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    E mod tumblr_tutorial E mod tumblr_tutorial Document Transcript

    • A Tumblr guide for brands A brand’s guide to the popular social blogging platform Authored by Bliss Hanlin and Jesse Coombe Revised June 2013 www.emoderation.com
    • A Tumblr guide for brands Table of contents What is Tumblr?..................................................................................................................................... 3 What makes Tumblr different?............................................................................................................. 4 Who’s tumbling?.................................................................................................................................... 5 What’s on Tumblr?................................................................................................................................. 6 Brands on Tumblr.................................................................................................................................. 6 Music...................................................................................................................................................... 6 Fashion................................................................................................................................................... 7 Celebrities.............................................................................................................................................. 8 Writers.................................................................................................................................................... 8 Getting started....................................................................................................................................... 9 The Dashboard...................................................................................................................................... 9 Themes................................................................................................................................................... 9 Best practices ..................................................................................................................................... 10 Accessibility......................................................................................................................................... 11 Challenges........................................................................................................................................... 12 Thoughts on Tumblr............................................................................................................................ 13 About eModeration............................................................................................................................. 14 2
    • What is Tumblr? Tumblr is a blogging platform with the addition of a range of social networking features. You can easily publish text, photos, quotes, links, chatlogs, audio, and video, and your followers will see your content in their feed the instant that it’s published. With a single click, your followers can “reblog” your post, further publishing it to their own followers, while retaining links back to the original source of the content. Tumblr’s intention is to let you “effortlessly share anything.” Because Tumblr is designed with this end goal in mind it’s easy to create a post, it’s easy to discover posts, and it’s easy to pass them on to your friends. There’s terrific potential for your content to reach far beyond your direct followers. Since launching in 2007, 112 million people have set up blogs on the platform, but the overall number of users the site serves is closer to 300 million according to the company’s own stats. That puts Tumblr behind titans like Facebook (1.11 billion), Twitter (500 million), and Google+ (500 million) in terms of population, but ahead of Instagram (100 million) and Pinterest (48 million). Tumblr occupies an appealing middle ground between the largest mainstream social networks and smaller niche sites. Its population is large enough for it to make sense for brands to invest their time to create a presence, but small enough that it attracts tastemakers who use the platform because they want to; not because they feel obliged to be there. In May 2013 Yahoo agreed to buy Tumblr for $1.1billion. In a post announcing the acquisition, CEO Marissa Mayer promised “not to screw it up”. Furthermore, Mayer assured users that Tumblr would operate independently of Yahoo, with David Karp remaining as Tumblr’s CEO. Yahoo intends to deploy its “personalisation technology” and search infrastructure to help users to discover new bloggers and content. A Tumblr guide for brands 3
    • What makes Tumblr different? You already have a presence on the other social networks – what does Tumblr offer that they don’t? Tumblr’s most appealing feature for brands is perhaps its tagging system. When you post something on Tumblr you can add tags describing its content, just as you would when posting a traditional blog article. On your company website these tags might be used for organisation; allowing readers to click on a tag to find other posts that you’ve written on the same topic. On Tumblr these tags are shared across the entire userbase. Your posts about #fashion are collected with everyone else’s posts about #fashion on a permanent dedicated #fashion tag page. to take notice? Or is it that the team on social media channels naturally have the mindset to respond quickly? Either way, Twitter’s reputation as an effective issues