Over the weekend, our Tumblr hit 300 followers. I know that numbers aren’t really a good gauge of anything really (see also: I am 4‘10”; I don’t care about this and you shouldn’t either, unless I’m trying to buy pants or attempting to get something off of a high shelf) but here’s what went on behind gaining our membership, at least within the past three months:
Lots of pretty things! - On Twitter, it’s all about the well-crafted words. On Tumblr, it’s all about the visuals you see as you’re scrolling through your dashboard. I spent the summer building up our audience by posting lots and lots of beautiful found photos via Flickr on our Tumblr, which almost doubled our followers in almost 100 days — over one follower a day.
Reblogging - While both microblogging platforms offer the ability to appreciate posts (on Twitter, “favoriting” — with a star; on Tumblr, “liking” — with a little heart) and to repost them quickly to one’s personal account (on Twitter, “retweeting” — which gives credit to the original poster; on Tumblr, “reblogging” — which traces back through all the other accounts that have reposted the link as well). It’s likely that someone will trace back to the original poster (us!) and start following us, too. Win-win.
Why is Tumblr where it’s at? It’s an informal place for people to share the things that they like or that they care about. It’s not a blogging site for lots of original content (though I do encourage new bloggers to consider using their platform because it’s nearly foolproof and super fast to set up… think Blogging for Dummies), but it’s better to be putting your own things up there first before someone else posts it without proper attribution.
Now that we’re in the school year, those 300 followers (and more?!) will be fed a constant stream of content. Every day will have a visual (video, archived photo, or current photo) for sure, but in the hopes of giving our diets a bit of diversity, I’ll be sharing content similar to my Facebook efforts, too (successes, cool links, etc.). And best of all, I am hoping to post a weekend events list like I did at the beginning of last school year.
I wrote a pretty sizable analysis of Tumblr as a valuable use of social media in higher ed on the CASE Social Media Blog (the main theme to take from that post: Tumblr = VIRAL!) back in May, if you want to read more.