Category Archives: social networks

Three New Social Sites That Could Be The Next Pinterest

Pinterest has proved that there is still room for innovative new sites on the social media landscape. Like Facebook and Twitter, it’s a simple idea that seems obvious in hindsight.

So what social media sites are on the horizon that might be the next Pinterest? I’ve scoured the internet to find three sites to keep on your radar. (No need to thank me.)

Chill
Chill is like Pinterest for videos. You can comment on or share others’ videos, just like Pinterest. Chill gives you several options for “like” – you can give a smile, laugh, wow, frown, or love. You can also create video groups, like a pinboard. Note that you’re required to link your Facebook account to your Chill account when you sign up.

How your brand can use it: Chill is wonderful if you have lots of video content that you want to host somewhere besides Facebook, where videos get forgotten by users, or YouTube, where they’re buried under thousands of new posts. Chill is a more organized site, distinct from the noise of YouTube or the professional films of Vimeo – a perfect place for a brand to grow an audience.

Pinwheel
Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Flickr, created this Foursqaure-like app that lets you attach virtual notes to real places. You can leave notes or photos publicly or just for friends. Pinwheel’s interface promises to be even easier than checking in on Foursquare or Facebook. Notes can be anything from travel tips to restaurant recommendations to scavenger hunts. The site is still in beta, but anyone can register for an invitation.

How your brand can use it: Shops and restaurants can post stories, images, ads, or discounts at their locations on Pinwheel. Real estate firms can post information about their properties around the city. You can network with relevant local businesses – or attractions or landmarks – by posting a connection that your brand shares with those sites. All of the local discovery generated by services like Yelp will apply here, with an even stronger social bond.

Prismatic
Prismatic is a newsfeed that sends you stories based on who you follow and retweet on Twitter, what posts you like on Facebook, and any other topics you select. Each item includes an excerpt, an image, and a few quotes from any friends that have shared it. It’s like a more advanced, focused version of searching for keywords on Twitter.

How your brand can use it: You may be missing out on news or content that’s related to your brand. Prismatic can find that information and bring it right to you. Twitter’s newsfeed can be too fast and Facebook’s can be too slow; Prismatic hopes to find the balance and show you a wider array of information that’s relevant to your brand’s needs.

Keep your eye on Chill, Pinwheel, and Prismatic in the coming months. As unique sites that combine familiar functions in imaginative ways, they’re the perfect places for your brand to stake a claim before your competitors move in.

**Don’t forget: Mother’s Day is Sunday. It may be time to post those baby videos on You Tube! **

Why Your Brand Should Be On Pinterest…And Why It Shouldn’t

Everyone is talking about Pinterest. The social sharing site has grown by 329% over the last three months…and by 4,000% over the last six months! Clearly, people love it. So now the brands move in.

Or do they? I’ve been researching Pinterest — and using it myself. And while Pinterest has some great features, it may not be for every brand, at least right now. Here are four reasons why your brand should be on Pinterest…and four reasons why it shouldn’t.

Pinterest is clean and simple. The Pinterest interface is incredibly easy, even for non-technical people. Because comments and replies are downplayed, the images take center stage. If other users like what you’ve posted, they can either “like” it or “repin” it; commenting is optional. So you can set up a board, or share others’ images, with just a few clicks. 

Pinterest is great for SEO. With so much traffic, Pinterest accounts are rising in Google rankings. You can take advantage of this by adding keywords to your “About Me” profile. Add your location to help local customers find you. Even your pin boards can help your search ranking; try titling them with your field, location, products, or type of business.

Pinterest leads to better conversion rates. Pinterest is perfect if your brand involves consumer products. A pin board is basically a catalog. If users like a product and see that others like it (via likes, repins, and comments), they can then click on the image and be taken directly to an e-commerce site. It’s the least amount of steps from seeing an item to buying it.

