Brands looking to reach Tumblr's 300 million monthly users have a new option: place their ads right in users' news feeds. But unless they know what Tumblr users want, they might as well save their money.
Users were predictably not overwhelmingly impressed when sponsored posts began to appear in the feeds that previously only featured content from blogs the users follow. Brands that want to be wanted can start by looking at what's working now.
BBC America's Dr. Who Tumblr (a past "Best Overall Brand Presence on Tumblr" Shorty Award winner), for instance, is a perfect blend of news, fan-created content and other curated material.
But what if you're not a media brand with a massive online fan base devoted to creating related content? What if you're, perhaps, a classic American diner chain?
While Denny's was part of the launch of the in-dash ads, that's not what's earning them Tumblr fans. It's all about engagement, tone and familiarity with the platform and its users. They follow and respond to people, take advantage of current topics, post fan submissions, and just genuinely seem to have a good time with it.
Tumblr user Psyche Time-Lapse says it best: "The official Denny's Tumblr is so successfully into integrating itself with Tumblr culture that I suspect the folks running it are actually enjoying themselves. Bless 'em."
Missed our take last week on brands in the sharing economy? It's right here.