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4 brands that are taking Tumblr by storm

4 brands that are taking Tumblr by storm Jenn Deering Davis

There is a social network, ranked among the top 10 sites in the U.S., that has a growing user base of 170 million people who create 70 million new posts each day and are actively seeking new content. And your brand probably hasn't tapped into it yet. Interested?

Your customers are on Tumblr, and they are talking about your brand. Are you listening?

4 brands that are taking Tumblr by storm

As a favorite hangout for the Millennial generation, Tumblr is already helping some brands reach this prized audience. (Check out some of the brands already on Tumblr here.) Every industry -- from fashion to finance -- is represented, and these companies are finding new and creative ways to connect to their customers using this platform.

Let's take a look at a few of the opportunities your brand might be missing on Tumblr, as well as the brands that are getting it right.

Go native

Tumblr isn't like any other social network, so a content strategy applied to Facebook, Twitter, or a blog won't yield the same results on Tumblr. The most popular form of expression on the platform is visual -- photos and GIFs (animated images).

To be successful on Tumblr, you first need to find a way to express the visual elements of your brand or message. This approach can showcase a different side of your brand, allowing you to communicate your brand's personality in a new way. Striking images garner a great deal of attention on Tumblr.

Doing it right: Sephora
Sephora's beauty products naturally lend themselves to a visual presentation, but the brand has taken this even further by posting short, hand-written interviews as images and supplementing them with videos. Posted alongside stunning photos of beauty products, Sephora has created one of the most visually engaging Tumblr blogs on the platform.

Give an inside look at who you are

Social platforms create a bridge between customers and brands, and customers use them as a way to connect with and experience the human element of the companies they love. Meet them there.

One option is creating a behind-the-scenes environment on Tumblr that gives followers a more intimate look at your company, campaign, or collaboration with a partner. This creates a personal experience with your brand for consumers. Take advantage of "content exhaust" and post extra photos and other insider information from the activities you're already doing.

Doing it right: Experiments in Motion
This blog is produced from the point of view of the project's curators, who are working on a partnership between Columbia University GSAPP and Audi of America. It gives customers a chance to see how the people involved in the collaboration actually work and to follow the designers and curators to get a sense of who the people behind the ideas are.

Make fantasy real

With Tumblr, you have the chance to bring your brand to life and make it real for customers, who can interact with it by reblogging and adding their own thoughts, feelings, and more. Movie studios, toy and video game makers, and authors can bring their fictional worlds and characters to life by giving them a voice to talk to the people who have fallen in love with them. Tumblr is a great platform for encouraging fan engagement on a massive but personal scale.

Doing it right: The Hunger Games
The promotional Tumblr behind "The Hunger Games" features fashion and cultural news from the movie world's capital city in the fictional country Panem. Its creators have tied it in with pieces from real-world designers, photos of the actors in costume, and more. Fans can experience the life of a citizen of the Capitol preparing for the next Hunger Games, while they are waiting for the next movie. That's interaction you can't get from a simple film poster.


Use Tumblr to test a new brand message or campaign. Try a new marketing tactic, consider another unexplored way of telling your brand's story, and see what users respond to. In the early days of a medium like this, it's easy to take advantage of the open environment to try new things.

Doing it right: Whole Foods
Whole Foods could have packed its Tumblr full of food photography, and it would have done well. However, the brand took the chance to use the medium as a way to share content with fans of its online magazine Dark Rye between issues. Its Tumblr focuses on the spirit of the magazine by offering compelling stories, recipes, and ideas. It's the Whole Foods lifestyle in shorter, visual style.

Though Tumblr is several years old, it's still very new to marketers. You have the opportunity to reach a very large and engaged audience, spread your brand's message, and experiment with new ways of communicating with customers. Why not give it a try?

Jenn Deering Davis is founder and chief customer officer at Union Metrics.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Jenn Deering Davis is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Union Metrics, the company behind TweetReach and several other social media analytics products. Union Metrics makes social media analytics applications, including TweetReach, Union Metrics for...

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