Joining the league of other young social media geniuses in 2007, David Karp at only 22 years old launched Tumblr, a cross between Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and a blog. Tumblr defies the rules of more popular social media platforms and the result is an incredibly free, fun space to do more than you could ever imagine with a typical blog and still retain the speed and ease of Twitter. It’s a place without limits to become your own curator of the web and share your thoughts, jokes, experiences and Internet discoveries.
Comparing growth rates, Tumblr claims 15,000 new users join each day bringing its growth on par with Foursquare. Twitter brings in upwards of 300,000 users per day and out of Facebook’s 400 million plus users, 35 million people update their status each day. Along with fewer users, there is also a dramatically smaller presence by brands on Tumblr, as compared to Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
So why aren’t more brands testing the waters with Tumblr? Too personal? Is the open forum to edgy and scary for some brands to handle? Or could the Tumblr ecosystem be an opportunity for brands to show a more human face? Finding the balance between shaping your brand’s online presence and still listening to your audience can be a challenge.
A few brands dipping their toes into this tumble-log world have been able to increase their viewer-ship whether they are in the media outlet, retail, or music business. They have been able to curate brand information to their audience, and build consumer relationships that drive traffic back to their main sites.
Media: Newsweek, NBC Local, The New Yorker, and The Travel Channel are just a few content properties utilizing Tumblr as additional outlets for their media. Many of them feel that their Tumblr site becomes a space to post material that could be found objectionable on the main homepage or in print. Tumblr has becomes the place to get behind-the-scenes information, details on deals and enter contests.
Anne Taylor Loft: Since launching it’s Tumblr site, Live Love Loft, it has become a high traffic area. The Loft was strategic, they enlisted the help of an established fashion blogger with a built in following on Tumblr to guest blog for them when starting out. The brand knew Tumblr would be the right channel to attract a younger demographic to their clothing line.
EMI Music and Universal Music Group: When EMI musicians Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz were the first to embrace the platform EMI and Universal Music followed suit. They say its a good way to help control their message online, reward fans and, position oneself as a thought leader on a given topic.
Brands should think of Tumblr as a major opportunity to connect with consumers in the future. A place to post something specific that shows what’s important to a brand that Facebook and Twitter can’t accommodate.