The VPM Blog

Back from the Dead | Tumblr and Higher Ed

Posted by Don Crow on Jul 21, 2013 3:12:02 PM

Tweet directly to author Don Crow right now! @DonCrow

Remember when Yahoo! acquired Tumblr and the experts warned it was the death of the popular microblogging platform?

Yeah, we don’t either.

It seems Tumblr’s demise was greatly exaggerated, especially amongst the young adult crowd where Tumblr has always reigned supreme. And Universities who haven’t yet explored Tumblr’s potential for reaching and engaging prospective students and current underclassmen would be wise to get smart (and quickly).

We talked about a few places who were doing it well way back in February here at Verge Pipe Media.

And one that we follow from time to time because they do a great job of educating others on using Tumblr would be the list compiled by Yale on Tumblr.

What’s the point of yet another social platform a University needs to pay attention to anyway? I mean, isn’t Facebook and Twitter enough?

Answer one: plenty.

Answer two: not even close.

You see, in very simple terms what’s new is old again in this hyper-connected, social and mobile savvy marketplace. If you think your University isn’t being comparison shopped on categories such as, (1) overall price, (2) average student debt at graduation, (3) job prospects at graduation and let’s not forget (4) coolness factor – then you probably run an online only offering or you still have a landline phone at home.

Facebook hasn’t always provided the best mobile experience to users. That has sent enough of them seeking alternatives that Twitter and Tumblr have created dedicated users who are never outside of reach of their smartphone of choice. Increasingly, that population of users is the 13 – 17 and 18 – 24 year olds. Prime recruiting (and retaining) groups for Colleges and Universities.

Tumblr gives its administrators a way to share the content these groups love in a very easy way without cluttering up the landscape and becoming background noise the way the crowded newsfeeds have become in other platforms.

You may not be able to solve for the “price” factor with Tumblr, but you may certainly create and share entertaining and informative content of students accepting job and internship offers, humorous looks into typical student life across campus, post-graduate success stories, alumni events and even the occasional distraction that involves a cat or other household pet.

But the single greatest reason I can think of for your University to start experimenting. learning and growing your Tumblr following is this: your prospects are there.

A sub-set of that reason, according to the list provided by Yale above is this: many of your competitors are not.

And like it or not, you're being judged by the company you keep (and don't) in this social + mobile world. Tumblr is a great place to combing the best of may worlds to reach an audience that is increasingly important to you and your bottom line (academic and financial).

So, before you buy into the obituary, make plans to visit with Tumblr in its current form.

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Author: is Founder & CEO at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media is a strategic digital marketing and Public Relations firm assisting clients in Higher Ed, consumer goods, startup tech companies and more.

Topics: higher education, Social Media

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