You’ve been creating great content. You’ve been engaging with your audiences across your various platforms. And you’ve begun to monitor your social media presence through analytics tools. So, what’s next?

Once you’re satisfied with the performance of your current platforms, it’s a great time to expand your social media presence. Enter: Tumblr. While it’s usually not the first social media platform brands choose to engage with, it offers unique opportunities to reach new audiences with its design and content capabilities.

Looking to take the plunge? Here, we provide a cheat sheet on the best ways to use Tumblr to ensure you’re reaching—and exciting—your audience.

How it Works

Unlike many other social media platforms, Tumblr allows you to post a wide variety of content types, ranging from text and photos to video, audio, and links. It also offers a variety of design “themes,” which let you create a page that best supports your brand’s image and the types of content you plan to post.

Using the dashboard functionality, you can add followers, search “tags” (e.g., “PR,” “branding,” or “Real Housewives of New Jersey”), and scroll through the content posted by the people and brands you’re following. If you see anything you like, you can “reblog” it with a single click, and your followers will see it as well.

What to Post

One of the first things you’ll notice about a great Tumblr is the use of visuals—in other words, photos, photos, photos! Tumblr supports big, compelling visuals, so don’t be afraid to start using that Instagram app! In addition to your shutter obsessions, Tumblr is a great platform for many other styles of content—short-form, long-form, memes, and more. Play around with different pieces of content and see what combination excites your audience the most. As with all of your social media efforts, by keeping an eye on what your audience is responding to and what they’re not, you can continue to reframe your approach accordingly.

Also keep in mind that Tumblr is dedicated to people sharing what they think is cool and interesting. So while you should focus on publishing your own original content, you should also spend a good amount of time curating relevant content from others that your audience might find intriguing.

Tagging

Getting your content shared across Tumblr relies heavily on tagging, so make sure to include tags with every post. And don’t be too hasty with your choices. While it’s tempting—and fun—to use witty colloquialisms, the best tags are usually the most literal and descriptive of the content.

Think of it this way: If you’re searching for this post on Google, what words would you use to describe it? For example, if you’re a fashion brand posting a picture of a model on a runway for fashion week, your tags should be along the lines of #model, #runway, and #fashionweek. If you decide to tag a post as #yolo, for “you only live once,” it’s probably a good idea to also include a few more intuitive tags, such as “bucket list,” “goals,” and “aspirations.”

Cool Features

One of the great things about Tumblr is the queuing functionality, which allows you to edit and schedule posts in advance. If you’re looking to post a large amount of content but don’t have much time, this is an easy way to organize and publish your posts when time permits, then let it run on autopilot until you have time to add more great content.

Also be sure to check out Tumblr’s Storyboard, a recently-launched collection of feature stories that explore “tales from behind the dashboard.” Understanding what topics, trends, and tags Tumblr is highlighting can help you shape the type of content you’re publishing and when you’re publishing it.

For Inspiration

If you need a little inspiration to get you started, here are a few brands doing a great job with Tumblr:

  • The Atlantic
  • Adidas Originals
  • Keep in mind that while you can search tags on Tumblr, you can’t search for specific tumblelogs (yep, that’s what they're called). If you’re looking for a certain brand or person, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way and Google it.

    But that shouldn’t deter you from making friends! As you work to beef up your following, check out the “find blogs” section on your dashboard, and search the “spotlight” section for interesting brands and people by industry. Start following anyone who’s a good fit for your brand and your audience. Also, don’t forget your friends on Facebook and Gmail, who you can connect with through Tumblr’s “people you may know” tag.

    Tumblr is a close-knit and loyal community. By spending some time getting to know your followers, both old and new, you’ll enhance your brand awareness, not to mention up your cool-kid factor exponentially.

    Happy tumbling!

    Photo courtesy of Joe Ross.