June 9, 2013

Rachel Strella

Tumblr: A Medium Untapped?

Tumblr for BusinessIn my years of managing social media for clients, I’ve often been asked questions about the available channels.  One of the more popular questions, as of late, has been about Tumblr.  Most people want to know, first and foremost, what it is.   Then, they want to know if it’s right for their brand.

Chances are that the increasing questions regarding Tumblr stem from Yahoo’s recent $1.1 billion acquisition of this popular social media site in hopes that Tumblr’s younger demographic will once again ramp up the “cool factor.”  Tumblr is one of the fastest growing social media sites on the web right now, so the goal is for Yahoo to simply allow Tumblr to remain what it is and insert their brand whenever possible.

So, what is Tumblr?  Tumblr possesses a great deal of similarities to many of the more well-known social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and even YouTube.  Tumblr, a microblogging site, is similar to Pinterest in it's format, which is useful for viewing photos and videos.  Microblogging essentially means that people use the site to post quick little insights using quotes, pictures, words, or animated files.  Like Twitter, a common goal on Tumblr is to build a community of people who will share your content.  Tumblr also shares similarities with Instagram as it's often used to post pictures and share with those who have common interests.

Tumblr currently has over 200 million active users and nearly 110 million blogs. Tumblr users tend to be younger, falling into the 18-24 age range with many others being high school age.  Most users are considered regulars, which means they visit the Tumblr site between one and thirty times a month.

As with Pinterest, it's important to use discretion when promoting your brand on Tumblr.  Incessant brand messages will most likely turn people off, especially younger audiences.  Tumblr can, however, be used for businesses because of the large audience and ease of posting, much in the same way YouTube and Pinterest can.  It can be used for quick and easy video, audio, or photo sharing.

You might be wondering if Tumblr is something to add to the never-ending list of social media sites you manage.  It has a few cool features such as the ability to post via text message, and adding Tumblr to your repertoire would give you another channel on which to promote your blog, if you have one.  From our perspective, the biggest advantage of Tumblr is that it’s trendy – and heavily embraced by Generation C.  For those of you who use Facebook to target this demographic, this may be where some of these folks have migrated to. However, if your target demographic isn’t currently using Tumblr, this effort may not be worth your time.

So, the question remains: is Tumblr right for your business? If you’ve got a super young target audience – and your brand can be displayed in a fun way – without the hard sales pitch – then I would recommend giving it a try.

Have you used Tumblr? What are your thoughts about the medium as it relates to personal or business use?

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4 comments on “Tumblr: A Medium Untapped?”

  1. Great read, do you have any good examples of Products, Brands or Services that would go well with Tumblr? As an HR firm, we blog quite a bit, but we have been thinking Tumblr does not fit our target market.

  2. I have to say that I haven't gotten into Tumblr yet because I've been trying to figure out the difference between it and Pinterest. I have a Pinterest account that I currently do nothing with. In my recent trip to Peru, I wanted to do a photo journal. I put it together on Facebook, but in hindsight, perhaps Tumblr may have been better. Thanks for this. It gave me some things to think about it as I seek to enhance and promote my own personal brand. And thanks for the link to the article about Generation C. I hadn't heard that term before.

    1. I definitely consider Tumblr to be more of a 'scrapbook' or collage while Pinterest is more of an album. That's the best analogy I can give!

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