There are a lot of well known, mainstream social networks that are revolutionizing the business world. Amidst the big dogs of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn hides another platform that unbeknownst to many, has its merit. This site has 149.2 million blogs and more than 67 billion posts in its lifetime. As I am writing this at 10:15 AM EST there have been 91,472,836 posts today alone.  Any idea what network I am talking about? If you guessed Tumblr then you are correct.

Tumblr is simple, effective, and relatively untapped of strategic marketing approaches.  I took some time to interview one of our Curation Specialists, Ching-Li, to learn more about Tumblr and how to leverage it for marketing.

Monterey Bay Aquarium on Tumblr

What in God’s name is Tumblr?

Tumblr is a personal blog and social network combination. It allows it’s user to customize their page with different colors, themes, and styles. The user can then post photos, videos, text, or other entries on their page.

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Other viewers do a variety of common social media activities with their content. A user’s post can garner “notes” which are likes, reblogs, or comments. A viewer can also choose to follow a particular user’s page. The blogs that a user choses to follow will show up in a dashboard similar to Facebook’s News Feed.

How does Tumblr compare to other networks like Twitter or Facebook?

Tumblr is geared much more to community content-sharing. It encourages users to reblog other members’ content, which helps a post spread quickly across multiple user’s pages. With Facebook and Twitter the personalization is limited to what a user can do with their profiles, but with Tumblr there is much higher flexibility for design and layout.

Tumblr is also more versatile in what can be published. It can be almost any kind of content, not just photos or text.   

What are the advantages and disadvantages to using Tumblr as a marketing tool?

Let’s start with the advantages. It’s highly customizable for theme and color, which can be used to match the consistency of a brand. It’s versatile in the types of content that can be published. It can be connected to other social accounts like Twitter and Facebook to leverage established relationships. It has a very user friendly interface that can be quickly learned and good content spreads rapidly. Some of our best posts have generated thousands of notes (likes, reblogs, or comments).

PBS on Tumblr

As for disadvantages, it is less popular than some of the other social networking sites. Tumblr is very much grounded in specific niches, i.e. entertainment, fashion, comedy, food. As a company you need to recognize where your brand falls within a specific category or decide on a category that hits your target market.

Tumblr can also be difficult to facilitate conversation. Sometimes comments can be turned off for certain users and a call for action may be hard to implement.

Can a company use Tumblr for Content Marketing? If so, how?

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Yes, a company can certainly market their company through Tumblr content. The most popular content on Tumblr is visual. Leverage your brand creatively through images or videos to yield a greater amount of success on the platform. 

If you have an upcoming event you can use Tumblr to market it. The importance in using Tumblr for content marketing is to make a connection with your company, the target market, and the content you post.

There is a recent study by Adobe digital that says that advertisers are undervaluing the opportunity on Tumblr by up to 450%- What opportunities do you see for marketing on Tumblr currently and in the future?

So far we have been working in various niche portals and have grown out about six main categories.

The infographic portal with health, business, and travel, the geek portal where humor in the form of gifs and memes are extremely popular, the travel portal where images with quotes provide the most activity, the health portal with breaking news, tips, and images with motivational quotes, and a general portal with unique, relevant, and recent news.

Tumblr users are generally regarded as happier than users on other social media platforms. Do you agree with this statement and to what extent?

I’d say so. Most of the successful content is humorous, entertaining, or informative. There are a number of funny gifs, memes, and videos that thrive on the site. In addition to humor, motivational tips or advice also make up a large percentage of the content. After following more than 200 of the most popular pages, we rarely see sad or depressing content. 

Denny’s on Tumblr

Where do you see Tumblr progressing with marketing and social media?

There is certainly a lot of potential on Tumblr. If the target market is a younger more entertainment-driven demographic then it is worth looking into. Tumblr is growing into a shareable social platform that is very content driven. The focus of the site is less informational and more visual. It will be a good platform to build brand awareness. 

After talking with Ching-Li about Tumblr I now have a much better idea of the way to leverage this growing social media platform. The most important thing to remember when assessing Tumblr as a company is if you intend to use this medium make sure you have a good grasp of your company and demographic and then build visual content that is both relevant and valuable.

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