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#MCS10 
Marketing, Content & Social Strategy 
Wendy Darling 
Emory University
Tumblr: a land of memes, cat GIFs, self-indulgent 
ramblings and… 
high-quality curated content? 
Yes, indeed!
By the Numbers: 
• Founded in 2007 
• Acquired by Yahoo in 2013 
• Hosts over 201.3 million blogs 
(as of Sept. 1, 2014) 
...
Features: 
• Publishing platform 
& aggregate reader 
• Dashboard 
• Reblogging & liking 
• Custom domain names 
• Questio...
Tumblr Blog Types: 
• Single-topic 
• Text blogs or articles 
• GIFs & Memes 
• Selfies 
• Inspirational Quotes 
• “Ask” 
...
Benefits: 
• Easy to use from browser 
& posting perspective 
• Plays well with others – 
Twitter, RSS, etc. 
• Wide varie...
Overview: 
• Art Deco architecture, civil 
engineering, interior design, 
plus related history & culture 
around the world...
Traffic: 
• Past 12 months: 
125,928 Pageviews, 55,899 
Sessions 
• Not much, but many views are 
solely through Tumblr 
d...
All-Time Hits: 
• Foyer, Empire State Building, 
NYC, New York 
• Elevator, Chrysler Building, NYC, 
New York 
• Helsinki ...
Existing Models: 
• Many great, single-focus 
Tumblrs 
• Great quality content from: 
• National media 
• Museums & librar...
National Media 
Museums & Libraries 
Non-Profits 
• NPR 
npr.tumblr.com 
• NY Times: Lively Morgue 
livelymorgue.tumblr.co...
Dedicated Amateurs 
• The Nifty Fifties 
theniftyfifties.tumblr.com 
• Design Is Fine 
www.design-is-fine.org 
• Valentino...
Looked at higher end and 
what I mostly found … 
• Waste of time 
• Crickets  No audience 
• Nothing anybody would want t...
Doing it right (1 of 2) 
• Use specialist archives 
• Books 
• Papers 
• Photos 
• Objects 
• Use general archives 
• Year...
Doing it right (2 of 2) 
• Tie to current events / 
pop culture hooks 
• TV & movies 
• Books 
• Political issues 
• Objec...
Examples (1 of 2) 
• University of Chicago Magazine 
uchicagomag.tumblr.com 
• Colophon (UC San Diego) 
ucsdspecialcollect...
Examples (2 of 2) 
• School of Visual Arts 
schoolofvisualarts.tumblr.com 
• Our RISD (RI School of Design) 
our.risd.edu ...
#1 Choose a Focus 
Does your dept., school, college, 
university have something unique or 
just awesome to offer, that wou...
#2 Curating Content 
Get a feel for what content does the 
best. 
If something does well – lots of 
Favorites and Shares -...
#3 Tumblr Tools 
Queue 
• Space out posts over time 
• “Set it and forget it” 
Tags 
• Enables others to find your content...
#4 Best Practices 
Credit, credit, credit 
Name source, link to source, link photo to 
source, promote source 
Identify 
B...
#5 Audience Growth 
Social Media 
Twitter & Facebook following lead people to 
Tumblr. 
Using Tags 
Study the tags and pic...
#1 – Think of The World 
Further the mission beyond just reaching 
students, alumni & locals – share the 
resources of you...
Questions?
Wendy Darling 
Woodruff Health Sciences Center, Emory University 
wdarlin@emory.edu | @wcdarling 
wdarling.tumblr.com | de...
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Is Tumblr Right for Your School?

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Tumblr: a land of memes, cat GIFs, self-indulgent ramblings and…high-quality curated content? Yes, indeed! With mainstream media as well as respected institutions such as museums and national non-profits now on board, Tumblr has become home to an increasingly sophisticated mix of content. Because of the way Tumblr works and its audience, often the unique, hard-to-find, original source material – archival documents, historic photos, artwork – rises to the top and becomes the most shared, with the most loyal fan-base. With this in mind, how can universities and colleges leverage their content – especially original, unique, highly visual or historic content – to their advantage on Tumblr? Based on four years experience curating the highly successful Art Deco Architecture blog (decoarchitecture.tumblr.com), Darling will outline the basics of Tumblr, showcase various colleges and universities who are doing Tumblr right, and how to judge whether the micro-blogging site can be a good fit for an institution’s marketing efforts.

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Is Tumblr Right for Your School?

