From campaign strategy to day-to-day communication, the Obama administration is well known for its tech savvy and social fluency. Already active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, the White House built a bit of buzz a few weeks back by officially joining the Tumblr ranks. We took the opportunity to gather a few lessons to be learned from 1600 Pennsylvania’s Tumblr tactics.
1. Better late than never
So you didn’t jump on Pinterest in 2011 or Vine in January 2013. Sure, the pioneers of the latest and greatest platform have the chance to do things first, but that’s no reason to think of these sites as lost opportunities a few months, or even years in. After all, social media is about creating quality experiences, not doing things for the sake of doing them first.
2. Set expectations
A brief introductory post does wonders for setting audience expectations. Whether you’re setting up shop with a new Tumblr, debuting a new newsletter strategy, let readers know exactly what you plan to provide from here on out. Text will do the trick, but the White House went the extra mile with this snazzy infographic that breaks down the content plan.
3. Encourage crowd participation
In the introductory post, the White House asks readers to submit their own content, including “questions you have for the White House, stories of what a policy like immigration means for you, or ways we can improve our Tumbling.” Not only is this a more inclusive strategy, it presents an opportunity to gather highly coveted user generated content.
4. Let’s get visual
Tumblr is built for short attention spans, so it’s essential to capture attention and get your point across as quickly as possible. In other words, create a consistent stream of compelling visual content. The White House accomplishes this with a collection of GIFs, images overlaid with short quotes, visual data (both infographics and interactive charts) and high resolution photographs.
5. Play to the emotions
The White House has a knack for emotional content, most notably the warm and fuzzy “aww” moments and the “LOLs.” In the first corner we have images of the First Couple sharing personal moments along with Barack meeting kids with inspiring stories. And in corner two, we have an endless supply of goofy images and GIFs, including Michelle “Kaepernicking” and a POTUS/FLOTUS hair swap form the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
6. Connect to other platforms
Rather than isolating this content in the Tumblr tundra, the White House connects each and every post to another platform on which they are active, whether that means the plethora of photos on Flickr or long form explanations of policy and statistics over on www.whitehouse.gov.