Could Tumblr ever replace Facebook as the best social media platform for brands?By Sutro November 14th, 2012 Comments (0)
Facebook released an update to its algorithms – known as Edgerank – earlier this year which was aimed at strengthening the importance of engagement with Pages. This firmly put the focus back on good content by making updates feature more prominently on a user’s Newsfeed the more it was interacted with. But since the changes many brands have experienced a considerable drop off in the reach of their posts, making marketers question if it was part of Facebook’s strategy to get brands to pay for using the service through advertisement and sponsored stories.
Having seen a rather unsettled time since its IPO, Facebook has looked at ways to make money on its services and is now offering brands to pay to reach the followers they have already acquired.
This has angered billionaire tech and media investor Mark Cuban – also the owner of the Dallas Maverick – who openly aired his dissatisfaction with the social network on rivalling platform Twitter, after receiving an offer from Facebook to pay several thousand dollars to reach his team’s fans. In the tweet, Cuban said he was tired of the way Facebook does business and is considering taking his business elsewhere, While saying they will not leave Facebook, Cuban told Readwrite that the focus will be grow his brands on non-Facebook platforms such as Tumblr.
But how does Tumblr, which has seen a gigantic rise in users over the last few years with many high-profile brands making great use of the blogging platform, compare to Facebook?
Pros of using Tumblr over Facebook
Greater degree of customisation – Tumblr offers more than 1,300 ready-made themes as well as the chance to create a totally customised look that is on-brand. Even after the introduction of the Timeline Photo, the rather rigid Facebook layout may be a negative for even the most impressive content strategy.
Richer media embedding – Tumblr lets you embed videos and images with great ease, which depending on your theme, can make the page look more visually pleasing.
Potential increased sharability on the open internet – It’s all well and good to reach friends of friends on Facebook when they hit the share button, but one of Tumblr’s strong points is that any branded content you add there has the potential to reach much further than on Facebook. Why? A) people can’t share Facebook content outside of Facebook Walls – unless they cut and paste it elsewhere and B) content can be reblogged on Tumblr in just one click. Then again Facebook is just two clicks…
Cons of using Tumblr over Facebook
Reduced two-way communication – Customer service has become one of the main reasons for why people follow and connect with brands on social media channels. Tumblr offers limited ways for brands to find out what their fans are thinking and to receive feedback through comments, unless they install Disqus. On Facebook users are allowed to leave posts on the Wall and comment on updates as well as send private messages, offering several ways for consumers to communicate with you.
Less targeted reach – With over one billion active users, Facebook is well on its way to world domination. Tumblr can be seen as the flavour of the month and could potentially have been swapped for the next cool thing a few months down the line. Meanwhile, Facebook has over the years become the matriarch of social media and is now thoroughly embedded into people’s daily lives. Despite the fact that brands may have to pay in the future (no-one expected it to stay free for brands forever really?), there is still the benefit of being able to target those who are interested in your brand. And if you choose, you can still grow your audience through high-quality content. It may just take longer to see the results.
It will be interesting to see if other brands follow Mark Cuban’s plans and downscaling the marketing activity on Facebook in favour of other social media channels.
At Sutro we see Facebook as a key platform in any social media strategy. While we consider content to be king, something which is reflected in our strategies, we have also run successful paid for actives on the platform and think both are essential to most campaigns. An added bonus of Facebook are the deeper connections between people, which means a Facebook Share or Like can be seen as much more valuable to the brand compared to a quick ‘heart’ on Tumblr.
If you are interested in finding out more how we can help your brand – get in touch.