Pinterest is about what people love, not what they had for breakfast. On Pinterest, people pin crafts. They pin hairstyles they’ve created and desserts they’ve baked. This makes the site much more of a shared community than the text updates of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Users also pin items that they want or just bought, which gives brands a good opening for users to engage their products.

Pinterest main page

These are all strong reasons to bring your brand to Pinterest. But the site doesn’t work miracles. It’s not for every brand, and it’s not for every market. Here are some reasons not to spend time with your brand on Pinterest.

Pinterest doesn’t move the needle for service brands. The site does lead to sales of clothing and crafts, but it has virtually no referral rate for photographers, contractors, or consultants. If your company is service-oriented, you’re better off building relationships with customers on Facebook and Twitter, which allows for more dialogue between parties.

Pinterest only works for visual brands. This is related to the first point. Pinterest is about sharing images, which can be hairstyles or clothes or photographs or infographics. But if you’re an accounting firm or a wireless communications company, what are your visuals? Your brand is better conveyed through words and numbers on a blog than pictures on Pinterest.

Your audience might not be there. A recent TechCrunch study found that 97% of the fans of Pinterest’s Facebook Page are women. While that doesn’t translate exactly to Pinterest’s users and viewers, clearly the site has a major bias towards females. That works great for lifestyle and beauty brands, but not so well for, say, sports. I think men will eventually discover the site (and that “Pinterest for men” clones are doomed to fail), but keep in mind the current gender disparity when considering whether Pinterest is right for your brand.

You can post images elsewhere. Yes, Pinterest has more than 10 million users. But Facebook has 85 times that amount. If you already have a Facebook page with a following, there’s no reason that you must also post your content on a Pinterest board. For smaller companies, time spent on social media is limited, so don’t feel that you have to rush to Pinterest because of the buzz. And don’t forget that images can also be sent via Twitter, uploaded to Flickr, or posted on Tumblr, which are just as popular as Pinterest.

Whether you use Pinterest, and how you use it, is up to you. If you’d like help in integrating this hot new site into your social media or web marketing efforts, feel free to contact me. My interactive branding experts are standing by.

Learn how to socialize your talent strategy

In a recent Jobvite survey, 80% of recruiters said they use social media as part of their strategy — and 40% used three or more social media channels. If you’re not using social media for recruiting, you may be missing out on top talent.

The incoming generation of workers has been raised on social networks and aren’t looking for jobs only on LinkedIn. They’re on Facebook, where new applications like BranchOut allow them to network while they chat with friends; they’re on Twitter, where @pepsicojobs and @UPSjobs each has more than 12,000 followers; and they’re on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine. And now they’re even on Google Plus and Pinterest.

How can you reach those job-seekers?  What brands are using social media in innovative ways? If you’re a novice, how do you even set up accounts on all these sites?

I’m here to answer all these questions and more. Join me for Socialize Your Talent Strategy, a free webinar on Thursday, April 26. 

We’ll seek out the most inventive brands for each of the six major social channels to engage applicants. We’ll talk about the unique content that differentiates your recruitment strategy from your marketing campaign. And we’ll look at the emerging trends for 2012 and beyond.

Three different webinar sessions make it easy for anyone to attend:

10 am EDT / 7 am PDT

2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT

5 pm EDT / 2 pm PDT

I hope to see you on Thursday. If you have questions, write to me for more information.

Are You Truly Socializing Your Talent Strategy? You May Be One of the Few

Last week, Bullhorn Reach published the results of a survey of more than 35,000 recruiters in its user network, tracking their use of social media. The survey focused on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

The findings are surprising. Only 21% of Bullhorn recruiters are using all three social networks. In fact, 48% are using only LinkedIn! Apparently these recruiters haven’t seen the study from Jobvite that showed that, in 2011, 50% of job-seekers used Facebook to find a job. 25% used Twitter, while only 26% used LinkedIn. Why aren’t recruiters fishing where the fish are?

Of course, use of social media, by either recruiters or job-seekers, doesn’t necessarily mean success. But in case after case, I’ve found that it does.