resolution channel will only increase its use. At first glance it looks like a good way to distract people away from your content, but think about it from the user’s perspective. Tumblr allows users to “track” tags that they’re interested in, surfacing activity from that tag on their dashboard page. With sites like Facebook and Twitter your posts can reach your existing followers and, if you’re lucky, a few of their friends. Tumblr offers that too, but then adds this extra layer of reach where people who have never encountered you or your posts can still discover them if your tags match their interests. Target your audience precisely You’re not screaming your message out into the world and just hoping the right people are in earshot. You’re selecting the exact audience you want to target through your tags, and they self-select themselves through tag tracking to see content like yours. Tag tracking isn’t even limited to Tumblr members. Anyone can bookmark a tag page and see the latest posts on a topic whenever they want. Tumblr still goes one better by monitoring its tags and displaying the top 50 on its “Explore” page. This helps users to find new tags to track, and it also celebrates the “Top Editor” of each tag. What better way to demonstrate that you’re an authority on a given topic? Another advantage Tumblr has over the other social networks is the customisation that’s possible. You can download user- created “themes” that significantly alter the look of your page, or you can build your own for something truly unique. Even if you’re not an HTML expert, plug-in developers like AddThis offer easy to follow instructions for adding their features to your Tumblr page. A Tumblr guide for brands 4
    • If Tumblr has one shortcoming, it’s in the lack of functionality for gathering feedback. While almost every other social media platform makes it easy for others to respond to your content with text, Tumblr almost arbitrarily puts obstacles in the way of text responses. Every post you put up can easily be “liked” and “reblogged” by the people it reaches, but you can only invite text comments if the title or body text of your post ends with a question mark. If you jump through that hoop, the post editor will present a “Let people answer this” text box. Users can only reply to your post if you have ticked this box, and Tumblr only allows you to use the “Let people answer this” feature on two posts each day. If you’re a prolific poster, choose carefully! This design choice was probably made to encourage the use of Tumblr as a visual platform. It’s perhaps telling that even when you’ve used both of your answerable posts for the day, there is no such limit on the number of times you can opt-in to allow “photo replies” to your posts. Who’s tumbling? More than half of Tumblr’s visitors are between the ages of 18 and 34, with a slight majority (55%) being female, according to stats from Quantcast. A survey conducted by Posterous founder Garry Tan indicates that Tumblr may be more popular than Facebook among the 13-18 and 19-25 age groups (see chart below). If your brand is trying to reach teenagers and young adults, Tumblr could well be the best place to do it! Quantcast also cites that 45% of the site’s users are college educated, which is slightly higher than the internet average. While 67% of Tumblr’s users are Caucasian, representation of African, Asian, and Hispanic ethnicities is above the internet average. Tumblr is available in 12 languages to facilitate usage worldwide. 13% of the site’s visits come from mobile devices, with many coming through Tumblr’s highly rated official apps for iOS and Android. The presence of brands on Tumblr has steadily increased since the site’s launch in 2007. Fortune 500 companies with an active presence on Tumblr include General Electric, Pepsi, Intel, Coca-Cola, and Disney. A Tumblr guide for brands 5 Social media usage 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 13-18 19-25 Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr Snapchat
    • What’s on Tumblr? As with most social networks, and arguably the internet as a whole, visual content is king. At the time of writing, the most active tag on Tumblr is #Food. To demonstrate the prevalence of image-based content over text, I had intended to tell you that I had to scroll through of the most recent posts before finding one without a prominent image. After several minutes of holding the down key and seeing nothing but photos and animated GIFs fly past, I’d be prepared to believe that there has never been a text-based post submitted under #Food. Point being: if you’re planning to use Tumblr, put away the thesaurus and start building up an image collection. One form of content that Tumblr has become the de facto home for is the single topic blog. Single topic blogs post exclusively about a very narrow subject and typically spring up in reaction to a pop culture event or to support a meme. Content is often sourced entirely from the community, with page owners serving as curators. Well-known single topic blogs on Tumblr include Dogshaming, McKayla Is Not Impressed, and, naturally, Single Topic Blog Of Single Topic Blogs. Brands on Tumblr As Tumblr’s media evangelist Mark Coatney puts it, Tumblr is “A network of interests rather than people who know each other. This gives more flexibility and expression to your brand.” Diana Hong, creative director at New York’s Create The Group, has salient advice: “If a brand has an idea of what their voice is on Tumblr, then that works ... it’s about creating a culture.” The below is just a smattering of the brands currently participating on Tumblr. Music Rolling Stone magazine uses Tumblr to link to content on its website, sticking to a formula of posting eye-catching photos with a couple of sentences of descriptive text. It has designed its Tumblr page to allow space to advertise the latest issue of the magazine, and the magazine also brings in a feed from its Twitter account. A Tumblr guide for brands 6
