Tumblr is an easy to use blogging platform especially suited to visual content. Teens, trend setters, politicians and activists all love its simplicity, design flexibility and e-mail or text-based publishing system. Posts can be shared automatically via Facebook and Twitter. Just announced features like Fan Mail (a interblog messaging service) reinforce the social aspect of Tumblr.

1. Tumblr has become the top blogging platform in the world

Launched in 2007, an ever growing number of major brands have joined some 44 million blogs on Tumblr. The service is now serving 120 million people and gets 15 billion page views every month. Tumblr should be considered as an integrated element for communication programs, especially for visual brands.

2. Reblogging helps content go viral

The reblog button allows anyone with a Tumblr blog to duplicate another users’ posts quickly and easily. Like Retweets on Twitter, this one click sharing makes content spread faster and Internet memes go global. Single issue Tumblrs spring up instantly and feed each other, which is both good and bad from a brand reputation perspective.

Reblogging is good behaviour for brands to learn, plus it helps us all understand what’s most sharable is often little quirky things that make people smile. A popular Tumblr like Scanwiches (literally scanned images of yummy sandwiches) is now a book. (A chain like Subway might have created a similar Tumblr, if they had the idea first.) Fun visuals and videos often go viral across time zones because there’s less language barrier with laughter.

3. Short campaign or single project friendly

While the ongoing commitment required for successful brand accounts on the major social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) can apply here, I think a Tumblr blog can also be useful for a one time event, product launch, or even a crisis situation. Posting a series of images, infographics or videos over a short period in an accessible, sharable (and free) way could be just what’s needed to help get a message out fast. Tumblr is also a great place for brands to experiment. This artist collaboration project, Art She Said, is sponsored by retail brand Ann Taylor.

Brands using Tumblr well include: Coca-Cola Happiness and Huggies Highchair Critics; fashion names from Topshop to Oscar De La Renta, via Oscar PR Girl (who is also a popular voice on Twitter and Pinterest, another visual based niche network with rocket ship growth); as well as media companies such as the Economist, NPR and Rolling Stone magazine. What’s your favorite Tumblr blog?

For more posts by Candace, please visit:  http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/hank/author/candacekuss/