AUCKLAND: Branded content on social media can be highly effective in driving recall and purchase intent, says a new study, but only if it is entertaining, informative and amusing.

A study by Yahoo – Social Norms: The Status of Social in 2015 – reported that almost half of social media users could recall seeing branded content in the previous 30 days. This was particularly true for younger consumers (14-34 year olds) who had higher recall of branded content relative to older (35-65 year olds) users.

And nearly two thirds (63%) said they were more likely to "try brands that I haven't tried before if they share interesting content".

Further, six in ten (61%) indicated a likelihood to buy more from brands that "entertain me".

Following its launch in New Zealand and Australia earlier this year, social platform Tumblr – owned by Yahoo – claimed above-average figures in these areas, with the report suggesting that one in two social media users think more highly of brands simply because of their presence on Tumblr.

The majority of Tumblr users (55%) regularly searched for content, it said, with respondents 29% more likely to purchase and 36% more likely to recommend a brand that shared interesting and entertaining updates on Tumblr.

Tumblr users were also found to be more engaged. A greater number of users visited the platform every day (+13%) and 37% more users engaged in longer sessions (defined as 20 minutes or more) when compared to the social media average.

Described as "one of the great sleepers" among social media platforms, Tumblr founder David Karp earlier this year announced that Australia would be the first market outside the US to be a focus for the brand.

He told the Australian Financial Review that Tumblr was unlike other social media platforms in that it was not so much about people as about the things they loved – "content, art and media".

"The average post on Tumblr is re-blogged [on Tumblr] 14 times," he added. "It's not bringing stuff from the outside world in."

And advertisers are starting to take note of the fact that Tumblr is the fastest-growing social network among hard-to-reach 16-24 year old consumers.

Data sourced from Yahoo, Australian Financial Review; additional content by Warc staff