Even MORE Social Networking!!!
You NEED to make as much use of Social Networks as possible as you promote your website. Social Networks are powerful tools; they give you access to a vast audience and each social post you make – each social bookmark to your website that you can create – provides your website with valuable backlinks for the Googlebot and friends to follow straight back to your website. Social networks are essential – both in terms of driving traffic to important pages on your website as well as towards the SEO of your website.
We’ve looked at several social networking and social bookmarking sites before and you should learn as much about the big ones as possible – Click the links below to freshen your knowledge of the importance of the Internet’s hottest social networking sites.
- Social Bookmarking and why you Need It
- Google+1 and the Battle of the Buttons
- How to create Google+ Pages – 10 Hot Tips!
- How To Market your Website with YouTube
- The Facebook Fan-Page
- How to Market Using Facebook
- Tweeting about Twitter and why you need it
- Facebook, Twitter and your Website
- How to use LinkedIn
An Introduction to Tumblr.
Tumblr is a micro-blogging service which is on a continuous rise, and has become a serious competitor in the social media market. Think of Tumblr as micro-blogging (here on Tumblr, it’s actually called “tumblelogging”) with benefits. Whereas Twitter and similar services limit posts to 140 characters or less, Tumblr lets you post updates of any length, although it’s best suited to short-format posts. Tumblr bridges the gap between full-blown blog and micro-blog.
What’s so Great about Tumblr?
Quite simply because Tumblr makes setting up a social networking profile very easy. It also makes it very simple for you to follow other “tumbleloggers” on the website and to share their content. Tumblr tries to combine the best parts of social networking and micro-blogging in one. It handles longer-form and multimedia posts while encouraging more interaction between tumbleloggers, like micro-blogs.
The fact that Tumblr has built-in formats for a variety of content types makes it stand out from other micro-blogging platforms. There are templates for text, photos, videos, audio, quotes, links and chat transcripts. Most themes take advantage of the differences between these post types and implement special formatting for each one. You can also add plain text to most of these post types, and you can add images to your text posts. It’s a really flexible system, one with a simple layout to engage visitors and drive them back to the important pages of your website.
Because of the unique post formats, Tumblr gives you a perfect platform to market your vlogging and podcasting, as well as for your photos and images to a massive audience. For audio posts, you can even call in a post, requiring nothing more than a phone. You can also email in posts of all types (each type of post has a specific email format).
Getting Started with Tumblr
Starting out with Tumblr is easy. Go to Tumblr to sign up for a free account at http://tumblr.com. You will need to choose a username, which will act as your display name on the Tumblr Dashboard, as well as part of the URL of your blog. For example: ‘http://yourname.tumblr.com‘.
This personalized URL is great because you can create a personal URL which includes your main keywords and massively increase the visibility of your tumblr profile in the Search Engines when a user searches for those keywords!
You can optimize this URL too, your URL can be changed at any point after this, it is not fixed. You can therefore test how changes to this URL affect your number of followers as well as your visitors.
Once your account is set up, you can start posting right away.
Tumblelogging (Posting on Tumblr)
Tumblr gives you fairly complete control over how you blog. You can set up groups with multiple authors for instance. You can also set up numerous blogs under a single account (each with its own custom options), though only one username is able to follow other tumblelogs. Tumblr also lets you keep private Tumblelogs that are password-protected, so you can share them with those you know or keep them completely personal. Just make sure not to post to your public tumblelog by accident!
The fact that Tumblr has built-in formats for a variety of content types makes it stand out from other micro-blogging platforms (you can’t even really include images easily in Twitter). There are templates for text, photos, videos, audio, quotes, links and chat transcripts. Most themes take advantage of the differences between these post types and implement special formatting for each one. You can also add plain text to most of these post types, and you can add images to your text posts. It’s a quite flexible system.
Because of the unique post formats, Tumblr makes a perfect platform for vlogging and podcasting, as well as for photo blogging. For audio posts, you can even call in a post, requiring nothing more than a phone. You can also email in posts of all types (each type of post has a specific email format).
You can post in seven different ways on Tumblr. The types of posts are varied to allow your best approaches to be put forward; you may even like to try each style over time. The seven types of posts are as follows:
- Text. A text post consists of plain text. Images, hyperlinks, videos, and some HTML-based widgets can be added. The raw HTML of the post can be edited.
- Photo. A photo post consists of a single image with accompanied by a brief description. Photos can be uploaded from your PC, or you can use the URL of an image already on the web.
- Quote. A quote post consists of title text (the quote) and a single line of body text (citing the origin of the quote).
- Link. A link post consists entirely of a single piece of descriptive text, which is linked to the website or webpage being described.
- Chat. A chat post is used to share a snippet of conversation.
