Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Use Tumblr to Promote Your Handmade Biz

Social media is so important when promoting an online business, and everyone pretty much knows that already. Twitter and Facebook are obvious choices that many shop owners and bloggers already use. But what about Tumblr? I recently joined the Etsy on Tumblr team, which has introduced me to the growing handmade community on Tumblr, but it's still fairly new for many people. So here are some tips for how to get started.

So what is Tumblr anyway?
In short, Tumblr is a place to share cool things with others. You can share photos, videos, quotes, text and more. It's similar to a blogging platform (blogspot, wordpress), but no one really uses it that way.

How is it used, normally?
Most posts just consist of one photo (maybe with a caption, maybe not), a funny youtube video, or a short little list. A lot of the content is recycled, usually with credit to the source.

Why would it be a useful promotional tool?
Similar to Twitter, Tumblr is a place where you can connect with a network as well as share new products from your shop or link to your blog posts. If the handmade community on Tumblr continues to grow, I believe it could possibly end up being an even more useful tool than Twitter, because it allows you to share visuals right on the site, so your followers can see the awesome work you're doing, as opposed to just seeing another link and not thinking twice about clicking it.

How should you use it?
In keeping with the same rules as other social networks, you shouldn't JUST post photos and links promoting your biz. Share some things that others have done that you enjoy, "reblog" photos from members of your network, and you an even share little blurbs about your own life. In addition, Tumblr allows you to "heart" posts so you can save them and view them again later. It's a great way to bookmark photos you love.

Use larger Tumblrs to build your network
There are also a lot of Tumblrs with larger followings that allow you to submit posts. You use a simple form to upload your photo, link, or video, then you can add a caption and link back to your shop or blog so that all of the followers of that Tumblr can see your post.

There are so many ways to use this site, so I might do a follow-up post at some point. Are any of you already on Tumblr? If so, you can find me here. And for those of you who aren't, you should consider joining - I hope this post was helpful!

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