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When it comes to discussions about leveraging social media platforms for business marketing, Tumblr doesn’t often come up. This is, perhaps, a travesty.

The socially-driven microblogging platform has a lot going for it in terms of SEO, social media clout, and usability. If you are looking to augment your current Internet marketing with a new social media network, keep reading — you may put Tumblr at the top of your list of candidates.

Oftentimes Tumblr is not taken seriously because of its younger user base and the high volume of memes and animated GIFs that make up user posts. However, this indicates Tumblr is the perfect vehicle to drive more visual messaging and branding — after all, memes could be considered the purest form of visual messaging. And those younger users? Well, Tumblr was launched in 2007, so the vast majority of its youngest early adopters are now out of college. Yes, the web is growing up quickly!

This is perhaps why brands such as Coca-Cola, Apple, Disney, BMW, Gucci, GQ, and the NBA all have a Tumblr presence. Even the White House has a Tumblr blog. In 2012, Adidas launched the first major Tumblr ad campaign in conjunction with its Tumblr soccer blog, and this year, Apple used Tumblr to roll out the iPhone 5c.

The major-brand ad campaigns on Tumblr are more graphic, big, and emotional than advertising on other social media platforms. This is due in part to the more artistic and edgy user base, but also to the less physically-constrained interface of the platform. Tumblr rightfully boasts that it has the “largest in-stream ad unit on the web.”

Despite the introduction of paid advertising and the attention of major brands, the mechanics of Tumblr haven’t changed much over the years — and that is a great thing. Tumblr is universally recognized as one of the easiest-to-use blogging platforms around, and it offers great features such tagging and the ability to queue posts to run on a set schedule. It is also very mobile-friendly with a native app that works very well.
But the most important thing about Tumblr is that it is a blogging platform with a powerful built-in social component. Other blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger can’t compare, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a Tumblr blog and a WordPress or Blogger site.

While you can make long-form posts on Tumblr, it really shines as a microblogging platform. “Microblogs” are short, to-the-point posts that can be shared easily and quickly — think of Twitter on steroids. Easy shareability can mean more distribution of your content. So posting a quick synopsis of your WordPress blog post, or an image offering the visual impact of the points you make in the post (along with a link, of course) can offer a lot of social media bang for your buck.

Keep in mind that as with any social media community, participation is the key to both interaction and follows. Search for other Tumblr blogs in the realm of your interest or industry and follow them. Engage with other users by reblogging their posts, leaving comments, or asking questions. It is also very important to use tags in all your posts so that those not following you can find easily find posts that interest them. And don’t forget: Tumblr is a cutting-edge, graphic-oriented platform. Users will be more likely to reblog your post if it is a bit more gutsy than your average Facebook post. Match the post to the platform’s character.

So, now, it looks like Tumblr is no longer the awkward adolescent on the block. As social media evolves, it’s important we keep in mind that anything can happen. That little social media platform with all the cat memes and animated GIFs could very well turn out to be the best content distribution and advertising platforms we’ve seen yet. Judging by some of the major brands that are active on Tumblr, it is hard to think otherwise.

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