To me, Tumblr seems like a cross between WordPress and Instagram: a blogging tool that can really highlight your visual presence while also expanding your social media presence. What organization wouldn’t want that? Well, considering how many options there are, and how little extra time and money public health organizations usually have, it’s easier to write Tumblr off as a less-popular version of several of the major players in mass media communication. My research has shown, however, that using Tumblr can be a great way to do something that others may not be doing, and thus to create a larger presence and expand your share of online travel.
1) Check out Tumblr’s own TUMBLING FOR GOOD tutorial on starting a Tumblr for your nonprofit
a. Also take a minute to look through Tumblr’s main page for Charities & Non-Profits. Imagine the traffic getting featured here would bring to your site!
2) Follow leading examples:
I think the Planned Parenthood Tumblr is a great example of how to create a page that is both similar to but also distinct from your other sites. Both their Twitter and Tumblr pages have a colorful condom polka-dot banner. This helps to provide continuity to their social media presence.
My favorite part of this Tumblr is the Ask a Question feature, where viewers can type in a question. Questions and answers are featured on the site, along with images, gifs, information, and more. The mix of content is engaging, like their Twitter and Instagram feeds were combined and grown.
UNICEF has created such a large presence by using these two different Tumblrs to highlight two different aspects, their service area and their employees. The main UNICEF page is a good example of a blog, with a mixture of images, interviews, thoughts, information, and more.
It’s the Faces of UNICEF site that is really unique, and I think, compelling as a social media consumer. It features pictures of employees along with short quotations on why they love their jobs, as well as some longer interviews. It is incredibly inspiring to read about why all of these different people love working their, and is hugely influential to potential supporters. As consumers of causes, people want to know their support, time, money, donations, etc. are going to people who are passionate. People who are actually trying to change the world for good.
The take-away for starting a Tumblr is to make it seem natural and effortless, which of course is something most people have to work at to achieve. My recommendation is to cater to younger supporters, who make up a large portion of Tumblr users (50% are in the 18-34 range, according to Tumblr’s research). Make sure to keep the content fresh by including different types of posts, such as volunteer interviews, employee profiles, questions and answers, videos, infographics, illustrations, pictures… Planned Parenthood has some fabulous illustrations re-blogged from small print operations. You could pair up with a local Etsy seller and do a fundraising event through social media, for example.