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Part II: Leveraging Tumblr

In Part I of Leveraging Tumblr, we learned just how popular and effective the micro-blogging platform had grown with users creating more than 41 million new blog posts each day. Since Tumblr also allows users to share all of those entries with other readers with just a mouse click, we’ll show you how to maximize the platform for your campaign in Part II.

Fans of a brand or product can easily like and re-blog content. This makes “Tumblr a tremendous tool for public relations teams to build buzz about consumer events, post news in real time, provide first-looks at product launches and promote special deals,” said public relations expert Jennifer Maguire Coughlin in an email interview. Following some simple guidelines will help you get the most out of this platform.

Think of your social media strategy as a conversation with your target audience, noted Tumblr “director and media evangelist” Mark Coatney. “The Tumblr community very much rewards authenticity, originality and social graces,” he said in an email interview. Here are several steps to building an enthusiastic following according to Coatney:

  • Be engaging. Have interesting content to share and remember that Tumblr is a visual medium. Whenever possible, use compelling images to tell your story.
  • Be social. “Tumblr is above all a social sharing platform. Use this space to show off your best stuff, encourage others to share it with their followers,” Coatney said. You should even re-blog posts from other Tumblrs that you think your followers will enjoy.
  • Be yourself. Readers will respond most to a personal connection, so “do it in a way that is consistent with your unique voice,” said Coatney.

If maintaining an active blog sounds difficult or time-consuming, it doesn’t have to be. “Tumblr is turn-key for a PR team. Posting compelling images, must-see videos, earned media coverage and text posts is simple,” said Coughlin. In addition, she says a Tumblr blog can be used hand-in-hand with Twitter and Facebook.

President Barack Obama, who is no stranger to social media, recently launched his own Tumblr. The blog posts entries from the president’s campaign, and also accepts submissions from readers and Tumblr users in the effort to become a place for people to share issues coming from different areas of the country.

Meanwhile, Washington Post Innovations, GQ, and CNN Money Tech are all examples of traditional media expanding their reach through the power of Tumblr. They use the sense of community and sharing functionality of the platform while maintaining their unique identities. But perhaps the most perfect example of social media engagement by a brand on Tumblr is from the Manhattan-based restaurant The Mermaid Inn, which is attracting diners and building a fanbase on Tumblr. As Coughlin points out, the chain not only posts mouthwatering photographs of its dishes, but also seafood imagery and vintage seafood-themed art. “Their posts typically have hundreds of likes and seafood-obsessed fans are driven to the blog for weekly deals, driving sales and building awareness. That’s successful PR,” said Coughlin.

–Erica Thompson Briggs





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