s a very minimal learning curve, so you can begin using your new site in minutes. Upon sign-up, you’ll be asked to provide your email address, password, and your preferred Tumblr URL (yourbusinessname.tumblr.com). While you can start sharing content right away, we recommend that you customize your new site a bit first.
The platform offers you hundreds, if not thousands, of free and paid themes to choose from. You’ll want to find a theme that closely resembles your brand’s existing style. The option of choosing a theme significantly cuts down your dependence on hiring a designer, which can take a lot of time and money.
You’ll then be able to customize your theme a bit through the Appearance menu, which gives you options to change things like background and text colors. The “Pages” menu allows you to add multiple pages to your site — you can link to any other websites you have from here. For those who are a little more technically inclined, you can edit the custom style sheets (CSS) and enable additional features, such as a mobile layout.
2. It’s Designed for Fast and Easy Posts
Although there is a time and place for larger posts, Tumblr is perfect for short-form content and multimedia. It helps you build upon existing social media content when Facebook is too cluttered or Twitter’s 140-characters is too limited. You can quickly upload photos and videos, brand yourself using snippets of text or quotes, and embed audio content — such as podcasts.
Tumblr also offers the ability to publish from your smartphone or AOL Instant Messenger. You can push updates from your Tumblr blog to Facebook and Twitter. You can even share the images you upload to Instagram with your community on Tumblr — giving fans an easier way to look through older photos.
Additionally, you can add the “Share on Tumblr” bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar in your browser to quickly share things you find on the web — a luxury that Pinterest takes full advantage of.
3. There’s A Built-In Community
Tumblr is made for discovering and sharing. When you publish content, it has the ability to spread to a very large audience. When an individual reblogs a post, it will appear on his or her tumblelog — a Tumblr blog — where followers can see it. If other people like your site, it will be displayed in their liked posts on their profiles. This type of transparency helps create awareness for your brand.
While it doesn’t offer robust analytics like Facebook, you can track the number of likes and reblogs through “Notes” — which appear on each post — as well as your total number of followers. Additionally, some Tumblr themes support Google Analytics, in which case you’ll just need to paste in a Google Analytics ID. If your theme doesn’t support it, Tumblr provides an easy solution.
You can also take advantage of Tumblr’s advertising offerings, including Highlights and Sponsored Products — which uses the Radar and Spotlight features to highlight content from its members.
Tumblr might not be for everyone; it definitely challenges you to get creative with your marketing and content strategy. But if you’re willing to try, create your Tumblr account and see where it takes you.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.