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This article will only have one use of the term ‘millennial’ and I’ve just used it up already.
The majority of Tumblr users are under 34 years old, which basically means I only have approximately eight months left to legitimately write about the micro-blogging platform before the core demographic cast me out towards the shores of an increasingly older person populated Facebook.
“Hi mum. They finally kicked me out of their stupid club. Yes I’ll look at the photos of your embroidery. Yes I’ll leave a comment. Sigh.”
So what’s the appeal of Tumblr? What are the benefits? Are there any brands currently excelling on the platform?
Let’s first take a look at some stats to grab your attention.
As of 2013 (around the time of its acquisition by Yahoo) Tumblr had:
- 105m different blogs (although as of April 2014, this now stands at 179.5m).
- More than 300m monthly unique visitors
- 120,000 daily signups
- 900 posts per second
- 24bn minutes are spent on site each month.
- More than half of its users using the Tumblr mobile app with an average of seven sessions per day.
What does this mean for brands?
Tumblr has a huge youth demographic that’s growing rapidly. This demographic also has a higher than average disposable income and very little competition from other brands.
Tumblr is the fifth most visited site in the USA, but only 31 of the top 100 brands operate a Tumblr page. It seems like a no-brainer.
What are the benefits?
As David Moth mentions in his article from 'way back' 10 brands making great use of Tumblr, Tumblr’s social focus means that its skew towards short form content can help it gain the most engagement.
Photos, images, GIFs, memes and anything else that contains a striking visual image can easily rack up a relatively high amount of interactions thanks to their easy shareability.
Tumblr is a perfect platform to target for content marketing, especially if your content is particularly eye-catching or attractive. Much like Pinterest though, Tumblr can still work for you even if you don’t have lots of content, as Tumblr can still be used to share things that help to build your brand’s identity.
Brands can use Tumblr it to tease new products and highlight sales or promotions, however it's also an incredibly fertile place for experimentation. Tumblr is a great place to try out new ideas that perhaps may not get the budget or support if trialled on more high profile or slower-moving platforms.
Brands can also choose from thousands of themes to create a totally customised look for their blog, which can help make your page look far more on-brand than your average Facebook page.
Which brands are doing excellent Tumblr work?
From the folks that brought you Flappy Bert, The Hunger Games: Catching Fur and that time Casey Affleck completely lost his rag with Murray, it’s the most joyful Tumblr of all.
I’ve written about Vans’ excellent social media strategy before and this is a seriously good-looking hub that brings together all of its channels.
For an American brand with its roots firmly in the 24 hour roadside diner boom of the 1950s, this is one of the most idiosyncratic and anarchic Tumblrs out there.
The famously social network shy Apple surprised everyone by choosing Tumblr as its first foray into the social world. This Tumblr dedicated to the iPhone 5c is a thing of animated mind-bending beauty.
As you can imagine, GE’s Tumblr is packed full of technological wonder and catnip for engineering nerds. Plus there are some great treasures from the company’s past. Check out this advert illustrated by Dr Seuss.
With a mixture of Game of Thrones sex infographics, penguin GIFs and this quite unbelievable doge/The Red Wheelbarrow mash-up, the US publisher runs one of the most brilliantly unpredictable branded Tumblrs.
A gorgeous, fluid and interactive experience, this is a masterclass in apparel based Tumblers.
Whether the recording artist Grimes would appreciate being regarded as a brand or not, this is exactly the kind of stream of conscious, highly personal and often inspiring channel your average U2 fan couldn’t hope to enjoy. Also where did she get the Adult Cat Finder widget from?
This Tumblr site being run as an offshoot of the fictitious newspaper The Daily Bugle is currently generating a huge amount of content that ties in to the world of Spider-man.
Daily updates feature extensive interviews, news reports and blog posts. Many of which contain numerous references to villains featured in the movies, and many who don’t… yet.
With the posts linking back to articles on Glamour.com or directly to third-party ecommerce sites this is a perfectly optimised and incredibly slick looking Tumblr.