Lots has been written about the success of Tumblr. Hard not to love an easy to use blogging platform especially suited to visual content. Teens, trend setters, politicians and activists all love its simplicity, design flexibility and e-mail-or-text-based publishing system. Posts can automatically be shared via Facebook and Twitter and just announced features like Fan Mail (a interblog messaging service) reinforce the social aspect of Tumblr.
UPDATE: Tumblr announced they are now offering two advertising products. While probably inevitable, it is certainly a switch in attitude. Prices start at $25,000 for approved advertisers only. With 17.5 billion monthly page views, this is probably a good deal for brands serious about blogging on this platform. Which, as detailed below, are mainly those who understand how to spread brand generated content and stories via integrated social tools.
1. Tumblr has become the top blogging platform in the world
Launched in 2007, an ever growing number of major brands have joined the over 45.5 million blogs on Tumblr (as of 28 Jan 2012). The service is now serving 120 million people and gets 15 17.5 billion page views every month. Tumblr should be considered as an integrated element for communication programs.
Reblogging is good behavior for brands to learn, imho, as it is a sign of respect for other bloggers, plus it helps us all understand what’s most sharable is often little quirky things that make people smile. A popular Tumblr like Scanwiches (literally scanned images of yummy sandwiches) is now a book. A chain like Subway might have created a similar Tumblr, if they had the idea first. Fun visuals and videos often go viral across time zones because there’s less language barrier with laughter.
Unlike the ongoing commitment required for successful brand accounts on the major social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) I think a Tumblr blog can be useful for a one time event, product launch, or even a crisis situation. Posting a series of images, infographics or videos over a short period in an accessible, sharable (and free) way could be just what’s needed to help get a message out fast. Tumblr is also a great place for brands to experiment. This artist collaboration project, Art She Said, is sponsored by retail brand Ann Taylor.
Brands using Tumblr well include: Coca-Cola Happiness is and Huggies Highchair Critics; fashion names from Topshop to Oscar De La Renta (via Oscar PR Girl who is also a popular voice on Twitter and Pinterest, (current darling of the digirati because it is, gasp, mainstream); and media companies such as the Economist, NPR and Rolling Stone magazine.
What’s your favorite Tumblr? I use mine as a pre-Foodspotting travel and restaurant diary.