Friday, July 23, 2010

EB Friday Hotlist: Using Tumblr as a Marketing Tool for your Online Shop

Tumblr is a social media website that is sort of the middle ground between Twitter and a blog.  While it doesn't limit users to 140 characters of text or links, it's not really designed for a full blog post like this one.  Tumblr is for posting short paragraphs of text, quotes, chats, videos, links, or photos.  I started a Tumblr blog a couple of days ago to get a feel for it:

Here are some suggestions on how to use Tumblr to market your shop:

1. Customize your page to fit your brand.  Tumblr has both paid and free themes you can try until you find what fits best.  I decided to go with a simple theme and use my logo as my avatar.  If you're using Tumblr as your blog though, you might want to spring for something that reflects your shop more.

2. Be diverse and interesting.  Like Twitter, Tumblr is a microblogging platform.  You'll pull followers from more interest areas (and not be dismissed as a spammer) if you do more than just post links to items from your shop.  Try posting some of your favorite quotes, recipes, YouTube videos, or pictures of other people's items.  Make use of the tag feature so that people searching for a specific topic can find you.

3. Follow other people.  Comment on their posts and make use of the heart and reblog features to mark items as favorites and/or share them on your page.  Since Tumblr is a social media site, the Golden Rule of Social Media applies - you've got to listen to others and interact with them if you want them to listen to you.

4. Keep it fresh.  Tumblr has a scheduling feature that allows you to set items to post in the future.  Take advantage of this and spread out some of your posting to achieve maximum exposure without flooding your followers' dashboard feeds with post after post from you.

5. Utilize the directories.  You can either get yourself in the inspiration directory by asking your followers to support you or you can pay for inclusion in one of the other directories starting at $9 plus some unspecified eligibility requirements.  Don't feel like paying?  (Yeah, me neither.  I love free things.)  Then simply follow some of the people in directories that interest you.  It's a great way to target who you follow so that you make friends with similar interests and always find cool things to reblog.

As you can see, promoting with Tumblr isn't much different than promoting with any other social media tool - it just uses a different platform.  I highly recommend Tumblr for people who want to share text and media but don't want the rather daunting task of updating a regular blog.  If you already use both a blog and Twitter, it might not be the best investment of your time.  I don't discourage setting up an account though - it's good to have your name out there in as many places as possible and it's very easy to update a Tumblr blog.

Do you have Tumblr blog?  Know any good tips for using Tumblr?  Post your blog link and/or your tip in the comments!

Until next time,


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! This is a fantastic and very informative post. I just joined tumblr and I can't wait to see what's in store for me! Meeting lot's of new friends is even better! tysm!

Elle said...

You're welcome! I'm glad you found it useful. :)

bigbrownhouse said...

Thanks for posting this...exactly the info I was looking for. I found out quite a while ago that I didn't have the motivation to maintain a "real" blog, but twitter doesn't quite satisfy in all areas. You're right...Tumblr seems to be the perfect middle ground. Still trying to figure out the details, one step at a time.

Elle said...

You're welcome! I still use and love my Tumblr blog!