Getting Serious About Tumblr

Until this class, I had a vague idea of what Tumblr was. So I went and explored its site. I thought it was really interesting and loved its concise nature, engaging visuals, and the wide variety of the posts. To learn even more about Tumblr, I did some searches on recent articles written about Tumblr and found some really fascinating ideas and opinions about Tumblr.

I found this article by Hayes Davis, titled “Why 2013 Is the Year You Need To Get Serious About Tumblr” and it peaked my interest. In his article, he makes the case that Tumblr can be important to branding and marketing efforts just as much as Facebook, Twitter, etc. He thinks Tumblr is the social network to watch in 2013.

“Consumers in the critical 18-34 year old demographic are hooked on Tumblr, with the average visitor spending 1.5 hours per month on the site. Today, Tumblr hosts 90 million blogs that generate more than 89 million new posts every day. This astronomical growth helped the site soar into lists of the top 10 most popular websites in the U.S. at the end of last year and is attracting significant interest from brands ranging from fashion to finance.”

He believes marketers can no longer ignore Tumblr and those not engaging or at least listening to what their customers have to say on Tumblr have a huge blind spot in their marketing program.

What makes Tumblr unique?

  • Brands as Publishers
    • Tumblr is a unique combination of publishing platform and dynamic social network. Tumblr is a highly visual experience so brands can appeal to us on a visceral level through images or animated GIFs. I definitely agree. Tumblr’s strength lies in its extremely visual nature. It’s one of the things that appealed to me the most.
  • Content Equity
    • Brands use to be obsessed with blogging because it gave them long-lived content to attract visitors over months and years
    • As brands have focused on content creation on Twitter and Facebook, much of that long-term value has been lost. Tweets and Facebook posts typically aren’t indexed in search engines and quickly become old news as they get pushed to the bottom of feeds.
    • Posts on Tumblr don’t perish shortly after posting like Twitter. “Social amplification and tag-based discovery are core to the Tumblr platform, giving content staying power, with many posts receiving reblogs and ‘likes’ days, weeks, and even months after the original post.” [However, I have heard that Tumblr has a weak search functionality.]
    • “Since Tumblr sites are actually public websites and Tumblr posts are true blog posts, they’re indexed on search engines. This means a brand’s content can reach well beyond its Tumblr followers to any interested person searching the web.”
  • Tapping Into Micro Communities
    • “Tumblr harnesses the enthusiasm around a particular topic and coalesces into a community. For brands, this simplifies the process of audience segmentation, because Tumblr provides a built-in audience that has already opted into following specific tags and topics. In turn, brands can post highly targeted content with interest-related tags, and easily reach communities of fans.”

With these unique features, its hold on the important 18-34 year old demographic, and its visually appealing nature, Tumblr is poised for a very bright future.





3 thoughts on “Getting Serious About Tumblr

  1. J. Andrews

    That’s a good point about it being indexed by search engines.

    I actually asked our computer book selector yesterday if we had any Tumblr books. Just randomly occurred to me in the moment I was facing him. He didn’t know what it was. But he bought Tumblr for Dummies that very day, so we’ll soon have one book on it. One!

    Meanwhile our teen department was running a writing group using Tumblr. Nice when everyone’s on the same page, isn’t it?

  2. kallie

    I’m still a bit confused about Tumblr as well. I definitely agree that Tumblr appeals to a younger demographic and is an interesting combination of publishing platform and social network. It seems to be a much more visual medium than a traditional blog. My daughter uses it to create fan art for Homestuck, a web comic. I think libraries using Tumblr to host teen writing, anime, poetry or fan fiction groups are all great ideas.


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