- Audio. An audio post consists of a single .mp3 file (it might be a music track, podcast etc), which can be played via a Flash music player. Only one audio post is permitted daily.
- Video. A video post consists of an embedded video, which can be uploaded from your PC, or imported from websites such as YouTube or Vimeo.
To optimize the quality of your posts, ensure that text is well-written, images are relevant, and you keep to the theme of your website. The most popular Tumblr users are those who dedicate their space on Tumblr to a certain purpose. Add relevant tags to your posts, so that users searching for a certain topic are more likely to stumble upon your blog. It’s also a good idea to cite the sources of things you did not write/create, or you’ll be shunned as a plagiarist. To protect yourself from plagiarism, type the URL of your own blog in the ‘Source’ box on the sidebar of the post composition page. Ensure that your material is interesting, and post at least once a day, or your followers will get bored with your inactivity, and may even unfollow you.
Finally, you should always, ALWAYS, include a link back to your website, to drive traffic back to your site and improve the SEO.
Over time, you will gain “followers“. These are fellow Tumblr users who subscribe to your Tumblr feed. Whatever you post will appear on their Dashboard (a little bit like in Twitter). You can follow other Tumblr users. Their posts will then appear on your Dashboard. If a person you don’t want following you does so, you can block them. The more followers you get, the more chance you have of getting your posts “reblogged” and “hearted (or “liked“)” and this just increases the exposure of your posts.
Like and reblog
If someone likes your post so much that they want to share it, they can “reblog” it (essentially sharing it with all their followers). If someone “reblogs” one of your posts, their followers will see it on their Dashboards. If someone doesn’t want to “reblog” your post, they can “heart” (or, “like“) your post. You can reblog and like the posts of others too.
Understand and Reply to messages
If you allow access to your “Ask box“, you can receive questions from anyone who uses Tumblr, as well as anonymous visitors. Your answers to these questions will be posted to your blog, for all of your followers and visitors to see. This is another perfect opportunity to drive traffic to your website, where the really juicy content resides.
Queuing and drafts
If you wish to publish a string of posts while you’re offline, you can add the posts to your queue, and choose at which intervals of time they’ll be published (eg, every 15 minutes). Alternatively, you can appoint a certain time at which the posts are published, including date and time. These features are helpful if you’re going on holiday, for example and won’t have an Internet connection during your vacation. Drafts, meanwhile, allow you to save a post online; you can then finish the post when you next log onto Tumblr, and publish it whenever you wish.
Why should you stop promoting your website because you’re on holiday? A crazy thought indeed!!!
Customizing your Tumblr
The Customize pane gives you access to all of the under-the-bonnet settings for your Tumblr account and is split into several sections.
- Info. Choose the title of your blog, alter the sidebar description, choose an avatar image, and change your username/URL.
- Theme. Select from a range of pre-made themes for your blog. Alternatively, create your own HTML code, to personalize and brand your blog as much as possible.
- Appearance. Change your background/header image, tagline, and a selection of others options. Some themes allow room for advanced features.
- Services. Use this pane to hook your blog up to other websites, including Social Networking giants Facebook and Twitter. – MAKE USE OF THIS: This integration is extremely useful for reaching an ever larger audience.
- Community. Change who can reply to your posts, alter privacy settings for your Ask box and set up a user submissions page.
- Advanced. This is where you’ll find any other options, including time zone selection, custom CSS and how many posts you wish to display per page on your blog.
- Never beg for followers. The more you beg for followers, the less chance you have of getting them.
- Don’t post too little, and don’t post too much. Your followers won’t want their Dashboard filled with your material, but at the same time, they don’t want you to be boringly inactive.
- Don’t panic if you don’t get too many followers in your first few weeks. It takes time to build up a follower base.
- Get to know the common themes and memes on Tumblr.
- Don’t be afraid to post your opinion just because you think it will upset people (within reason, for example, no racist, homophobic or sexist comments should be posted). Tumblr is a place of free expression, and people will honour you for posting what you really think.
- Tumblr is a movement and a family. Don’t be competitive just because someone has more followers than you. Tumblr is about freedom of speech, not how many followers you can get.
- Don’t steal another user’s posts without citing their blog as the source. Plagiarism is very heavily shunned on Tumblr.
- If your blog features any kind of nudity or material which is not for young eyes, be sure to have it classified as NSFW.
Why Use Tumblr?
Tumblr is an important resource to use to promote your website. You can add your content and links back to your site here safe in the knowledge that it is there to be viewed by literally millions of fellow Tumblr users.
They will share your links and increase the SEO of your website. Some will become your customers, your advisers and your friends. They will let you know what they like and what they don’t like about your website. They will help you optimize and refine your strategies. Social networking, connecting your website with as many people as possible, is key to the marketing and success of your website!