During my time working on my online business, I have seen a lot of guides dealing with different types of social media. Most of them focus on Twitter or Pinterest which is great because these two social media platforms are a great asset to any online business I think – especially if you are a creative entrepreneur. But I sometimes have the feeling that Tumblr is somewhat overlooked. Maybe it’s because of the reputation that Tumblr has of being this little weird space where people post funny GIFs and one-liners. But I really think that there is something to be said about using Tumblr for your creative business and I honestly think that one shouldn’t completely dismiss this platform from the get go.
This is why I have decided to come up with 5 tipps and tricks you can use when using Tumblr as one of your social media outlets, because it’s sometimes not as clear as it could be when you’re looking directly at Tumblr and its resources posted online. So without further ado, here are my top 5 tips for working with Tumblr:
1 | Tags, Tags, Tags
One of the things that, I think, a lot of people have trouble with when using Tumblr are the tags. For a moment, think about how you use tags on any other site whether it be an ecommerce platform, your blog, or something else. All of the tags you come up with are valuable, right? You think about tags and you come up with these wonderful descriptions for your products and blog posts.
Tumblr is the same. All of your tags are important. But… You knew there was a catch, right? Tumblr doesn’t index more than the first five (5) tags you use. Yep. That’s right. All the important information that your tags convey needs to be in those first five tags otherwise you won’t show up in Tumblr search. Which brings me to my next point.
2 | Tumblr Search, or the Popularity Contest
Up until a year and a half ago, so around the end of 2013, the Tumblr search algorithm had been based on recency. You plugged in a tag you wanted to search and you would get all of the posts containing that tag (in the first five tags, of course) with the newest posts at the very top and the oldest at the bottom. At the end of 2013, then, Tumblr changed its search algorithm to relevancy – the more notes your post has, the higher up it will be in search for your tag unless the person doing the search is switching to recency.
When they made the change to their search algorithm, there was this huge outcry because people were used to searching by recency and didn’t want to lose the equal chance of being seen for everyone. However, there are also some good things about the “new” search. Before the change, you couldn’t search more than one tag at a time. Now it is possible to search at least two tags at the same time.
3 | Say My Name, Say My Name
Okay, so, when it comes to actually naming your Tumblr blog (yourname.tumblr.com), it can be a little bit of a pain in the butt. There’s a lot of inactive blogs or people are squatting on URLs. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is and you’ll have to find a way to give your blog the name you want even if the exact version of it is not available. But one thing you should definitely try to avoid are hyphens. They just make your URL not look as great and, if someone else has the version without the hyphens, you might into some troubles with tracked tags (think hashtags for Twitter that you can always follow and keep track of).
Another thing Tumblr makes possible for you is to use a custom domain name for your blog. In the settings section, you can, for example, set a sub domain of your website as the URL for your Tumblr blog. You still have to register a yourname.tumblr.com address, but you can mask it with the custom domain.
4 | Be Visual
Think of Tumblr as this mixture of Twitter and Pinterest. People on Tumblr absolutely love pretty things and your products and services and blog posts? They are pretty things. So share them on Tumblr. Use pictures and come up with great captions or you could even write a mini blog post under the picture. But I would always recommend using pictures in your blog posts on Tumblr similar to your blog posts on WordPress or Squarespace for example.
You can of course skip the images. Pure text posts can get just as many notes as a picture post. But you want to make the most of this social media platform and, for that, use images in combination with text. The most successful posts on Tumblr usually have a combination like this.
5 | Be Social
I think this last one should go without saying. Tumblr is a social media platform with a vast array of different communities that you can be a part of. Follow people whose posts you like, strike up a conversation. In that regard, Tumblr is more like Twitter in that you can have conversations with other people and even create some awesome friendships.
One Last Tipp
Tumblr is sometimes a little weird about not letting people know about the changes they are making to their platform. So try to be prepared for any and all changes really because the staff at Tumblr will only create a blog post on the day the change is actually released or you might hear about it from other people because they’re rolling it out slowly.
I really hope you’ll consider giving Tumblr a try and, if you want, you can sign up for our newsletter and get information about some upcoming projects I have (a Tumblr for Beginners ecourse? Hell yes!).