The microblogging site Tumblr might not seem like the most obvious platform for marketing music, but considering it boasts 230 million active users, it can help you promote your music. Even if you use Facebook, Twitter, and SoundCloud actively, some of your fans might not be as active on them as they are on Tumblr. And although Tumblr might not get you instant direct sales, at best it’s a creative and engaging way to increase your visibility, and it can also greatly improve your website’s SEO. More often, it tends to serve as a site for less serious blogs with lighter content, and a source for inspiration, which can certainly be turned into strengths for marketing your music on social media. Also, by being on another social platform, you’re only extending the reach of your brand to potential new followers.
As a microblogging site, Tumblr’s strengths are its possibilities for publishing visual content. Whether you choose to use it to publish your own videos and photos or to reblog content posted by other users, Tumblr certainly is the best place to bring out and reflect the visual aspects of your project. You can share pictures that inspire you or complement the overall image of your style, or post your own photos. Tagging them accordingly will also attract reblogs and followers. For example Lady Gaga (http://amenfashion.tumblr.com/) has dedicated her Tumblr to showcase her fashion choices. Utilizing visuality does not however exclude keeping the focus on music, you can choose to update your Tumblr with flyers and promotional posters as well.
Customizing your theme
Make sure your Tumblr’s theme suites for the purpose that you wish to use it. While you can use Tumblr to host anything from a casual place for reblogs to a full website, it is important that the theme complements it. A minimalist theme might suit best if you wish to share mainly textual content, such as personal notes, quotes, or lyrics. For photos, a more collage-like layout might work better. Despite the endless possibilities to play with your theme, the focus should be on bringing out the contents of your Tumblr.
Tumblr’s fan mail and message features allow more characters than Twitter, so engaging with followers in Tumblr is a good idea. Messages sent through ‘ask box’ can be either answered privately or published, and the published ones can be then reblogged further by other users. You can personalise your answers by using photos or videos.
Besides tagging the contents that you post, you can also track tags of your choice on Tumblr. You can then see what other users are posting to your tags, so that you can reblog and comment on them. This is also a great way to interact with fans.
Adding that Special Touch
Tumblr might not be the best platform for official announcements or to increase sales, but it is a good way to add depth to being visible in social media. It allows more space for lengthier thoughts than Twitter, and more options to get visibility for your photos than Instagram. The Canadian electro-pop artist Grimes (http://actuallygrimes.tumblr.com/) is a great example of a musician who has gained visibility partly because of Tumblr, and who actively updates her blog by sharing her own demos, music and videos by other artists, fashion photos, and also text posts to communicate her personal thoughts and opinions outside more serious press releases. Also for example, the American hip-hop artist Frank Ocean answered a fan sent question by writing a clever motivational letter to his five-years-ago self, (http://frankocean.tumblr.com/post/6402793056/explain-your-current-situation-to-your) giving a glimpse of his life before becoming famous.
Even if you don’t have time to update your Tumblr all the time, you can queue up posts to publish them during a time span of your choice. You can also connect with your other social media accounts, best choices being SoundCloud, YouTube and Instagram. Alicia Keys (http://thekeysofalicia.tumblr.com) has not only connected her whole website to Tumblr, but uses it to share her Instagram updates, other personal photos, and posts about social issues.
Ultimately, Tumblr is a vast platform with lots of original content, so make sure you have fun with it too.
By Emma Siponmaa, contributing writer for SplashFlood.