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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Tumblr: Best Practices for Microblogging

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Author: Lauren Kaufman, Vice President, Integrated Marketing & Analytics at PAN Communications, headshot
Lauren KaufmanHead of Data & Analytics

We’ve heard over and over again that content is king, but when it comes to Tumblr, content is the entire kingdom.

With over 164 million blogs and 72 billion posts, Tumblr has become a major player in the social media game since the microblogging site launched in 2007. Tumblr is more popular than Facebook among 13-25 year olds, and the average visit on the site lasts a staggering 14 minutes, which is more than on both Facebook and Twitter. From President Obama’s live Q&A on Tumblr last month, to the NSA’s decision to publish their first transparency report on Tumblr, the popularity of this relatively new social network is undeniable and growing rapidly.

While major brands such as Red Bull and Adidas are utilizing the social network, many PR and Marketing professionals are hesitant to engage with the social network because of the volume of unique, innovative content necessary to succeed on Tumblr.

PAN client, Brazilian Footwear, recently launched a Tumblr page to help promote both Brazil as a leader in the footwear industry, as well as specific Brazilian brands to U.S. consumers. In just a few weeks, we were able to build a microblog that represented the organization, and the participating brands. This was particularly challenging given the fact that we work with over 7 different brands, with different identities and audiences. We were able to garner nice engagement across the board, with the average visitor staying on our page for over 9 minutes!

Think your client would thrive on Tumblr? Check out these 5 best practices before creating a page:

  • Start Smart

o Your Tumblr page is an extension of your brand. Unlike other social networks, you have far more freedom with the look and feel of your microblog. Take the time to look through the different themes, and select a highly customizable option. Different themes have different capabilities. Choose a theme that can make the look and feel of your brand, and allow you to highlight the social networks where your brand is most successful in order to best cross promote your content.

  • Keep it Visual

o While there are 7 different kinds of posts you can share on Tumblr (video, audio, text, photo, quote, link, chat) 98% of engagement on Tumblr happens with image-based content.

  • Don’t be afraid to Engage

o The Tumblr community is highly interactive and engaging. Don’t be afraid to hit the re-blog button. You can’t expect your audience to engage with your content without reciprocating.

  • Beyond Social Media

o A custom domain name will go a long way in validating your Tumblr page, so that you can leverage your microblog for other marketing efforts, including public relations initiatives. For example, we leverage Brazilian Footwear’s Tumblr in our media outreach as a point of reference for reporters looking for additional information on the brands we represent.

  • Monitor and Analyze

o You can easily set up Google Analytics to monitor the traction garnered on your page. This will show you metrics such as page views, pages per session, average session duration, and so on, which will help you understand which content is resonating with your audience, so that you can best tailor your posts to meet your audience’s interests and increase engagement.


Have you worked on Tumblr for a client? Tweet me at @LaurenAKaufman to talk Tumblr best practices!

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In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.