Is it Time for a Tumblr?

(January 12, 2012) – In the past decade, there has been a boom in social media.

According to comscore’s 2011 wrap-up of internet use, 1 in 5 minutes spent online is on a social media site. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and a myriad of other sites keep people up-to-date and informed about friends, family, celebrities, and even businesses. Social media websites are key to viral marketing, but it can sometimes be difficult to know which ones you should join and which ones will fall by the wayside.

One of these sites that is gaining popularity is the blog Tumblr. This social networking website allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes, and audio to their short-form blog. Although the site has been around for 5 years, it has seen an explosion in usage over the past 12 months.  Last year, Tumblr saw a 172% growth in the audience on their site, particularly in international markets.

It’s no surprise, then, that businesses are getting involved with the site. Coca Cola recently launched a tumblr called “happiness is…”, which consists primarily of photos showcasing young people with Coke products and vintage advertisements.  The site’s goal is to engage the brand’s teen consumers on a site where 11 million of them spend, on average, 37 minutes a day.

With the site’s popularity increasing and businesses getting involved, is it time for your company to hop on the Tumblr train?

The biggest things to consider here are your key demographic and the visual interest of your company or product. Coca Cola succeeds on a site like Tumblr because it allows them to reach a high volume of teenagers.

If your demographic leans towards an older audience (for example, a law firm, home renovation, or tax preparation business), Tumblr may not be the best use of your time online.

Another thing to consider is the visual qualities of your company or product. While Tumblr allows text posting, it is still primarily a photo and gif website. This means that a photography company could benefit from showcasing their work, but many other businesses lack that visual interest, and would not benefit from starting on the site.

Ultimately, you probably don’t need to sign up for a Tumblr account right away.

However, as we have seen with sites like Facebook and Twitter, there is a good chance that what starts as a social media site for teens and celebrities will turn into a valuable viral marketing platform. If the trends continue, Tumblr may become a great resource for internet and social media marketing.