More and more colleges are turning to Tumblr as another source of social media to use, in efforts to engage with current and prospective students. Why Tumblr?
Tumblr is a both a blogging platform and a social media network, that currently has an outstanding 93.9 million blogs and 43.2 billion posts since it was founded in February of 2007. Tumblr allows members to effortlessly share anything, including videos, quotes, pictures, links, etc. Tumblr can be a useful outlet for universities, as Emmanuel from Yale University discusses in his Higher Ed Social Media Tumblr. Emmanuel lists universities that utilize Tumblr and plans to discuss techniques on how his fellow universities can better apply content and media to their Tumblr blog.
“It’s all about taking the pulse of what our community is thinking about or talking about,” Ma’ayan Plaut, the social media coordinator for Oberlin College, says. “I can showcase what’s happening here [Tumblr] way better than I can do in other places.”
Useful Features of Tumblr for Universities:
1. Customize your University Tumblr: There are many ways that your university can customize a Tumblr page so that it is easily associated and branded to your university.
- Theme – There is a wide variety of themes that are available for universities to use to customize their blog. If the university has someone in the office familiar with HTML, there is the ability to access the code and make any specific, unique changes.
- Domain – There is also the option to use your own domain name, so that the blog can be quickly recognized as your university’s blog page.
- Pages – There is the ability to create specific pages within the Tumblr, so that you can have a more developed blog, with an About or Contact Us page. This is an opportunity to give background information on your university to help users understand the meaning or idea behind your posts, whether they are for engagement, support-related, informational, etc.
2. The Ask Box: The Ask/Q&A feature is a way for members to anonymously ask other user’s questions, which admissions officers believe is a crucial feature for encouraging interaction and engagement. Even though most universities don’t consider social media when evaluating applicants, students feel more comfortable getting in touch with admissions when they don’t have to worry about who is responding.
3. Tracking tags: Tracking tags is one of Tumblr’s most valuable features. Directly from Tumblr’s help page, here is some helpful information on what tracked tags are and how to utilize them for your university.
Tracked tags are a great way to follow certain topics on Tumblr. You can access your tracked tags by clicking the “Search tags” box at the top of your Dashboard. New posts will be reflected in the number below the tag name. Hit the tab key and your tracked tags will pop open in a menu on your Dashboard.
Universities can use tracked tags to search for specific pictures and posts that other bloggers post about their university.
How do I track a tag?
- Enter the tag in the “Search tags” box at the top of your Dashboard.
- Hit enter.
- Click “track” in the search box.
How do I stop tracking a tag?
- Click the “Search tags” box at the top of your Dashboard.
- Click the name of the tag.
- Roll over “tracking” and click “untrack.”
4. Social Media Integration: If your university has other sources of social media accounts, the Tumblr blog can seamlessly integrate with Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once a blog post is published on Tumblr, you can automatically publish it to your university’s Twitter or Facebook profile.
There are many ways that universities can customize their Tumblr page and utilize it to create an effective social media strategy for their school. Does your university use Tumblr or another type of blogging platform?