As social media has become more and more essential to doing business, even the least tech-savvy professionals have come to use the basics such as Facebook and Twitter. Almost all brands can benefit from a presence on these nearly-ubiquitous social networks. Other platforms, however, don’t always get the attention that these two do, thanks to their narrower target audiences.
Tumblr is one such platform, with hundreds of millions of users spending time on this social media platform every day. Tumblr offers a slightly different experience from other platforms, with users primarily sharing videos and photo sets rather than the short messages of Twitter or the status updates and personal information Facebook offers. Use the following to learn more about the unique features Tumblr offers and how to determine whether it’s the right platform for your brand.
Time and Engagement
Unlike other social media platforms, which encourage occasional, brief checks of feeds, Tumblr practically requires users to spend a lot of time on its service. Users tend to be more engaged with the Tumblr experience than users on Facebook or Twitter, because of the high density of creative content that appears in people’s feeds. Most users create art, video, or other multimedia components, and long, thoughtful text posts are also more common than on many other networks.
Those who don’t create their own content instead “reblog” this content from others, sharing it with their friends. While this is similar to the sharing features of Facebook and the retweet function of Twitter, Tumblr provides only minimal support for other forms of communication, making reblogs much more common. As a result, good content spreads much more quickly than it might on other networks.
Tumblr allows businesses interested in detailed, thoughtful content a much greater chance at reaching users and having that content get read, rather than merely seen. It can also serve as a great mirror for general website content that a company would not otherwise get to distribute to a specified audience.
That said, Tumblr isn’t as common among business professionals as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Only 8% of American Internet users who make more than $75,000 a year use the service, which seems small compared to the more than 70% who use Facebook, or even the 17% who use Twitter. While the platform has seen significant growth in recent years, especially after its purchase by Yahoo!, it’s still growing into a juggernaut rather than already being there.
Tumblr’s users also tend to be fairly young, with more than half younger than 35 years of age. If your company wants to reach out to a younger crowd and build the next generation of loyal customers, Tumblr might not be a bad place to start. This holds particularly true for those companies that work in artistic fields, due to the large number of artists, writers, and other creative professionals who use Tumblr every day.
Editorial Voice: The Secret to Winning at Tumblr
Reaching those who dwell on Tumblr requires a distinctive editorial voice, different from that which a company might use on LinkedIn or Facebook. Put simply, Tumblr requires a sense of humor, ideally one that many would describe as a little off-kilter. Brands that leave their “ask” boxes open – similar to direct messages on other platforms, but responded to in public rather than private – will sometimes receive ridiculous messages, and the ability to take those comments and play off them with aplomb can often lead to increased goodwill from potential customers.
Use of visual elements, especially animated GIFs and photo sets, works well on Tumblr. Many of the brands that have achieved critical success on Tumblr, such as Denny’s and Coca-Cola, understand the value of a solid visual presence. Even though Tumblr users are more engaged than those on other social networks, the value of an eye-catching visual is even higher due to the large number of eye-catching visuals that each user looks at each day.
While not every brand can make optimal use of Tumblr, consider staking your claim on the site now and integrating it into your social media strategy. It can accompany other tools like podcasts or LinkedIn, and if your company ever expands with products that are served well by a Tumblr presence, you’ll be ready.
What do you think?
Have you looked at any new social media platforms lately? Do you regularly check Tumblr? Tell us how social media figures into your business strategy in the comments.