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Tumblr is no ordinary blog. This online bulletin board offers much more flexibility and ease in creating or sharing posts—with a heavy emphasis on visual elements.

Unlike a traditional blog, Tumblr users share shorter updates, images and videos rather than using a topic-based article structure. It also ties in a social element, since users can follow you, like your posts, and re-blog or share them on their own pages at the click of a button. It’s this functionality that’s allowed Tumblr grow to 70 million blogs with 30 billion posts in 12 languages.

Here’s how small businesses have used Tumblr to connect with customers:

Connect with Consumers

Wiseling, an online marketplace for vintage fashion, created their Tumblr blog eight months before the company officially launched this June as a way to start building community. “We wanted to have it be a place where we could express our company culture, who we were, what we believed in, and also start conversations about fashion-related topics,” says Chelsey Bingham, Wiseling’s founder and creative director.

Wiseling’s four-person, New York City-based team now uses the blog to reach a fashion- and style-savvy audience. 

“It’s important to not only push products, but to be personal and present information that extends past your own industry,” says Bingham, whose team posts a song of the day. “It’s just a way for us to connect with our users.” The ability for users to follow, like and reblog these posts contribute to their success.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Manage Your Business’ Social Media

Net New Customers

PaymentMax, which provides apps for processing credit cards on mobile devices, created a Tumblr page earlier this year. So far, CEO Tony Shap has been impressed. “When you look at a Tumblr designed site, it flows visually, it’s easier on the eye and it’s consistent,” says Shap. “SEO-wise, it’s getting picked up tremendously. We’ve never had anything get ranked so fast with Google.”

One recent post about the app’s compatibility with the new Nexis tablet had an immediate response from potential customers, Shap notes. Many of PaymentMax’s posts feature the various mobile devices with which their app is compatible, and include a simple email form for readers to get a price quote. A typical post yields about 20 customer inquiries, Shap says. 

Create a Community

BluChip Marketing, based in Bohemia, N.Y., specializes in social media, so starting a Tumblr site made sense. “We try to promote our clients and get their names out there,” says social media/public relations assistant Nelly Ortiz.

Ortiz has noticed postings gaining SEO traction. “I posted a flier and when I went to Google [the event], our Tumblr site was the first thing that popped up,” she says.

Ortiz advises posting daily so your brand stays fresh in followers’ dashboards. “You can create scheduled posts so they’re spread out throughout the day or week,” she says. 

RELATED: How to Establish Social Media Policy and Guidelines for Employees

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