In my first year as a college student, I LOVED using Tumblr.  I was microblogging about my own life without even knowing it.  To me, it was like Facebook with more focus on pictures and quotes. Plus, it was an internet hideaway from my family members who had newly joined Facebook.

3 important things to know about Tumblr (or microblogging in general) are:

  1. The power of the hashtag
  2. Simplicity
  3. Networking to reach your target audience

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The Power of the #
At first, I thought hashtags (or pound signs if you aren’t a millennium baby), were annoying and unnecessary.  While some may overuse hashtags, hashtags can prove extremely helpful in ‘getting the word out.’  Now, say I wanted to promote HIV mobile testing tonight in SF’s Castro district.  I could simply make a blurb about it and post it online.  However, it’s the hashtags #hivtest and/or #castrosf that will allow you to reach audiences that otherwise you would not have access to.  I would even go as far as throwing in #hhcastro (happy hour in the Castro) or hashtag the venue I’m in front of to get even more buy in from the audience I’m trying to reach.  Use hashtags that are relevant and also follow trends.  Most social media sites have a “Trending Now” feature where you can view popular hashtags.

On the flip side, I can look up hashtags about things I’m interested in to see what the world has to offer.  So, do not fear the hashtag!  It’s pretty simple to use, just remember not to put spaces between any of the words! #rookiemistake


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I myself did not use Tumblr for health promotion, but the posts that drew me in were simple while still having a powerful message.  Much like blogs, no one will be drawn to a huge block of text.  A catchy title, picture, quote, or video are much easier for anyone to digest, especially if your post does require a lot of text.  It’s important to be concise about your message and knowing your audience well in order to tailor your message to their likes/dislikes.

Networking to Reach Your Target Audience
As Anita Jackson discussed in the microblogging video for this week, it helps to reach out to your real world social networks.  Who are you partners in your field?  Ask if they are willing to help with your social media endeavors and share your blog/microblog on their own social media platforms.  Doing this can spread your message exponentially.

Overall, microblogging is a fun, simple way to spread a message.  It’s short, yet meaningful messages have the capability of drawing in readers that would have otherwise glossed over health related topics.


5 thoughts on “#3thingstoknowaboutTumblr

  1. Thank you for posting about Tumblr! I love using the site, but had never really thought about its applications to public health communications before. Personally, I really like the way information is communicated through pictures, because it’s very visual. I haven’t seen too many organizations use Tumblr, do you think it’s seen as too ‘unprofessional’?

  2. Hi Jessica, thank you for providing information on Tumblr. I have not used this social media tool so it was informative especially because I didn’t know the hashtag also existed in this social media tool. The first picture is a great way to explain the rules of the hashtag. I would have liked to know what type of groups are in Tumblr that are related to public health. Another suggestion is to try to make your pictures bigger so they are not that blurry and to locate them in an area where they don’t distract much from the text.

  3. Hi Jessica,

    What a great blog post. I am embarrassed to admit but I had no experience with Tumblr till a few weeks back. Your title and usage of pictures made the blog even more interesting and easy to fallow. As a individual with no experience in this social media format, I would have thought including some resources could have even made this post even more informative.
    I found the length perfect, and the style of your writing was very pleasant, and made Tubmlr sound simple and breezy.

  4. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for your post on Tumblr. It’s very informative, especially “The Power of #.” I have never microblogged before, but I see # all the time on Facebook. # has become part of how the younger generation communicates these days. More importantly, I can see how the using of # can spread the message so quickly on the internet. That’s not only the power of # but also the power of social media. The only suggestion I have is to link readings from the course to your post, which would help bridge theory and real-world experience.


  5. Hi Jessica, Thanks for tackling Tumblr as most people have focused on Twitter! I thought you brought in the materials from the week nicely while maintaining your own conversational tone in the post and your images were cute.
    Good work.

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