For example, in 2010, UPS announced that it received applications from 680 people who arrived via Twitter – and hired 45 of them. Almost 4,000 people applied via Facebook, 226 of whom were hired. Heck, UPS even received 1,000 applications from candidates applicants communicating via text messages, but I bet few recruiters have created a strategy for texting. Though it’s the world’s second-largest search engine (second to its parent Google), you’d be amazed at how few people actually have YouTube recruitment strategy.

Bullhorn Reach 2012 infographic on social recruiting

The Jobvite study goes on to state that 18.4 million Americans “say Facebook got them their current job.” Only 10.2 million Americans give LinkedIn that credit, which isn’t much more than the 8 million jobs that were the result of Twitter. Bullhorn’s survey states that “a Twitter follower is almost three times more likely to apply to a job posting than a LinkedIn connection.” So why are less than half of its recruiters using Twitter?

I think I know why. As I told ERE’s editor-in-chief, Todd Raphael, Twitter can be intimidating to recruiters because of the sheer volume of information. It takes a focused professional, not just a summer intern, to monitor your chosen keywords and engage job-seekers. Twitter can also be a time suck and presents the daunting opportunity to have public conversations with applicants. But I’ve found that conversations can begin on Twitter and then become private, via direct message, email, or even a phone call.

Whatever the reason, recruiters who aren’t using all three major social networks are missing out on millions of applicants. As applications like BranchOut and BeKnown bring more professional searches to Facebook, recruiters who remain exclusively on LinkedIn will be losing the competition for top talent.

If you missed the Brandemix webinar on Socializing Your Talent Strategy, contact us and we’ll share all our knowledge with you – from important studies of the past to the emerging trends for the future.

Insights from the BDI Social Consumer Conference

I recently attended the Social Consumer 2012 conference, presented by the Business Development Institute. Representatives from major brands discussed how they used social media to connect with customers. There were five fascinating presentations (and one entertaining interview, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal’s Simon Constable) followed by roundtable discussions hosted by experts in numerous fields. A very educational experience.

If you couldn’t attend, here are some highlights.

JetBlue on Twitter Drinking From the Fire Hose
Jenny Dervin, VP of Corporate Communications, called customer service on Twitter drinking from the fire hose.She gave a recent example of how JetBlue uses Twitter to handle complaints. A passenger had a carry-on bag that held a folding bicycle. The ticket agent ignored the fact that the bag was the proper size and weight for carry-on, and charged the passenger JetBlue’s standard bike fee — meant for bikes that take up valuable space in the cargo hold. Unsurprisingly, the passenger complained about the fee on social media and got his Oregon-based bike club to join in. Dervin’s team saw the problem on Twitter and issued a refund within 24 hours. Now the entire bike club are JetBlue fans.

The Lesson: Dervin put it best: A service failure is an opportunity to build loyalty — if it’s done well.When a customer has a problem, “you get credit for publicly saying We agree with you and we will look into this.’”

Fun fact: JetBlue has 15-20 people monitoring Twitter and other social media channels using CoTweet; six are on duty at any given time.

MultiVu Brands As Storytellers
Tom Miale, Director of Multimedia Engagement at MultiVu, said that the #1 issue at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive was that brands must become storytellers to be compelling to customers. As an example, Miale presented the Facebook Page for Captain Morgan. The company uses the Timeline feature to post events all the way back to 1635, the real Morgan’s birthdate. In the 1800s section of the Timeline, you’ll find photos of Morgan’s crew, accompanied by jokes and stories in the captain’s sly tone. This is a fun and innovative way to take full advantage of the Timeline feature by creating stories that involve customers and keep them on your Facebook Page.

The Lesson: Not every brand has the adventurous history of a pirate. But you can still say a lot about your company and your product, from your humble beginnings to the challenges you’ve overcome. Your employees undoubtedly have interesting stories; ask to share them to help create a personal, emotional connection to customers. 

