The fashion industry has been pretty slow on the uptake when it comes to social media — after all, we’re still trying to figure out how to get people to buy things via Twitter on a mass scale. But brands like Kate Spade and Ann Taylor have been flocking to that site in droves — and it’s expected that they’ll continue doing so for months.
According to a new article on Mashable, the blogging platform’s fashion community is the biggest draw for brands that want to get in touch with people, even though they understand that most Tumblr users won’t be potential customers. So while Kate Spade’s Tumblr, set up just last week, has been busy reblogging other people’s posts about Kate Spade — and posting some of its own visuals and branded content — it hasn’t made too big a point of linking back to its e-commerce site.
The same goes for the Oscar PR Girl Tumblr, helmed by Oscar de la Renta‘s public relations director Erika Bearman. Like her much-followed Twitter account, her tumblr serves as an inside look at what it’s like to work with De la Renta himself — but not what it’s like to buy his clothing.
And that’s because the majority of people who maintain and follow fashion-focused Tumblrs are between 13 and 24. (But some of the platform’s most popular blogs are fashion-focused — and Tumblr is sending 20 of the people behind those blogs to Fashion Week.) So instead of using the platform to sell, sell, sell, brands use it to communicate with a generation of fashion- and beauty-obsessed people it hopes to sell to in the future. And every photo post is another chance to do just that.
But if the brand’s aren’t selling anything, is it worth the time or the investment? We’re not down on Tumblr — we actually think the ease with which you can communicate with other people on Tumblr brings a new and essential dimension to the experience of blogging. Sales, not so much. And on that front, only time will tell.