Tumblr + Luxury = Best Friends

My last few posts have focused a lot on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and their usage for luxury brands.

What about Tumblr? Does this visually led platform make sense for luxury brands? My view is that the answer is yes.

Geographically, the platform is still primarily US focused (40% of their users are registered in the US), with more than 170 million people worldwide viewing Tumblr blogs every month (54 million of those people are in the U.S.). Scale is not an issue either with the platform. There are over 70m blogs on the platform, with it generating over 17bn page views each month, an average of 70m posts created per day in over 12 languages.

What makes Tumblr so compelling is its ability to connect with the Millenials & Generation Y.  50% of Tumblr’s user base is under 25 years old and the platform has an 80% retention rate.

The numbers make sense, but what about the platform & its functionality? For luxury brands, who create so much rich content (and could in a way, be thought of as publishers themselves), that Tumblr is primarily about content spread is a big win. This means that the story that the brand wants to tell and wants people to share can be more easily controlled.

That means that success on Tumblr is not based on how many followers you have, but instead on how many people spread your content (via a reblog). For luxury brands, Tumblr is a fantastic opportunity for them s to teach the next generation their stories.

So who’s doing it well on Tumblr?

Marc Jacobs: Really clean design, a great mix of quotes, images, animated GIFs and videos, all tightly connected to the Marc Jacobs brand story and connected to the other Marc Jacobs owned platforms (Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Dot Com). They make it really easy to share the content as well, with specific tracking links for each post.

Kate Spade: Again, their Tumblr is really tightly connected into the overall Kate Spade brand story, with lots of content that is fun, interesting and compelling enough for Tumblr users to want to reblog and like. What I love it is how they also tell product stories, but they never beat you over the head with them – it’s just about the Kate Spade girls having a blast and allowing their Tumblr followers to share in the fun with them.

Barack Obama: Okay, so he’s not a luxury brand per se, but during his election, his campaign team did a fantastic job with his Tumblr, sharing content (animated GIFs, images, videos and quotes), with commentary that was very specific and tailored to the Tumblr audience. These posts  are great examples of this.

So what are the important things for luxury brands to think about when building a Tumblr presence?

1. Tailor your content.

Tumblr is about sharing, so post content that you think people will want to share. As with any other platform, test, learn and use the Tumblr analytics platform to see what type of content gets shared and liked the most. Also interesting is to see what people are saying when they share your content on their own Tumblrs – this should give you a view of the sentiment around your posts.

2. Use your captions. 

If you have captions on your posts, tailor your captions to the tone of the platform. Short, sharp and sometimes sarcastic captions work really well, but it’s also important to stay true to your brand’s overall tone of voice.

3.  You don’t need to worry about comments. 

You don’t need to open up your Tumblr to comments.  This means that when people share your posts, they may add their own commentary, but they won’t be able to comment directly on your Tumblr, unless you have comments turned on.

4. Build a specific editorial calendar for Tumblr. 

An editorial calendar specific to Tumblr, but connected with your overall social & digital editorial calendar. What’s important is that on Tumblr, the lifecycle of content tends to be longer than Facebook and Twitter, so you may not want to post as often. A little (i.e. one post per week) can go a long way.

5. Develop a tagging strategy for your posts.

People discover content by tracking tags (i.e. http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/burberry) on the platform, you need to ensure that each post has relevant, but also interesting tags, which make it easy to track and for people to discover your content.

6. Customise your Tumblr to the type of story you want to tell about your brand.

The Coveteur’s Tumblr looks very different to Rodarte’s Tumblr, which in turn looks very different to Burberry’s Tumblr.

*Update: Tiffany have just launched a Tumblr called From Out of The Blue, which is very image led so far.

Check out this link to see other examples of Fashion Tumblrs.

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