Debunking Tumblr Myths #1: Tumblr isn’t for businesses

We’re excited to introduce a new series on Tumblr myths. There are a number of myths running around about Tumblr, particularly as it pertains to marketing and business, and we’re here to set them straight. Got an opinion or something we missed? Reblog and add your thoughts. 

Myth #1: Tumblr isn’t for businesses

When you hear the word Tumblr, what do you think of? GIFs, or maybe a site for teens? Those things might be part of Tumblr, but Tumblr is so much more than these and other myths that surround it. Tumblr is rapidly becoming a great social platform for brands and businesses. In 2012, Tumblr broke into the top 10 sites in the U.S., and has a worldwide audience of 170 million people; it’s not just a virtual version of the mall where teens hang out to exchange moving pictures. It’s a place where your customers - or potential customers - spend a lot of their time interacting with other Tumblr users. You should be part of that conversation.  

Not convinced that Tumblr is appropriate for businesses? The Brands on Tumblr page should change your mind: every industry from fashion to finance is represented, and these companies are finding new ways to interact with their customers using this platform. Unlike a standard blog, Tumblr already has an eager audience; 88.7 million blogs and 40 billion posts already exist and are constantly updating with and seeking new content. If you’re producing compelling content, they will find you and follow you. Tumblr also has built-in interaction buttons on every post, making it that much easier (and therefore more likely) for customers and fans to share content.

How about some examples? BMW gives followers a look “behind the scenes and under the hood”. Sephora has created a spectacularly eye-catching space to showcase products, share beauty tips, and more. Whole Foods has created a channel for the spirit behind their digital magazine, Dark Rye. Disney keeps it simple with pictures and GIFs of classic and beloved characters. And there are so many more.

Another bonus? Tumblr is a favorite hangout for the millennial demographic. 28% of Tumblr’s uses are 18-24 and another 28% are 25-34; that’s nearly 60% of the user base for those of you following along at home. If that’s the audience you’re trying to reach and you’re not on Tumblr, you should definitely reconsider.

At this point you might be thinking that Tumblr might work for consumer brands, but not enterprise or business-focused brands. We’d encourage you to take a look at the American Express Open Forum for Small Businesses Tumblr. AmEx could have easily done an all-text forum somewhere on their website to address questions small business customers might have, but instead they launched this Tumblr. They’re capitalizing on the visual nature of the platform with photos to accompany every post and its interactive nature by being able to post and reblog other topics that might be less appropriate in a strictly-business forum. 

Another example is The Knight Foundation’s Tumblr, which takes advantage of the social aspect of the site and is a great way for people to share information about upcoming deadlines for new Knight News Challenges. Through Tumblr, “anyone, anywhere can apply” or learn about the projects currently being funded.

So, don’t just dismiss Tumblr because you think it isn’t the best place for businesses. Embrace it as a place to express your brand in way you never have before- and meet customers where you never have before.

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