Fun Fact: Miale told us that, in 1965, three 60-second commercial spots could reach 80% of American adults. Today, youd need 117 commercials to accomplish that feat.

Tasti D-Lite Swirls Around Foursqaure
BJ Emerson, Vice President of Technology for Tasti D-Lite, may have been the hit of the conference — and not just because he was giving out coupons. He showed how the frozen-treat company allows customers to connect their store TreatCards to Fourquare. When the clerk swipes the card, the customer is automatically checked in on Foursquare (which gets posted on Twitter and Facebook if the customer chooses). Emerson cautioned brands to “go beyond the mechanics and look at the dynamics. He cited an example of a Tasti cashier who knew to push the “Foursquare discount” button on the register, but didn’t know what the customer meant when she said “I’m actually the Mayor.” Our social media tools seem straightforward, but you have to make sure you train your staff how to use them in face-to-face situations with customers.

The Lesson: Emerson had the most retweeted line of the conference: Referring to the fact that brands now know where their customers are in real time, thanks to Foursquare and Twitter: “We used to call it stalking; now we call it location-based marketing.” Luckily, most brands are using that knowledge for good, by giving instant discounts and prizes.

Fun Fact: Emerson recommended creating a Google Alert for online mentions of your brand. Make that alert an RSS feed and send the feed to Outlook. That way, you have an offline archive of all your mentions and can search back through years. It’s more efficient than combing through the archives on Twitter or its various applications.

This was only a small part of the great information given by knowledgeable speakers. Thanks to BDI’s Sponsorship Event Coordinator Jennifer Brous, Director of Events Maria Feola-Magro, and CEO Steve Etzler for another informative conference.

How Your Brand Can Make the Most of the New Facebook Timeline

Facebook is switching all personal profiles and brand Pages to its Timeline format this week, changing a template that many of us grown accustomed to. This exciting new format offers opportunities for brands smart enough to take advantage of them.

How can your brand make the most of the new Facebook Timeline? Read on.

Take Off From Landing
How many hours did your designer spend creating your Facebook landing page? Well, it was nice while it lasted; landing pages are gone. Facebook is trying to eliminate “like-gating” – forcing users to like a page to view any content – as well as deceptive Pages that trick you into liking or sharing them. The new format comes with only one landing page, which includes the big cover photo, tabs (now at the top), and the timeline itself. All these features are customizable.

Pin to Win
You may be tempted to post content in the large cover photo, but Facebook doesn’t allow you to post prices, contact information, or a call to action in that space. Don’t worry — you can now keep important content at the top of your Page by “pinning” any post. The “pin” lasts seven days and ensures that it’s the first thing visitors see. If you’re running a contest or a sale, pin it!

Tell Stories
Storytelling was the most popular topic at South by Southwest this year. Brands are starting to realize that they can’t just post press releases or tweet “Thanks for following.” They must tell stories. Facebook’s timeline feature is the perfect way to share your brand’s story and make an emotional connection with your fans. Talk about odds you overcame, innovations you pioneered, or awards you earned. Add images to the timeline to make it even more compelling – people will be charmed by a picture of your first office, especially if it includes your 90s haircut!

Talk to Your Fans
Fans of a Page can now contact the brand by Facebook message, so you can make some interactions private. A complaint-and-recovery process no longer has to take up valuable Wall space, and smaller matters, like a contest winner’s home address, can now be shared privately. As Twitter direct messages have shown, people are thrilled to have personal contact with the brands they love, so find a reason to drop them a line, whether it’s “How did you enjoy your stay at our hotel?” or “Did your refund arrive on time?”

Bonus Info
A few more tips on how your brand can make the most of Facebook Timeline:

What size is the Facebook cover photo? 315 pixels high by 851 wide. The image should definitely not be smaller than 400 pixels wide.

Use the expanded Insights feature to view analytics on your Page, including the age of your Fans, which can be useful when buying Facebook Ads.