    • Meanwhile, Pitchfork uses its Tumblr page to curate content from within Tumblr and from the wider web, linking to content on YouTube, Vimeo, and Spotify almost as much as it links back to pitchfork.com. Spotify itself maintains a page full of embedded audio from the Spotify service. Following one of its links will almost always automatically open the Spotify desktop app. Adweek’s profile on MTV’s adoption of Tumblr illuminates some of the reasons a cultural media force would fit with a microblogging platform. #MTV was already one of the more popular Tumblr tags and the channel wanted to take part in sharing its content. MTV also wants to target the web culture and design communities, which it thinks will mesh well with its image. The Tumblr account is a way for MTV to showcase the talents of its employees; many of the company’s staffers are contributors, under the supervision of MTV’s social media manager Tom Fishman. He says: “We feel like MTV could be a really powerful curatorial force.” Fashion Fashion is huge on Tumblr, with everything from street-style blogs to brands represented. As fashion is all about a point of view, it is no wonder that it should find a natural home on Tumblr. According to Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp, 1 out of 10 in the top 1,000 of Tumblr blogs is fashion-related. Tumblr posts that are fashion-related are reblogged on a much greater scale than a typical Tumblr post, states Tumblr Fashion Director Rich Tong, suggesting that: “There’s a huge capacity for fashion content to go viral on Tumblr.” Elle has taken a very low maintenance approach to its Tumblr page, simply reposting everything shared from its Instagram account. It seems to work! Their posts pick up a lot of likes and reblogs. Not, however, as many likes and reblogs as Vogue, which posts photos at a rate of one or two per day, always taking care to list the name of the photographer. A Tumblr guide for brands 7
    • DKNY PR Girl is up front about her usage of the platform, stating as her tagline “When 140 characters aren’t enough.” Clearly her presence on Tumblr isn’t merely an afterthought though, as the page is very nicely presented with its own custom theme. Celebrities They don’t come much bigger than the President of the United States. Barack Obama has a Tumblr page, which posts a variety of image and text-based content. Interestingly text posts, typically pulling from Obama’s speeches, have seen a lot of success on the platform in comparison with photos shared from the account. It goes to show that not everyone on the internet is too impatient to read. On Tumblr, Obama’s page has evidently found its audience. Actors, the next most powerful people on the planet, are also making their presence felt on Tumblr. Entrepreneurial sorts like Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt appear to post about anything but their acting. Instead they curate content from their fans, share things they enjoy, and promote their websites HelloGiggles and hitRECord.org. Musicians of all stature are present on Tumblr. Where else would they be? Myspace? Beyoncé has perhaps brought the most attention to Tumblr, choosing to announce the birth of her daughter through the Hello Blu Ivy Carter page with the baby’s first photos and a scanned in hand-written note. Writers Journalists were among the first to fully embrace Tumblr. Mark Coatney, former Senior Editor of Newsweek, says of his ramp-up: “No one at Newsweek really knew what I was doing,” allowing him the freedom to develop a cutting-edge style for Newsweek’s Tumblr that quickly developed a following. Tumblr so appreciated Coatney’s efforts, they hired him as a Media Evangelist. Publishers have also taken an interest in Tumblr. The site proudly shows off some of its members who have been given book deals through Tumblr on a spotlight page. Publishers saw the success of Tumblr blogs like Garfield Minus Garfield, Scanwiches, and Coloring For Grown-ups and saw potential for people to enjoy their content in real physical books. Imagine that! A Tumblr guide for brands 8
    • Getting started Registering for a Tumblr account is so easy that you could have your first post up within five minutes of hitting Tumblr.com. However, it is worth taking some time to familiarise yourself with the site’s feature set and culture. The Dashboard The dashboard is your home on Tumblr. Its main feature is a feed that will contain any posts made by accounts you follow, along with notifications of everyone who follows you or engages with your content. The dashboard is also your launchpad for creating posts. Though preparing a post takes place in a WYSIWYG editing interface based on the type of post you have chosen, it all starts from the buttons at the top of your dashboard. Themes A “theme” on Tumblr is the visual design of your page. It gets a special term because Tumblr themes can be shared and installed. You don’t have to be a programmer or graphic artist to make your Tumblr page beautiful. If you do have the skills, though, you can make something unique to you or your brand. With that said, there is a case to be made for spending your time elsewhere. Tumblr’s default theme is basic but functional. It’s also entirely possible to have a flourishing Tumblr page without your or your followers ever seeing it! Like Facebook, most people will see your content without visiting the actual page, as your posts will appear in their dashboard feed and tag pages. You’ll know you’ve made it when people start bookmarking your actual page to see your content at the source. A Tumblr guide for brands 9