  1. 1. #MCS10 Marketing, Content & Social Strategy Wendy Darling Emory University
  2. 2. Tumblr: a land of memes, cat GIFs, self-indulgent ramblings and… high-quality curated content? Yes, indeed!
  3. 3. By the Numbers: • Founded in 2007 • Acquired by Yahoo in 2013 • Hosts over 201.3 million blogs (as of Sept. 1, 2014) • More than 13 billion global page views in April 2013 • Over 85 million posts created on the site each day (as of Sept. 1, 2014) • Most popular with teen & college-age user segments; half visitor base is under 25
  4. 4. Features: • Publishing platform & aggregate reader • Dashboard • Reblogging & liking • Custom domain names • Question, Ask & Submit features • Posting Queue • Tags • HTML editing
  5. 5. Tumblr Blog Types: • Single-topic • Text blogs or articles • GIFs & Memes • Selfies • Inspirational Quotes • “Ask” • “Confession” • Random / Reblogging
  6. 6. Benefits: • Easy to use from browser & posting perspective • Plays well with others – Twitter, RSS, etc. • Wide variety of templates & options • Fun to explore • Community & reciprocation
  7. 7. Overview: • Art Deco architecture, civil engineering, interior design, plus related history & culture around the world • Begun Oct. 2010 • As of Oct. 16, 2014: • 8,209 Posts • 24,511 Followers • 1,913 Facebook fans • 653 Twitter followers decoarchitecture.tumblr.com
  8. 8. Traffic: • Past 12 months: 125,928 Pageviews, 55,899 Sessions • Not much, but many views are solely through Tumblr dashboard – which isn’t measured by Google Analytics • Main referrals: Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter decoarchitecture.tumblr.com
  9. 9. All-Time Hits: • Foyer, Empire State Building, NYC, New York • Elevator, Chrysler Building, NYC, New York • Helsinki Train Station, Helsinki, Finland • Whitehouse Diner, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey decoarchitecture.tumblr.com
  10. 10. Existing Models: • Many great, single-focus Tumblrs • Great quality content from: • National media • Museums & libraries • Non-profits • Dedicated amateurs So of course higher ed!
  11. 11. National Media Museums & Libraries Non-Profits • NPR npr.tumblr.com • NY Times: Lively Morgue livelymorgue.tumblr.com • National Archives: Today’s Document todaysdocument.tumblr.com • Atlanta History Center atlantahistorycenter.tumblr.com • AAMC: Research Means Hope medresearch.tumblr.com
  12. 12. Dedicated Amateurs • The Nifty Fifties theniftyfifties.tumblr.com • Design Is Fine www.design-is-fine.org • Valentino Vamp valentinovamp.com • My Vintage Vogue myvintagevogue.tumblr.com • Modernism In Metroland modernism-in-metroland.tumblr.com • Archi/Maps archimaps.tumblr.com • Architecture of Doom architectureofdoom.tumblr.com
  13. 13. Looked at higher end and what I mostly found … • Waste of time • Crickets  No audience • Nothing anybody would want to share… and no one does • Navel-gazing, inward-looking • Viewbook in blog format • Reproduction of Instagram (or Instagram feed itself) • Not taking advantage of institutional resources like archives, museums, cool science images, etc.
  14. 14. Doing it right (1 of 2) • Use specialist archives • Books • Papers • Photos • Objects • Use general archives • Yearbooks • Vintage magazine articles • Photos • Location-specific • Neighborhood • Town /city • State
  15. 15. Doing it right (2 of 2) • Tie to current events / pop culture hooks • TV & movies • Books • Political issues • Objects • Science • “Sexy” or “cool” science – especially images • Geekery • Hot topics • “Science for Science’s Sake” • Offer what only YOU can offer!
  16. 16. Examples (1 of 2) • University of Chicago Magazine uchicagomag.tumblr.com • Colophon (UC San Diego) ucsdspecialcollections.tumblr.com • University of California Research ucresearch.tumblr.com
  17. 17. Examples (2 of 2) • School of Visual Arts schoolofvisualarts.tumblr.com • Our RISD (RI School of Design) our.risd.edu • MCAD Comic Art (Minneapolis) mcad-comicart.tumblr.com • MCAD Graphic Design (Minneapolis) mcad-gd.tumblr.com
  18. 18. #1 Choose a Focus Does your dept., school, college, university have something unique or just awesome to offer, that would work on Tumblr? What your strengths? Be specific, not generic. If you don’t have something that could work on Tumblr, then don’t set up a Tumblr.
  19. 19. #2 Curating Content Get a feel for what content does the best. If something does well – lots of Favorites and Shares - look for more of the same, if not the same topic, then the same quality. And always ask yourself “Would somebody want to share this?”
  20. 20. #3 Tumblr Tools Queue • Space out posts over time • “Set it and forget it” Tags • Enables others to find your content • Provides more context • Links your content to similar content Twitter-Posting Link accounts, tweets post when Tumblr does RSS Feed can power Facebook, show up on a web site, etc.
  21. 21. #4 Best Practices Credit, credit, credit Name source, link to source, link photo to source, promote source Identify Buildings, people, art, etc. should not be posted unlabeled. Helps retain context. Be egalitarian Promote other Tumblrs and blogs Be generous with crediting
  22. 22. #5 Audience Growth Social Media Twitter & Facebook following lead people to Tumblr. Using Tags Study the tags and pick (appropriate) ones that are hot. Similar to keywords in search research. Connect with Influencers Get featured by Tumblr (Explore), influencial bloggers in your genre …And lastly, post something so awesome it goes viral. You can’t make it happen, but if it does…
  23. 23. #1 – Think of The World Further the mission beyond just reaching students, alumni & locals – share the resources of your institution. Think of your audience as The World #2 Think: Niche Unless you have a HUGE campus or it’s INCREDIBLY interesting, avoid campus photos, sports teams, photos of people, or general stuff. Do stuff that’s very specifically celebrating something, like architecture or women’s history or maps or student design. Think: niche. #3 – Weigh Content Learn to judge content via some quick criteria: Is it unique? Is it cool? Is it startling? Memorable? Would people care beyond this campus?
  24. 24. Questions?
  25. 25. Wendy Darling Woodruff Health Sciences Center, Emory University wdarlin@emory.edu | @wcdarling wdarling.tumblr.com | decoarchitecture.tumblr.com www.about.me/wdarling My Poster Session Today: 3:45-5:00 pm Grand Ballroom “Using Storify for Professional Show & Tell” Related Presentation “Make That Tumblr Tumble” http://www.slideshare.net/wdarling/using-storify-for-professional-show-tell (Search Slideshare.net for “Tumblr Tumble”

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