With over 13.4 billion (yes, I said billion) unique page views last year, Tumblr seems to be the blogging world’s reigning power.
With its user-friendly interface and searches organized by key terms, Tumblr makes sharing easy. It makes sense that businesses both small and large would find it intriguing. Even President Obama hosts his blog on Tumblr.
But does the social networking site cut it for businesses seeking a professional venue to sell their product? Below is a list of pros and cons one should consider before making the move.
• User-friendly: Anyone can create a Tumblr account. If you lack HTML or CSS skills, Tumblr provides free themes ranging from sleek and professional to creative. You can decide how visitors see your posts without being a professional web designer (or shelling out the cash for one).
• Search-friendly: While Tumblr doesn’t promise that your blog will appear in a random search, you can help your chances by adding a slew of related keywords. If you run a local bakery, tagging “cake,” “bakery,” “lemon meringue,” and so on promises several pathways to your blog.
• Viewer-friendly: A Tumblr can require more creative content (e.g. photos, unique voice, short paragraphs), but it also makes sense in a time where people typically read only the headline of a news article.
• Less control: If Tumblr crashes, your blog crashes. Since Tumblr technically runs your site, there isn’t much you can do but wait. Luckily, when a social networking site goes down, everybody notices, and it rarely stays down for long.
• Fewer sales: This isn’t guaranteed, but Tumblr can be less commerce-friendly, according to some users. As of last month, the site does not offer an easily integrated shopping cart feature. However, Coexist Digital offers a Tumblr commerce platform that isn’t very difficult to add on.
• Fewer long-term visitors: Because Tumblr is so image-heavy, it almost works like a fashion magazine or a picture book. If your site or post doesn’t offer immediate gratification, the casual blogger might not stop to check it out.
Tumblr might be the blogging website of the moment, but does it promise longevity and professionalism? With its unique search features and aesthetically pleasing interface, it provides a new and unique platform. However, its lack of certain necessary business tools might make it nothing more than an additional venue rather than an entirely new one.
Logan Clement, graphic designer for Subtle Network, has dabbled with tumblr for his own business needs. In addition to tumblr, he helps his clients with other social media marketing needs.