    • Best practices Promoting fan art and user generated content Some brands like to curate fan art and other submissions from their communities. BBC America’s Doctor Who page frequently shares content originally posted by Tumblr’s many Whovians (it’s a word, we checked). Livetumblring Speaking of Doctor Who, the page has been recognised by the Shorty Awards for pioneering “livetumblring” on the platform. The page posts screenshots, quotes, and live fan reactions during the broadcast of new episodes to deliver a second screen experience. Links If your intention is to drive traffic to a website, remember to embed links in your content – particularly in images. When your content is reblogged by other Tumblr users, your links will remain intact on their pages. Repurposing content While it could be argued that you get out as much as you put in, Tumblr can be a very low maintenance platform. It’s entirely possible to repurpose content from your official website, or from your other social presences, and still find that the people of Tumblr want to share it. The Economist mostly posts covers and political cartoons from its magazine, generating a good amount of engagement from content that already existed elsewhere. Tagging Tagging is the most important part to get right. As we’ve established, it’s likely that most of the engagement you see on your posts will come from people who discovered your content through a tag page. There doesn’t appear to be a limit to the number of tags you can add to a post, and your content will appear on every one of the tag pages, but there is some tagging etiquette that ought to be followed. While it’s tempting to tag subjects that are tangentially related to what you’re posting about, followers of the tag will be watching and they’ll let you know when they feel you’ve wasted their time. It is also considered to be good Tumblr etiquette to be aware of content that can trigger negative physical and emotional reactions. Animated GIFs are very popular on Tumblr, but in some rare cases they can cause epileptic seizures. Similarly, some graphic images can serve as psychological triggers for eating disorders, self-harm, or post-traumatic stress disorder. A Tumblr guide for brands 10
    • Accessibility Feeds and subscriptions Tumblr is good at spreading your content around within the platform, and your blog’s biggest fans can bookmark your page just like any other site, but there are additional ways to get the message out beyond Tumblr. Every Tumblr blog automatically produces an RSS feed, which you can access by adding /rss after your page’s URL. The default Tumblr theme also comes with an RSS button, but it’s worth remembering to include one when you use custom themes. You could also use your Tumblr page to create a mailing list and use newsletters to ensure your customers see your content. Comments One way to sidestep Tumblr’s commenting limitations is to install a Disqus widget. Disqus also makes it possible to moderate comments; a feature unfortunately lacking from Tumblr’s default comment system. Integration Buttons for sharing your content on other social platforms can easily be integrated into your theme with tools like AddThis. Your followers probably have at least one more account with one of Tumblr’s rivals, so why not let them “Like” you there too? Monitoring Built-in analytics are lacking on Tumblr. Beyond a follower count and per-post engagement figures, there isn’t much to be gleaned from Tumblr’s stated information. Some third party providers can fill in the gap. Google Analytics can provide data on Tumblr once the blog has been enabled for it. TumblrStats and Numblr offer limited information on your posting habits, but can also be used to view publicly available information about any other Tumblr blog you might be interested in. A Tumblr guide for brands 11
    • A Tumblr guide for brands 12 Challenges Memes Memes are all over Tumblr, with many originating on the platform before being picked up elsewhere. If you do it the right way, joining in on a meme with your followers can make your brand appear fun and approachable, and can give your content some added viral potential. The challenge is in getting involved early enough to appear to be part of the movement, before the joke has got old. The eModeration blog has some tips and observations on the use of memes by brands. Reblogging Reblogging others’ content will show your followers that you’re serious about being an active part of Tumblr’s community. However, care needs to be taken when deciding what to reblog. First, you want to consider whether the content your sharing fits the typical tone of your blog. Is there any chance that it will disappoint or annoy your followers? Secondly, you need to think about the original source of the content. You will probably have discovered the content in isolation, as one of many individual posts scrolling down a tag page. While that single post may be perfect to reblog for your followers, the original poster (whose link will appear in your reblog) may be associated with practices and beliefs that you don’t wish to connect with your brand. Check a few more of their posts before reblogging. While it may sometimes be tempting to just copy a user’s image or quote and submit it as a new post, this is understandably considered poor form on Tumblr. Reblogging and giving appropriate attribution to content creators will keep everyone – including the lawyers – happy.