Tabs are now at the top. You can have a lot of them – Coke has 12 – but only four are visible when users first come to your site. So make sure those four have great images that make fans want to see more!

There’s no minimum fan number for a “vanity URL.” The moment you create your Page, you can make the address “facebook.com/yourbrandname.” And you can change the URL until you reach 100 fans.

Want a killer design and copywriting team to help create your new Facebook Page? Brandemix can help.

From Impressions to Expressions: Why Coke is a Social Media Superstar

Can’t make it to see Brands Undercover, my ERE presentation in San Diego on March 28? Then I guess you’ll miss hearing about how Coca-Cola is the #1 brand in the world.

And, in honor of my favorite award show day,  I am also going to bestow Coke with Brandemix’s very own SoMe Superstar award.

Here’s why:

1. In addition to tracking consumer impressions, they are increasingly tracking Consumer Expressions. Defined by Joe Tripodi, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer of the Coca-Cola Company, it means “any level of engagement with our brand content by a consumer or constituent. It could be a comment, a ‘like,’ uploading a photo or video or passing content onto their networks.” While consumer impressions have long been the metric of choice for measuring SoMe ROI, they are passive, unlike consumer expressions which track active involvement with a brand.

2. They  have a webpage with their Online Social Media Principles which include The Five Core Values of the Company in the Online Social Media Community: Transparency, Protection, Respect, Responsibility and Utilization.

3. Their Super Bowl 2012 ad was so successful at driving traffic that it actually crashed their Facebook server.

4. They have embraced the communication strategy of keeping  “Liquid and Linked,” defined as curating work that is so emotionally compelling, authentic and culturally relevant that it can flow through any medium.

It must be working. Coke estimates that of the 146 million views of content related to Coca-Cola on YouTube, only 26 million views were of content that they themselves created. Nice to have 120 million brand ambassadors on your team! Which brings us to:

5. They have relinquished control. When Coke’s Facebook Page was targeted by an activist group whose members posted negative messages, it was the Facebook fans who rallied and responded with messages of support for the company.

As Coke gets ready to celebrate their 125 anniversary, they are a shining example of getting old both gracefully and greatly.

Congratulations to Coke on being Brandemix’s SoMe Superstar! Might we humbly offer one bit of advice? It might be time to freshen up your careers site to keep it as great as your brand. We know someone who can help.

What’s Foursquare Really For?

The best social sites have clearly stated goals. Facebook is for connecting with friends. Twitter is for live updates. LinkedIn is for business networking.

So what is Foursquare? The smartphone app allows you to “check in” to a location, with the option of adding a comment and/or sharing the update on Facebook and Twitter. You can leave a “tip” at your location, so other users will see “Be sure to try the nachos!” when they check in at the same restaurant. 

You get points and badges for various “achievements,” whether it’s visiting five different Italian restaurants or traveling to different states. You can compete with your friends for the most achievements. Whoever checks in the most at a location, whether it’s a park or a store or the Rose Bowl, becomes the “Mayor,” with their photo on the location’s main page.

But what’s it all for? The points have no value. You don’t need a third party to announce your location on Facebook and Twitter. The tips aren’t moderated, leading to weird or unhelpful comments, and old tips can become outdated. When you check in at a museum or gallery, for example, you’ll see many posts about exhibits that are long gone. 

One of the best uses for the service was for businesses to offer discounts to anyone who checked, or to the Mayor. Dozens of Houlihan’s franchises give a free order of fries for every check-in, while the current Mayor receives 10% off all food items. This strategy could lead to consumers actually competing over who visits an establishment the most — a dream of any store owner. But few companies have followed Houlihan’s lead.

Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley recently spoke to VentureBeat about the service’s “identity crisis.” He said Foursquare is “most interested in taking the data from check-ins to model what’s happening in the real world, and help people find new things.” He pointed to Radar, an app now available on phones running iOS5, which alerts you when your friends are nearby or when you’re near a venue you’ve told Foursquare you want to visit.

