Seeking Out Strategic Intelligence On Tumblr

The landscape of social media marketing tools is vast.  With the big  4 (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn) garnering the attention of Web 2.0 marketing professionals, there are other platforms seeking to a capture their respective piece of the social media market.   According to Nielsen’s “State of the Media: The Social Media Report – Q3 2011”, the microblogging platform, Tumblr has emerged to be a popular social network by nearly tripling its unique audience in the United States last year.

Global brands such as IBM, The Economist and J. Crew have been using Tumblr as a part of their social media marketing mix to get ahead of their competitors.   With this mind, these brands are engaging with their audience however at the same time; there can be strategic intelligence available on their pages.

Below are some examples in which individuals can gather information from the following companies:

  • IBM
  • J. Crew


Via their Tumblr presence, “A Smarter Planet“, visitors can gather details on IBM’s initiative regarding “smarter systems to achieve economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development and societal progress“.   The information resource is organized by theme.   Figure 1 is a screenshot of the company’s page on Tumblr tagged “New Intelligence“.

Figure 1: IBM's Tumblr Tagged Pages, "New Intelligence"

Although some of the details maybe available on the IBM corporate website, the Tumblr presence  allows the company to elaborate on their initiatives through social media.

J. Crew

J. Crew’s Tumblr is designed to provide “a glimpse behind the design: inspiration, style and musings“.  The Tumblr presence is composed of the distinct sections: “Who’s Wearing What”, “Destination Inspiration” and “Random Musings”.   Figure 2 is a screenshot of the “Random Musings” page.

Figure 2: Random Musings Posts On J. Crew's Tumblr

By closely monitoring and reading the posts, one can gather insights regarding fashion trends from the J. Crew representatives.

Searching for more competitive intelligence?

The availability of competitive intelligence does not stop at corporate Tumblr account.  The social network has a search function that retrieves posts by individuals based on tags.  Results can come in the from of text (i.e., blog posts), images and  videos.  At the present time, the search feature is not exactly perfect so it may take some time to find relevant information.


Utilizing Tumblr as a component of a social media campaign is not for every company.  According to the post, “60 Brands Using Tumblr” on SocialFresh, there are only a select few of brands from industries that are mastering the microblogging platform.  As a result, intelligence gatherers must bear in mind that Tumblr is another outlet in which insights regarding the fashion, media and publishing industries can be available independent from other social networks and websites.  Time will only tell if companies in other industries will turn to Tumblr to enhance their social media presence.

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About Intelegia

Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.