    • A Tumblr guide for brands 13 Thoughts on Tumblr Don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what some of the industry’s experts say about Tumblr. On the Tumblr community: “Tumblr is where I go to laugh, but it is also a fantastic place to learn: this is where I first read about Trayvon Martin, for example. It often hosts some of the most eloquent and nuanced conversations about society, from gender to race to equality and social justice. It is a community that gives and shares and supports its own – only last night, I witnessed people organise a whip-round for a fellow Tumblr user who needed to get out of an abusive situation fast. It can be a brilliant place, because it is a lot more than the sum of its parts: you get out of it what you put in. Not many sites can give you all of that and a gif of Chris Evans punching a bag in slo-mo. And for that reason, I’ll remain onboard. No contest.” Bim Adewunmi, The Guardian On Tumblr’s popularity: “Pop quiz: what is the favorite social networking site of Americans under age 25? If you guessed Facebook you are way behind the eight-ball, because Tumblr now enjoys more regular visits from the youth of America.” Adam Rifkin, TechCrunch On Tumblr’s future: “It will be interesting to see whether Tumblr tries to introduce more data on how users interact with each other on its network — and whether that data follows in the form of sites like Twitter and Facebook, or whether it can continue to grow without that extra detail. If the latter is successful, it also throws into question whether metrics like friend counts or follower numbers amount to much in the longer term. And will Tumblr add more features to snare in more users? The core of Tumblr’s “social” experience is how people consume and share content based on their interests, rather than through a conversation with their social circles. This has been one of Tumblr’s most distinctive traits, but it also leaves a window open for features that the company might also try to introduce or encourage more in the future.” Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch
    • A Tumblr guide for brands 14 About eModeration eModeration is a social media management agency which delivers high-quality multi-lingual community management and moderation services, social media consultancy, and crisis management training and simulations. With offices in London, Los Angeles and New York, we work with some of the world’s biggest brands across a wide range of industry sectors. These include: automotive, kids and entertainment, FMCG, financial services, luxury brands, media, pharmaceutical, publishing, and telecoms. The agency works with leading global brands, including BBC Worldwide, HSBC, Mind Candy (Moshi Monsters), MTV, Sony Mobile, ITV, Hyundai, Smirnoff, the LEGO Group, Sprint and The Economist. It also works with a growing roster of agencies, including Starcom MediaVest Group, Wieden + Kennedy, Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, DDB Worldwide, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Publicis Groupe. Committed to providing a safe and engaging social media experience for children and adults, eModeration’s CEO Tamara Littleton has over 11 years’ experience of community and social media management and moderation. She has also advised the UK government on guidelines for child safety. eModeration contributes to the development of social media expertise via its white papers, blogs, sponsorships, and has a strong roster of returning clients who appreciate the quality of its services and expertise in social media tools and trends. Contact us Talk to us today about how our social media expertise can help you brand. Call Tamara Littleton on (+44) 0203 178 5051 Email info@emoderation.com