December 17, 2014
As a business owner, keeping up with existing social networks can be overwhelming. It can be hard to understand which platform best meets your needs, where your target audience members are spending their time and how you should cater to each network. Creating a unified social media presence that meets the objectives of your brand might feel like a full time job – which, in some cases, it totally is. The last thing on your mind is probably starting another account.
However, with the recent news relating to Tumblr, you might want to put that line of thought on hold. Now might be the time to get your business on Tumblr.
Tumblr Heading the Pack
According to the Global Web Index’s Q3 2014 report, released Tuesday, November 25, Tumblr has officially reached its height as the fastest growing social network. The network’s active user base has increased by 120% in the last six months alone.
Other notable results from the report – based on interviews with 170,000 users across 32 markets and actual raw data – included the fact that in terms of new member sign-ups, Pinterest is on top with 57 percent growth during the same time period, followed by Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.
Taking many by surprise was the fact that Facebook fell at the bottom of both lists, with just a six percent gain over the last six months. However, because the network tops all social networks in terms of existing active users – with over one billion at the current time – there’s not as much room to grow.
Growth in Other Areas
Tumblr is not the only network or tool to see serious growth in 2014. Also topping the list were mobile apps. Along with an increase in 3G, 4G and LTE networks, smartphone users have topped 1.75 billion this year. This means that technology has gone mobile and any platforms that have failed to adapt, have fallen short – or will fall short in the very near future.
According to the Global Web Index study that put Tumblr on top as far as social networks are concerned, Snapchat has topped the list of fastest growing mobile apps, with a 56 percent increase, seeing the largest increase among users in their teens and twenties. Facebook’s Messenger – which became necessary to download to continue to receive mobile messages – was in second, followed by Instagram.
Why Relying on Older Networks Might Not Work Anymore
In the past – and up until now – many brands have relied solely upon Facebook to market to their target markets online. It makes sense: with the largest user base and a dynamic combination of features that makes it possible to share messages in various formats, it covers all the bases. Put simply – everyone has an account and the network has everything necessary to communicate efficiently.
However, with the Global Web Index study’s results, now may be the time to reconsider this tried and true method. In both the United Kingdom and the United States, 50- to 64 percent of users – depending on age – are claiming to use the network less frequently. Additionally, photo sharing and messaging have fallen by approximately 20 percent. The time to change is now.
Getting Started on Tumblr
The obvious starting point for trying something new – especially with the study results in mind – is Tumblr. As the fastest growing network, it’s attracting new users and their attention at a rapid pace. But, where do you start? What is Tumblr and how can you use it to expand your brand’s online presence?
Tumblr is a micro-blogging and social sharing site designed to allow users to share photos, videos, music and other forms of media in a simple, blog-like format. These blogs are then shared in a newsfeed format with followers, much like other social networks, making it easy to catch on once you get started.
Interested? Here are a few tools and tactics to consider:
Start a free Tumblr account. Log in, start following and browse around. Look into what businesses like yours are sharing and how they’re using their accounts to attract and engage followers. Take notes.
Make sure your profile directs visitors back to your actual website and that it includes all necessary information for landing conversions – contact information, hours and a short yet comprehensive introduction to your brand and your products and services. Another option for customizing your page is to create a custom domain name. This allows you to use Tumblr with more integration for your preferred website.
Once you have a better feel for the network and your profile is complete, you can move forward.
Build a Following by Taking the First Step
Just like any other social network, to gain new followers, you must first become a follower. Start by searching for existing customers and follow brands that complement your own.
Take a little time each day to log in, to follow new accounts, to comment on posts, to “like” posts and to reblog posts. Each time you take these actions, you’re likely to bring in a few new followers. This is key to any social network; Tumblr is no different.
Install the App
For any social endeavor to be a success, you must be able to access it on the go. Our society no longer waits for the evening news. Instead, information is expected to be shared as it is happening. This is true of your company events, events you’re attending and what’s happening at your physical location in general.
When the app is installed, you can share photos and post videos as they’re taking place. This leads to a feeling of inclusion for your followers and an increased interest across the board.
Learn Which Tags Matter and Use Them
Like hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, tags allow Tumblr users to track certain industries, topics of conversations and other posts. Take the time to learn about which tags are most relevant to your industry and most popular. Then, start using them in your posts. When you use tags that people are searching for or following, you’ll start showing up in their feeds, increasing your exposure.
Study Your Analytics and Branch Out
Just like any other social network, Tumblr offers basic analytics reports that allow brand managers to track which posts are most successful, who’s reading what and what’s being shared. By following these trends over time, you can adjust your strategy and make changes to ensure your account is as successful as possible.
With the news that Tumblr has become the most rapidly growing social network this year, the time to act is now. Take the time to learn about the network, to explore and to look for ways to make it work with your brand.
Adrienne Erin writes weekly for SiteProNews about online marketing strategies that help businesses succeed. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter or subscribe to her blog, Design Roast, to see more of her work or get in touch.