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Tumblr: What It Is and Why It Matters to Career Services

Hey there. This year we had a tremendous holiday weekend. Pie was eaten, and a merry time had by all. But, as wonderful as it all was, we’re excited to be back in the office. Especially because of the scrumptious leftovers. New diet. I’m eating pie all week.

Ok, let’s get to it. Lately we’ve been blogging a lot about tools like Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Continuing this tradition, this week we’re talking about Tumblr.

What is Tumblr?

For those of you who don’t already know, Tumblr is a blogging tool that allows the user to focus on types of media that aren't as text-heavy. For example, videos, pictures, and audio. This is called microblogging. Just for some context, Wikipedia defines microblogging platforms as those that “allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links.”


Why Does it Matter? 

Microblogging tools are enormously popular. Think Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. So, why exactly are we talking about Tumblr? We’re talking about Tumblr because, as of right now, it is the fastest growing social media site out there. In fact, it’s active user base has grown by 120% in the last six months alone.

That’s not all. Tumblr’s audience is inconceivably young. 39% of all visitors are 25 or under. YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT. Not only are hordes of people using Tumblr, which is intriguing in itself, but a large percentage of these people are college-age kids. In other words, your audience is on Tumblr.

This makes sense, as Millennials are consuming immense amounts of dynamic content.

Of course this alone isn’t a reason to be on Tumblr. You shouldn’t open a Tumblr account solely because it’s where your students are. If that were the rule, absurdity would follow. No, you want to be on Tumblr because it gives you the tools to creatively disperse valuable information to students. It also allows you to build your brand and articulate your value as an office.

So, with this in mind, here are some good pointers to get you started:

What You Need to Know to Get Started

  1. Customize it

This is the exciting part: you get to create something. If consistent and useful, your blog will be a hub for students. To get there, you'll need to put together a Tumblr that is inviting, friendly, and creative. To get started click on the customize button in the upper right-hand corner. Here you can play around with Tumblr’s custom features. Use this tool to craft a blog that is a reflection of your office. Students will love the creativity.

  1. Post consistently

Post consistently. If your posts are erratic, students won't know when to tune in. Being consistent will build your credibility. Your students will know that you're constantly thinking about issues that are relevant to their lives, which helps them understand all of the resources and knowledge your office has to offer. Take a look at the University of Michigan, who we’ve mentioned before for their social media prowess.

  1. Switch up your content

Consistency shouldn’t come at the expense of quality. Don’t post any old thing for the sake of consistency. If you’re posting dull material, consistency doesn’t matter. Infographics, videos, and audio recording are all good options. Start thinking outside of the box. Spruce up what your students think of as “boring” content by presenting it in different ways. For an example, check out this infographic done by the  University of Maryland.


  1. Follow people in your industry

Replace your morning paper with time spent cruisin’ social media for interesting articles and content. Follow employers, industry leaders, higher education professionals, and other career centers. You will be up to date, informed, and better able to serve your students. Plus, you will get great ideas for your own Tumblr content. For starters, check out these career service Tumblr accounts: (1) St. Johns University and (2) Rutgers University.

There are many different ways to use Tumblr, and producing good content can be hard. If you don’t know where to start, we encourage you to take a look at the career services Tumblr accounts linked into this article. These will help you figure out where to begin. 

Last but not least, always remember that the goal of any particular post should be to engage students. Focus primarily on providing students with valuable career information and insight via this creative platform. If you do this, they will come. Once you amass a following, begin promoting your events and see your career programming engagement numbers rise. 

Make sure to stay tuned for our upcoming eBook on how to produce great content. And, like always, shoot us an email at if you have any queries.

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About Author

Ben Pauley
Ben Pauley

Community Manager interested in career services and higher education. Loyal University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate. Go Badgers!