I’ll be the first to say that Facebook and Twitter can’t match that. But just a few weeks later, Foursquare also announced that it was adding menus to 250,000 restaurant listings. Even Yelp and Urbanspoon don’t offer that feature. But how is it social? How do recommendations and menus align with points, badges, and tips? How will any of these lead to more businesses offering discounts to attract new customers?

It seems that Foursquare has a lot of good ideas but isn’t sure which direction take. If Zagat, now owned by Google, adds menus to its app, it could quickly overtake Foursquare’s new feature. Facebook’s “Add a location to this post” option now threatens Foursquare on another flank. And I travel all over New York City and hardly ever see a Foursquare sticker on a store window or the logo on the menu.

I hope Crowley can find a clear path for Foursquare. After all, it’s a great concept. But its time is running out.

Why State Farm is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my speaking engagements around the country, I like to discover brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” Recent winners include PepsiCo and Moleskine.

Today I’d like to recognize a company that’s using social media for recruiting: State Farm. I like how the insurance company recently rebranded with its clever “Magic Jingle” commercials, alongside funny ads featuring everything from falcons to giant robots. But the company has continued its transformation with a big push in social media and interactivity as well. Here are the three superstar ways that State Farm engages job applicants:

First, State Farm has a dedicated careers Facebook Page with more than 16,000 Likes, featuring lots of interesting content from both the corporate communications department and individual agents. Responses to questions and grievances usually come within 24 hours. The page’s admins go beyond typical stories of disaster recovery to include posts that are useful to job-seekers, such as asking “What’s the strangest thing you ever sent a recruiter?” and giving “Tips for networking at holiday parties.” This makes the Page a destination for anyone looking for employment, even outside the insurance field.

Second, the State Farm careers site includes eight videos under the title “See For Yourself.” These feature testimonials from agents and employees and great photography of the State Farm headquarters. The company offers a section called “Meet Our Interns,” with videos, written interviews, and “Advice and Guidance from Real Interns.” This is a powerful way to reach out to young people by providing content that’s educational but also fun. It also shows an awareness that Millenials would rather watch a video than read a long corporate mission statement.

 

Third, State Farm offers a unique interactive website, exploresfagency.com, which the company calls a “virtual job tryout with real-world scenarios.” Job-seekers are put in situations faced by real insurance agents, from marketing a new office and handling staff to dealing with customer complaints. There are no wrong answers; users simply pick the action they’d most likely take, and the one they’d least likely take, from four options. State Farm then evaluates what sort of agent they’d be. It’s a job preview unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Finally, these career sites add to the overall State Farm online presence, which includes branded accounts on YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr – and an interesting Facebook Page called State Farm Nation, “where fans can get helpful tips, be inspired, and have fun connecting with others.” That Page has more than 1.3 million Likes.

What can you learn from State Farm? First, set up a dedicated careers site, preferably accompanied by a careers Facebook Page and Twitter profile. Then post content that’s useful to anyone looking for employment, not just posts about how great your organization is. Offer photos and videos, showing job-seekers what your office looks like and what your employees love about working there. And, if you really want to stand out, invest in something unique like State Farm Nation on Facebook or the revolutionary “Day in the Life” interactive site.

For communicating with talent in smart, fun, and interactive ways, I name State Farm Insurance a SoMe Superstar!

For the latest on social media, online recruiting, mobile marketing, and other branding trends, please like Brandemix on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, and join our LinkedIn group, Your Digital Brand.

Why Your Brand Needs To Be On Tumblr — And Why It Doesn’t

At BRANDEMiX, when we advise clients on digital branding, we encourage them to create accounts on the Four Essential Profiles: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. However, a fifth social network may be emerging. According to Alexa, it recently cracked the top 50 most popular sites in the world, and the top 25 in the US. The site is Tumblr.

