With 29 million blogs (more than WordPress at last count), and at least as many millions of posts every day, Tumblr is a force of nature in the Internet ecosystem that cannot be ignored. That massive audience means opportunities for businesses to find fans and build brands.

Here are six tips for kickstarting a Tumblr strategy that will grow your presence on the platform.

1. Use Tumblr Curation as a Compliment to Original Content

The short-form, fast-paced nature of Tumblr lends itself well to content curation or collections of bite-sized media. With the click of the reblog button, you can instantly post someone else’s Tumblr content on your own. Businesses can leverage this to create their own curated resource for all of the interesting things they observe in their niche.

Of course, curation works best when accompanied by original content, which is why many businesses choose to use Tumblr as a supplement to a longer form blog on their own domain.

2. Like and Comment on Good Content From Tumblr Blogs in Your Space

“Liking” and commenting on relevant Tumblr content may seem like a subtle gesture in comparison to reblogging, but there are a few ways it gets you exposure to new audiences.  Every time you “like” something another Tumblr user has posted, your name and link get put in tiny letters at the bottom of that post. This can lead targeted users to your Tumblr page. If you reblog a post and add your own comment to it in your reblog, your update on the original post’s feed gets more real estate. It’s a great way to get incremental exposure.

When you add relevant comments on posts, you foster relationships and goodwill, which often translates into followers. Keep in mind that what goes around comes around. Being helpful, thoughtful, and friendly goes a long way. Being self-serving will only get you unfollowed.

3. Self-Link Original Things You Post

Whenever you author an original post on Tumblr, include a link back to yourself as the source. This little “watermark” will get reposted and shared every time another user decides to reblog your post. This not only turns into valuable links back to your tumblog, but it also gets your brand name spread further out into the Tumblr ecosystem. Branding plus backlinks is a powerful combination!

4. Tag Your Posts Exhaustively

Every post you tag goes into the general Tumblr archive for the tags you specify. If you post a photo of a hurricane and tag it with related words like “storm”, “tropical storm”, and “hurricane,” your photo will appear in all three of those tag streams. It’s yet another great way for your brand to be found.

While your goal should be to tag your posts as extensively as possible, remember to keep the tags relevant. Anything that can trigger an alert in readers head to indicate that you may be “gaming” (or worse, “spamming”) the system can mean unfollows. Good behavior and etiquette wins out in social media in the long run every time.

5. Repurpose Highlights From Your Other Blogs

Tumblr is a fantastic way to squeeze more life out of original content. For example, if you run a longer-form blog on your own domain, take the best excerpt or quotation from each new post and repost it on your Tumblr.

Many brands will cross-post photos from Instagram, or take the most popular updates from their Twitter or Facebook accounts and repost them on Tumblr. Different audiences tend to hang out on different social platforms, and the real-time nature of Twitter and Facebook make the likelihood of your audience seeing your dual update unlikely. And if your updates are interesting, your readers won’t bat an eye if they see it twice.

6. Create a Meme-Based Tumblog

Tumblr has become the classic platform for launching incredibly focused theme blogs. This lends itself well to humor, but it’s often just creative in nature and Tumblr makes meme-creation easy. It’s a common strategy for businesses and news organizations to create a Tumblr as an entertaining outlet on the side of more serious content.

As with any social media platform, success in building a following boils down to being interesting, being consistent, and being social. Curation, commenting, quoting, tagging, watermarking, and riffing are mainstays of social content, and when leveraged well, they can build you a big presence on Tumblr, Twitter, and everything in between.

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