Tumblr pt 2

Gilman, R.. (2010, December). Tumblr: the right combination? American Agent & Broker, 82(12), 20-21.  Retrieved March 7, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 2225540241).

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=2225540241&sid=2&Fmt=3&clientId=14273&RQT=309&VName=PQD

Copyright National Underwriter Company dba Summit Business Media Dec 2010

[Headnote]
The platform sets you apart from the pack when targeting younger clients

 

Researchers who study the growth of the Internet and its demographics reveal some interesting information that agents can use to their advantage.

The most recent statistics that I can find show that North America has 266.2 million Internet users, which is behind Europe at 475.1 million users and Asia at a whopping 825.1 million users. But when it comes to penetration of population, North America is No. 1, with 77.4 percent of the population on the Internet.

Here are a few more statistics from http://www.pingdom.com to wrap your mind around:

* 90 trillion: E-mails sent on the Internet in 2009

* 247 billion: Average number of e-mail messages per day

* 81 percent: Percentage of e-mails that were spam

* 234 million: Websites as ofDecember 2009

* 47 million: Added websites in 2009.

The opportunities are boundless. If you consider that there are, by my estimate, nearly 500 million apps out there for the iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry platforms, the idea of “information overload” takes on a whole new meaning. How many of those apps support social media activities is anyone’s guess, and choosing the right apps can be daunting.

Throughout the past few decades we have afl been witness to innumerable changes in the types of tools available to communications, marketing and sales professionals. The speed of change and the multiplicity of those resources have been exponential and their effects on the business landscape have been profound.

In my role as a communications consultant, I speak with many small to midsized business owners about the value of social media in achieving their marketing goals. Although most seem to understand the “why” of it, more often than not, they don’t get the “how.”

That indecision and fear of the unknown has drained potential success. Discussions about Twitter and Facebook, websites and video, blogging and posting are overwhelming. As I’m sure you’ve heard several times before, like anything new you need to define your goals, get buy-in from all the people involved, set down a plan and take one step at a time.

When having to learn a new software, I find it’s easier when applying a real situation rather than using the examples given in training. Therefore, I always advise people to first start by “dunking their toes in the water.” Get comfortable in the world of Twitter or Unkedln or Facebook; find some sites that interest you and, where available, get involved in online conversations; comment on someone’s blog, ask questions, engage in dialogues. Then when you’re ready you’ll not just be able to create your own blog or videos or Facebook page, you’ll have an opinion about what you like and what you don’t.

TUMBLR

Tumblr is a new social media platform that incorporates blog-type posting, video and photo sharing, Unking to others, messaging and many other functions in a fairly easy format When I first started to explore this site and created a Tumblr homepage for myself, I didn’t realize the value until I started to think about the hundreds of thousands of disparate platforms that exist and the confusion that can propagate.

Tumblr is like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces are different elements and you put them all together to form a picture of who you are on the Internet From the site, http://www.tumblr.com/about Tumblr describes itself this way:

Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, e-mail or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors to your theme’s HTML.

When you visit the site, at the top of the screen are three counters; the number of posts, publishers, and new posts today. It’s pretty amazing to watch it grow each time you refresh the screen. The company is only a little more than 3.5 years old with a staff that’s about a dozen people strong.

Tumblr allows you to create a public or private, by invitation only, website that is different from your typical sites. You can select a theme from among hundreds of free themes, hundreds of premium themes that cost a few bucks, or contribute your own theme. Not only can you post any type of content, but you also can post from your phone, laptop or desktop; you can even e-mail posts directly to your blog.

The platform “senses what you’re sharing and presents it beautifully,” Tumblr states. You can upload high-res photos, audio and video files that play inside your site, and even call into a Tumblr 866 phone number and record an audio post that will automatically post to your blog.

If you are already fully invested in other platforms, it doesn’t matter. If you’re like me, with a blog on three different platforms, along with a Twitter account and Facebook presence and the proverbial Linkedln profile, Tumblr feeds these platforms into your Tumblr “dashboard,” or the admin side of your site.

All of this and lots more, and it’s free. So why not climb on board? It depends on how it fits with your marketing and communications goals.

For a lot of these new mashed-up platforms, I find it difficult to see how best to use them in a business environment. I have looked through a lot of the different Tumblr sites, though nowhere near the numbers I would need to see a reasonable sampling of the nearly 9 million users, but of what I’ve seen, the predominant tone is very casual and personal.

The user pages are focused on opinions; hobbies and areas of interest that span a very broad range; yet many are all over the place.

There is such flexibility with Tumblr and because it has the ability to limit what people see, there is potential to build a Tumblr presence that is focused on your agency business. Find that individual in your company who is the Internet hound. Have him or her create and manage an insurance-based Turablr, and you can even customize the domain so it connects more closely with your agency’s domain name. This can be more of the personality of the agency and less the business face.

For those of you looking to attract the younger market, Tumblr can definitely set your agency apart from the pack. You can use most, if not all, of the content you have already created if you have a blog or have been tweeting. If you have created short insurance-focused videos, post them to Tumblr. Set up a group blog to which all of the staff can contribute. Post the pictures from the last office holiday party. Ask a few of your younger clients to share why they have their insurance with you.

Then, don’t forget to publicize your Tumblr she; include a link to it on your website, add it to your e-mail signature, and put it on your collateral.

If you decide to try it out, send me a link to your Tumblr. Who knows, someday yours may be a featured blog in the Tumblr “Directory” because it was among those that the community recommended.

 

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