Tumblr is a free, short-form blogging service that combines the publishing ability of WordPress with the social aspects of Facebook and Twitter. Since Tumblr doesn’t replace these other platforms, anyone can use it, whether or not they have another web presence. In fact, Tumblr’s emphasis on short posts make it attractive to brands who aren’t blogging.


But the service is not without its problems – or its controversy. So should you create a “tumbleblog” in this quickly growing community? It depends on your brand, your audience, and your needs.

Why Your Brand Needs To Be On Tumblr

It’s Easy
Easy to set up and easy to use. Yes, even easier than WordPress. The interface is intuitive. It’s no trouble to customize with Tumblr’s variety of themes – or your own, if you know some HTML. You can publish content via email, mobile, or through a bookmarklet in your browser, so you can post new material or share a discovery from anywhere. Tumblr hosts text, photos, video, audio, and links, so if you’re new to social media or don’t have time for elaborate layouts, Tumblr is perfect for you.

It’s Social
Tumblr allows readers to “like” a post, similar to Facebook, or to “reblog” it, similar to a retweet on Twitter. Users can follow other blogs, creating a single content feed like both Facebook and Twitter. Tumblr users love the site’s community, sharing a creative sensibility that you don’t see on other social networks. It’s a great place to engage an involved audience.

It’s Young
According to comScore, 29% of its users are aged 18-24. 20% are aged 25-34 and 20% are 12-17. And the numbers are growing: from 4.2 million visitors in July 2010 to 13.4 million in July 2011. So if your brand is targeting those age groups, you should stake your claim on Tumblr.


It Hosts Some Big Names
Brands with a lot of assets and content are wildly popular on Tumblr. Fashion brands in particular seem to thrive there, including J. Crew, Kate Spade, and Ann Taylor. In fact, Tumblr hosted a special New York Fashion Week page, sending 20 of its most popular fashion bloggers (such as What I Wore’s Jessica Quirk) to cover all the major events. Media companies and publishers are also using Tumblr, from Comedy Central to The Today Show, and from Rolling Stone to Newsweek.

Why Your Brand Doesn’t Need To Be On Tumblr

It Doesn’t Offer Analytics
Tumblr’s dashboard doesn’t include any sort of tracking. How many likes did one of your posts get? How many times was it reblogged? You actually have to go to each of your posts and count the actions by hand. Google Analytics and Site Meter only partly solve the problem because they can’t track Tumblr’s internal links. If you need hard numbers that can be analyzed on a spreadsheet, Tumblr may not be for you.

It’s Not That Social
There are no comments on Tumblr. You can add a sort of semi-comment “note” or reblog someone’s post on your own blog, but you can’t have a real dialogue with visitors or other Tumblr users. Facebook and Twitter, and even Google+, know the importance of conversing and sharing, but Tumblr simply isn’t designed that way. If you want to truly engage your audience, you might find Tumblr disappointing.

It’s Too Young
Almost 70% of Tumbler users are 34 or under, including 20% who are 17 or under. After that, the numbers drop as the ages go up. If your brand is a luxury product or is aimed at middle-aged or senior consumers, Tumblr’s audience simply isn’t there.


It Has Angered Some Big Names
Remember those top fashion Tumblr bloggers covering New York Fashion Week 2011? Tumblr actually charged the designers for coverage, asking for up to $350,000 for promoted content, even though the bloggers didn’t actually work for Tumblr. Based on an expected one million impressions for the week, this meant a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of $70, compared to $3 to be featured on the front page of the New York Times website. As I mentioned, Tumblr couldn’t even provide designers with advanced analytics to see if their spend was justified.

Tumblr is simple to use, growing in popularity, and attracting some big brands. It also skews very young, presents problems for marketers, and has some frustrating limitations. Is it right for your brand? That’s up to you. But whether it ends in success or failure, I’m pretty sure the Tumblr story has a long way to go.

For the latest on social media, online recruiting, mobile marketing, and other branding trends, please like BRANDEMiX on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, and join our LinkedIn group, Your Digital Brand.