7 reasons you should pay attention to Tumblr right now

Tumblr is officially the fastest-growing social network. Here’s why brand managers should be paying attention to it.

What’s the fastest-growing social media network? Facebook? Sorry, Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not. Twitter? #ThinkAgain. LinkedIn? Don’t bet your job on it.

The correct answer: Tumblr, the image-heavy, quote-stuffed, Yahoo-owned microblogging platform. (This in-depth post on Business News Daily explains how Tumblr works.)

“Tumblr lends itself to the rapid response, on-the-go blogging that a lot of mobile phone users want without all the hassle of messing around with something bigger and more complicated like a WordPress blog,” Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy write in their book, “Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself.”

If you’re fixated on Facebook or Twitter, you might not be aware that Tumblr boasts nearly 215 million blogs and 99 billion posts, or that TechCrunch says Tumblr receives 400 million unique visits a month. Or that, according to Statista, Tumblr ranks as the world’s seventh most popular social network.

Never been on Tumblr? If you don’t want to get left in the social media dust, you might want to check it out. Here are seven reasons you should.

1. Rising use.

Worldwide, the number of active users on Tumblr soared 120 percent from the first quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2014, according to a report from Global Web Index. Facebook’s growth rate during the same period: a measly 2 percent.

2. Desired demographic.

According to Global Web Index, 70 percent of Tumblr’s active users are 16 to 34 years old, a coveted demographic for many brands. By comparison, that figure is 54 percent for Facebook’s active users.

3. Impressive income.

The median household income of Tumblr users is an eye-popping $80,075, according to Adweek. That’s higher than Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, and slightly less than LinkedIn. Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for Adobe Digital Index, told Adweek that Tumblr users are skewed toward “young, trendy and well-educated urbanites with a greater affinity for online purchases and the disposable income to spend more.”

4. Retail referrals.

Among social media networks, Tumblr referrals to retail websites produce the highest revenue per visit from mobile devices, according to the 2014 U.S. Mobile Benchmark report from Adobe Digital Index. The Tumblr figures are $2.57 per visit for tablets and 67 cents for smartphones, according to Adweek. Next in line is Facebook, at $1.55 for tablets and 42 cents for smartphones.

5. “Action” buttons.

In early December, Tumblr introduced “action” buttons that enable users buy goods or support causes, The Next Web reported. These buttons appear on posts with links to pages on Artsy, Etsy, Do Something and Kickstarter.

6. Sponsored posts.

More than 300 advertisers have purchased sponsored posts on Tumblr since the feature was introduced in 2013, according to Adweek. They include AT&T, Dior, General Electric, IBM and Taco Bell. David Hayes, Tumblr’s head of creative strategy, told Adweek that brands are seeing success on the platform because it lets them post an array of media.

7. Sponsored apps.

Tumblr recently launched “sponsored apps,” which Global Web Index describes as mobile ads that are designed to steer users to the iTunes App Store and Google Play. The ads actually are posts, so “they can be liked and re-shared on Tumblr’s network through its reblogging mechanism,” TechCrunch reported.

John Egan is editor of The SpareFoot Blog.

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