There’s a 15-year-old girl named Ella who lives in rural south-west England. She has a Tumblr called Party Tights that looks as if Sofia Coppola took over Teen Vogue and put it on the internet. She posts images from Brit fashion photographer Tim Walker, actress Keira Knightley and the latest Louis Vuitton campaign, mixed with pictures of herself in her bedroom. This Tumblr, which you’ve possibly never heard of, has 10,000 followers.
Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform that has the friend-like qualities of Facebook and the newsfeed of Twitter. The format is visually thrilling as there are countless templates and the code is open so users like Ella can tinker. There are 5.8million Tumblr publishers and a subculture of fashion brands, magazines and curators has taken hold.
Tumblr’s director of outreach, Meaghan O’Connell says, “I think the curatorial nature of fashion blogging has really found its legs on Tumblr.” Like many corners of the internet, Tumblr creates its own heroes, not necessarily the same ones seen in pop culture. Hooray for Alexa Chung! Not to mention platoons of fashion bloggers have who taken to Tumblr to share, re-blog, comment and like other’s posts.
“What is so interesting about fashion bloggers is that they are totally accessible, relatable people whose internet lives seem to say, ‘Look, I’m not a model or super rich or perfect or addicted to drugs. I just have a passion for this stuff and want to share it with you.’ I think that is more resonant than many people might have predicted,’” says O’Connell.
Fashion bloggers (who also have tumblrs) like Erin Hagström of Calivintage and Joelle Van Dyne and Noel Vallens from The Owls Are Not What They Seem appear on fashion chainstore Loft’s Tumblr, Live Love Loft. They guest blog and post pictures of themselves with their Loft loot paired with vintage finds. Their lifestyle snaps are then reblogged, liked and commented upon up to 200 times. This is not only social media gold but presumably Loft can track traffic and sales from Tumblr to their online store.
Steve Goldner, director of social media at Hachette follows Live Love Loft. “They do a great job. It has opened our eyes to the possibility of what we can do.” Since arriving at Hachette in February, Goldner’s team has created two Tumblrs so far – ELLE and Things My Mom Never Told Me (content from Woman’s Day spun to suit an 18-30 demographic).
With no promotion, bar being listed in the Tumblr directory, the ELLE tumblr scored 2000 followers in the first two weeks. “It didn’t take many of our resources and we’re already producing stellar content. It was a slam dunk,” says Goldner.
The Tumblr has also been bringing the right sort of traffic to Elle.com. “One of the things we do is Digg our articles from Elle.com. Someone who goes to Elle.com from Digg, does not stay with us. The person from Tumblr is more aligned with our brand.”
So, is Hachette making any money from Tumblr? “It’s about building deeper relationships,” says Goldner. “How do you quantify relationships? Measuring comments, measuring the conversation – that will create the advocacy that we’re looking for. That will start building more audience for our brand. Content is not king. Conversation around content is king.”
Some people you should know on Tumblr
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