Tumblr is a huge social media platform — with more than 400 million users, it's a prime place to market your business. But Tumblr is trickier to work with than other social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The platform is primarily populated by millennials and has a strong sense of community that focuses on social justice, humor and art. Businesses looking to create a Tumblr account for their brand need to make sure that they are a good fit for the platform in the first place, and avoid crucial mistakes that can turn off followers and lead to wasted time and effort.
Business News Daily asked social media experts and business owners for their Tumblr tips. For social success, make sure you avoid these seven major mistakes.
1. Don't forget about the community.
"One of the biggest mistakes companies make on Tumblr is not understanding the voice of the community. Tumblr is a highly visual and inspirational platform with a hefty dose of humor and snark. I see a lot of businesses posting content that's too brand specific and overly promotional, resulting in minimal engagement. I recommend that business owners and brand managers take a month to observe what's working and what's not, identify trends, and learn the type of content that performs well." – Dana Kaye, owner, Kaye Publicity
2. Don't auto-post content from other platforms.
"The biggest mistakes I see businesses make on Tumblr is just being on the platform simply to be on it. This quantity over quality mentality is a mistake that brands can make across social media platforms, and I see it notably on Tumblr. Auto-posting new blog posts to a company Tumblr page or simply reposting something that was originally shared on another platform is just fluff content, offering users no real benefit. Tumblr is a fairly open playground for brands, but if you're not providing users with value, I would suggest holding off on the platform." –Kate Endres, associate director of engagement marketing, Blue Fountain Media
3. Don't avoid reblogging.
"The No. 1 crime committed on Tumblr, as I tell all my clients, is using the platform in a selfish way by just posting stuff. Never forget, Tumblr's key point of difference is reblogging. You can get away with a strict output strategy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but not Tumblr. Any brand that just posts things will be, at best, ignored by the community." – Hubert Southall, executive creative director, TBWA Group Vietnam [How Taylor Swift Rocks Social Marketing … And How You Can, Too ]
4. Don't post the news.
"Tumblr isn't usually a go-to news source for readers, many more of them are engaged by interesting, funny and colorful content as opposed to bland news stories. Businesses can succeed by getting their information out using insightful and well-designed infographics and then linking to their desired news story to bring organic traffic to their website. This is also a great way to see the direct ROI of Tumblr for their business to see if Tumblr is even right for them." – Cristina Trecate, account coordinator, 5W Public Relations
5. Don't use trending topics the wrong way.
"One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make on Tumblr is joining a conversation they don’t understand. This usually happens when a social media manager uses a hashtag in a funny way without fully researching the conversation taking place around that tag. Tumblr is a platform known for a high level of social activism in its users. Tumblr users are young, passionate people who care about complex social issues and use hashtags like a conference call to pull in various perspectives. The last thing you want is for your brand to be seen as mocking that." – Tyler Mahan Coe, founder, Thee Medea Complex
6. Don't share anything offensive.
"Remember that Tumblr is forever. Yes, you can delete your posts after the fact, but you absolutely cannot delete any reblogs from your followers or other users. Steer clear of offensive humor. Carefully analyze the different ways a message could be interpreted, because even the most well-intentioned updates can backfire." – Joseph Sanchez, social media manager, Wilde Agency
7. Don't overuse hashtags.
"Don't overlook hashtags, but don't spam them, either. Try using four to five hashtags per post max — rather than 15-20 — because spamming your audience with too many tags will turn them off forever when they realize that all you're doing is seeking attention. Remember, people are following your brand to get access to valuable, relevant, interesting, funny, informative content. Don't give them any reason to doubt that relationship." – Tim Lavelle, director of SEO and social media, U.S. Interactive Media