Every time we host a discussion or post blog content about enhancing a brand’s digital presence, the focus is on social media platforms. Today, we want to shift gears and focus on a site that doesn’t get a lot of attention: Tumblr. Unlike its social media counterparts, the site offers users a way to share a wide range of digital content without worrying about excessive privacy controls, millions of followers, or even the need to have a specific focus.
According to Tumblr, the site is so easy to use that it’s hard to explain. The company goes on to say that “we made it really, really simple for people to make a blog and put whatever they want on it. Stories, photos, GIFs, TV shows, links, quips, dumb jokes, smart jokes, Spotify tracks, mp3s, videos, fashion, art, deep stuff. Tumblr is 219 million different blogs, filled with literally whatever.”
Tumblr is often considered to be the anti-blogging site. Users prefer anonymity on the service, and Tumblr does its best to provide anonymity to those in search of it. If you don’t want people to find your content on Tumblr, there are ways of achieving that goal. However, if you want to gain more Tumblr followers, there are simple ways of achieving that.
Know the Beast
Before you can succeed in attracting followers on Tumblr, you have to understand the mindset of the majority of its users. Many Tumblr users flocked to the service because it allowed them the perfect outlet for sharing all the videos and pics they wanted, or unleashing that political rant they’ve been dying to get off their chest, without worrying about negative backlash from thousands of users. Tumbler is, for many users, a private journal stored in a very public place. When users find a blog and enjoys the content, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s just fine too.
Tumblr shouldn’t be dismissed as the dark corner of the room where the weird kids hang out though. A survey conducted by Y Combinator in 2013, as posted in The Daily Mail, found that Tumblr was actually more popular among the coveted 13-to-25-year-old age group than Facebook. Individuals from that age group were asked which social media sites they regularly visited, and 59% responded in favor of Tumblr, compared to 54% for Facebook.
Tailor Your Content
With the above concept in mind, you should work to tailor the content on your blog to the audience you are hoping to attract. Although the concept of blogs on Tumblr is to share whatever you like, whenever you like, tightening the focus of your blog will do amazing things for your popularity on the service. Despite the fact that core users of Tumblr prefer anonymity, there are still plenty of users looking for great content to follow with regularity.
One way to help tighten up the focus of your Tumblr page is to specify your blog’s content and vision. Avoid straying across the lines of a numerous topics. Find something that interests you, ideally within your industry or business niche, and write and post at length about that topic.
Tumblr allows users to select themed backgrounds for their pages. While certain themes, such as Royal Cameleon and Strict have visual appeal, they are also used by countless other Tumblr bloggers. Using the popular default themes doesn’t help your page stand out in the crowd and makes it difficult for casual users and dedicated viewers to remember visiting your page. When selecting a background theme, avoid anything that is too outrageous or bold.
As you create a unique background and theme for your page, consider altering the textures and background elements using drag-and-drop interfaces and simple color palettes.
All social media platforms have blocks of time during the day during which activity spikes and, conversely, plummets. The same concept holds true on Tumblr. A notable exception regarding Tumblr is the timing and days of the week that see increased activity. Users log on to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites during logical periods of time each day. High-traffic blocks of time include the start of the workday, lunch breaks, afternoon breaks at work, and after returning home from work.
According to this infographic from Union Metrics, Tumblr users differ from their social media counterparts in terms of activity. Rather than escaping the doldrums of work during weekdays, many Tumblr users are active at night and on the weekends. Sunday is the most popular day of the week, with 16.1% of overall activity on Tumblr occurring that day. Saturday and Wednesday come next at 14.9% each, followed by Fridays with 14.2%. Almost half, 42%, of Tumblr activity occurs between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. Specific times that have shown to be extremely active include 10 p.m. Wednesday (most notes) and 4 p.m. Sunday (most original posts).
If you want to attract more followers on Tumblr, time your posts and general activity around these spikes in user activity on the site. In the online world, if no one sees your content when it is posted, it’s almost like it was never posted in the first place.
Submit to Popular Blogs
Finally, get your brand name out there by submitting content to established blogs. It will take time to branch out and connect with other users, but once you establish a good relationship you can offer to post content on their blog. By posting to another blog, you advertise your page and brand for free to all of that user’s followers. If your content resonates with that user’s base of followers, you’ll see the number of people following your Tumblr page rise as a result.
You can double your effort by sharing your content on other sites as well, such as Facebook and Twitter. Sharing links to your content on social media platforms is a good way to advertise your content and generate views on your Tumblr account.
Remember to take your time and be patient. Your Tumblr following would expand exponentially overnight. It takes dedication and effort, but once you are on the right path it only gets easier to attract new followers.