Is this going to be the year of the visual social sites? Pinterest has been taking the Internet by storm these past few months, but by no means is it alone. Five year old Tumblr surpassed 15 billion monthly pageviews in January and to date has close to 17 billion posts on its site.
If you’re not a user, it can be difficult at first to see what makes Tumblr unique from any other blogging service – it’s another incredibly easy way to publish text, photos, videos and audio to the web. But luckily for us, there’s more to it than that. What really makes Tumblr shine is the social networking baked into its foundation at the deepest levels.
Since its launch nearly five years ago, Tumblr has become very popular amongst photographers and designers, which makes it a great place to find exceptional photography. However, navigating around Tumblr and actually finding that work can be tricky at first. Because it is so easy to share and re-share photographs, there’s a tremendous volume being posted every minute of every day.
Like all other social sites, its free to use, easy to set up, and fun to manage. It’s a lot simpler than WordPress, and you can customize it and personalize it in minutes. All content is hosted on Tumblr, meaning you won’t have control over your data. If Tumblr goes down, your site is down.
Set Up Your Tumblr
Setting up a Tumblr account is an easy process. List your email, choose a password and designate a URL for your Tumblr account – the URL will be www.yourname.tumblr.com. Match it up to your business name or a niche you are trying for. You can also give it your own domain name – follow the steps here. Then customize your Tumblr – you can pick a theme, choose colors, upload a header and profile pictures and write up your summary. They have everything from a collage layout (perfect for photographers) to a more linear, newsfeed layout.
Tumblr makes it easy to post just about anything. People want short, valuable information. And visuals do very well on Tumblr (just like they do on just about any site these days). From your dashboard, you can quickly post seven different options: text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio and video. Try the photoset feature – a great way to share multiple images quickly.
Think of Tumblr as a cross between a lot of the sites you use now. It creates posts similar to how you post on your WordPress blog. Its easy to upload anything from anywhere using your mobile technology. And you will get more traction if you think in short bursts like you do with your Twitter account.
As you are sharing information, think beyond just trying to push your products and services – become the expert within the field. Yes, you can post photographs, but don’t be pushy. Add your personality and tell people how excited you are about your latest shoot. Make your Tumblr audience excited about being able to have a “sneak peek” into your latest shoot – “Just got the images processed from the charity event this weekend – look at how much fun we had.” Now more than ever, people want to “love” and build a relationship with the people they want to do business with. This helps build up your brands’ loyalty and keeps them coming back again and again to see what you are up to now.
Keeping It Up
If you are worried about adding another social site to your already busy day, we understand. This can all be a bit overwhelming. Yet with Tumblr they make it easy to post from just about anywhere at any time. You can use their mobile app to upload things from your phone. Or call it in with their toll free line and record an audio. Email it in with your customized email address (it’s an @tumblr.com address, not your login). And if you already use Instagram, you can set up the photo sharing app to send your images to Tumblr – allowing you to do twice the work in half the time.
Once you get your flow going, it will become a normal process in your day. Like any site, it’s the relationship building and the growth you are looking for. Follow people back when they follow you. Comment. Share. This is all about engagement and relationships.
Also, don’t forget to follow MediaNovak on Tumblr!