If you’re setting up social media for your small business then you’ve probably already got a Facebook and Twitter account, they make it very easy to find and connect with customers that are local to you. But what about some of the other social media networks out there? In this post we will take a look at Tumblr and whether or not it’s right for your small business. Some companies set up a Tumblr when what they really need is a blog, and you may find that setting up a quick WordPress site better suits your needs. Click here for discounts on blog hosting. Whether you go with a Tumblr or hosting your own blog software, it’s definitely a good idea to get a proper domain name, otherwise it will be something like yourcompany.tumblr.com, which doesn’t look super professional and is not great for SEO either. The cheapest domain names can typically be found with GoDaddy.
What is Tumblr?
Tumblr is what is known as a micro-blogging platform, meaning that it’s aimed at very short, succinct posts. Think of it as falling somewhere in between Twitter and regular blog. You can post text, video, pictures, links, audio, quotes. Typically you would post a paragraph, or a picture with maybe a short caption. Some people do use it as a full blog platform and post lengthy articles or opinion pieces, and I don’t believe that Tumblr limits your character count, but it’s more for the bite sized posts that people can scroll quickly through while on a break at work or school. If you have a long and in-depth article, your better off posting that on a regular blog or news site. You can customize the theme of your Tumblr, but unless it’s being accessed from outside Tumblr, most people will not see it. Most of your posts will be viewed through your followers ‘dashboard’, which is a newsfeed of all of the blogs and tags that you follow. Instead of ‘likes’ or ‘favourites’, you get notes on your post. People can then ‘reblog’ your post, which puts it out to their followers who can further reblog it from there. If you post something that strikes a cord with your followers and it gets reblogged many times, or just once by somebody with a lot of followers it has the potential to go viral pretty quickly. Like with most blogs your posts will be ‘tagged’, which will help people to find them.
So all that being said, is it right for your business?
From an SEO perspective, links from a Tumblr account do count as a backlink in Google. But since your blog is a sub-domain of the main tumblr.com URL you might not be getting the link juice that you are hoping for. It’s a worthwile endeavour, but you have to make sure that when you are working on implementing a backlinking strategy that not all of your links are coming in from Web 2.0 type sites (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, most social media and ‘free’ blogging sites in general), that looks highly fishy to Google and will actually be detrimental to your ranking. If you choose to include Tumblr as part of your backlinking strategy (and it certainly wouldn’t hurt), as with any other blog make sure to also post real content on your Tumblr. Otherwise you are just spamming and will have a difficult time gaining followers, as you should! You could offer useful information about your product or service, or coupon codes like a 5% off promo code.
How mobile is your service/product?
If you only plan weddings in your town and can’t or aren’t willing to travel, you may have a hard time targeting customers in your area through your Tumblr. You could tag posts with the name of your town or area that you work in, but like most social media the best way to gain followers is to follow other people first and Tumblr doesn’t readily offer up information on a users locale like Facebook and Twitter do. However, if you have a product that can be easily shipped anywhere, or a service that you are able to telecommute for then this is a moot point.
What is your demographic?
Tumblr is probably one of the least diversified social media platforms in terms of age distribution, most Tumblr users are in their teens or early 20’s, lots of high school and university students. If that’s your target demographic then great! Not to say that there are no middle aged and older folks on Tumblr at all, but I’d say that they are in the minority. Then again, John Green and Barack Obama use Tumblr?