Tumblr: The Marketing Powerhouse Your Nonprofit May Be Overlooking


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Tumblr -- since it's billion dollar sale to Yahoo in May, it's been all over the tech press, yet to many nonprofits, the red hot blogging network remains an inscrutable barrage of fashionable hipsters and wacky cat GIFs. Tumblr has many payoffs for those looking to get the word out about their organization on a small budget, especially those who are already adept at cultivating micro-networks on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. In this session, we'll talk about the myths, misconceptions and powerful opportunities of this growing platform -- with a special focus on transferring strategies you may already use to create an active army of supporters on Tumblr.
Join us and learn:
Inspiring examples of how nonprofits are using Tumblr to create new followers and engage existing ones
What Tumblr strategy shares with that of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and conventional blogging -- and where it diverges.
A framework for a solid start on Tumblr

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Tumblr: The Marketing Powerhouse Your Nonprofit May Be Overlooking

  1. 1. Tumblr: The Marketing Powerhouse Your Nonprofit May Be Overlooking* *A presentation and cat GIF celebration by Amanda McCormick
  2. 2. A little bit of background on me. • Working in digital media exclusively since 2007 • Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York City Ballet, Hamptons Film Festival, World Cinema Foundation, inMotion Inc. • My specialities: copywriting for the web, social media, web production, WordPress, email marketing, content marketing. • Launched 3 client projects in 2013 on Tumblr
  3. 3. Like many people, the way I used to think about Tumblr was all wrong. “It’s a blogging platform.” It’s just for “the kids.” The backend is @#$%! It’s silly. It won’t last.
  4. 4. But I paid attention to it,anyway. • There are now 100 million Tumblr blogs • Users spent 154.1 minutes on average on Tumblr (per user) in March 2013. (ComScore) • 19% of Tumbler visitors are Hispanic (two times internet average), per Quantcast • 35.2 percent of Tumblr visitors have a household income greater than $100,000 (ComScore). http://www.digiday.com/brands/15-stats-brands-should-know-about-tumblr/
  5. 5. I realized I that I not only needed Tumblr But there was a lot to love about it, too.
  6. 6. hipsterswhodresslikejackie.tumblr.com
  7. 7. pbsdigitalstudios.tumblr.com
  8. 8. thecosbysweaterproject.com
  9. 9. maacover.tumblr.com
  10. 10. transalt.tumblr.com
  11. 11. brooklynstoopbooks.tumblr.com
  12. 12. Facebook Like Facebook, Tumblr thrives on visual imagery that flows through a centralized “dashboard.”
  13. 13. Pinterest Tumblr shares with Pinterest a “transactional” relationship between content and users -- repinning = reblogging. (80% of content on Pinterest is “repinned.”)
  14. 14. Twitter Like Twitter, Tumblr is all about sharing fast-moving bits of content and news, and it’s governed by a similar strategy as far as finding and following influential accounts and tracking hashtags
  15. 15. Tumblr also helps you “get around” some of your frustration w/other networks.
  16. 16. Ditch the uniform blue box...
  17. 17. Avoid the “leveling” effect.
  18. 18. Tumblr is Visual
  19. 19. Tumblr is Fast
  20. 20. Tumblr is transactional
  21. 21. Tumblr forces you to put the conversation first.
  22. 22. Tumblr’s not for everyone,therefore. • Not for press releases. • Not particularly well-suited to corporate-style marketing-ease • Takes a little bit of risk and daring to master
  23. 23. Tumblr’s also not the world greatest place to blog Very disadvantaged in search
  24. 24. The #1 Reason Your Nonprofit Should Be On Tumblr?
  25. 25. The #1 Reason Your Nonprofit Should Be On Tumblr? You realize that people are already having conversations that intersect with your mission. You want to capture that.
  26. 26. • LGBT • Gardening • Historical photos • Dance • AIDS • Judaica • Community Development • Gaming • Climate change • Living with chronic disease • Poverty • Television and media • Theater and arts • Animal welfare (cute puppies and kittens!)
  27. 27. inMotion
  28. 28. Hamptons Film Festival
  29. 29. Tumblr: The Missing Manual For Organizations • Planning • Figure out your branding • Set up your blog • Find content • Find followers • Repeat
  30. 30. Planning • Where is the audience? • What sorts of conversations and issues are they interested in? • What visual motifs make sense for the organization? • Does the organization have a unique expertise, perspective or access to information or assets?
  31. 31. inMotion
  32. 32. Hamptons Film Festival
  33. 33. • Question is: mirror my website or find a new angle? • Simple and unadorned can make a lot of sense. • Use customization to pick up colors or fonts from your website Navigating Tumblr branding
  34. 34. Finding a theme can be complex...
  35. 35. humanrightscampaign.tumblr.com
  36. 36. glaad.tumblr.com
  37. 37. inMotion inmotioninc.tumblr.com
  38. 38. Taking a more “interpretive” • Does your organization have a unique asset or expertise? • What would a purely visual tumblr look like for your organization?
  39. 39. National Archives Projects ourpresidents.tumblr.com
  40. 40. National Geographic natgeofound.tumblr.com
  41. 41. hamptonsfilm.tumblr.com Hamptons Film Festival
  42. 42. Tips on navigating branding • You can have anything you want, from a site that looks exactly like your website to something completely off-the-wall. • Start with the simple free themes and experiment until you find something that feels true to brand and to message. • If you need help -- ask for it, from a qualified web designer!
  43. 43. effectortheme.tumblr.com
  44. 44. pbsthisdayinhistory.tumblr.com PBS This Day in History
  45. 45. Set up Your Tumblr • Make it a fresh install • ONLY your primary blog can follow other blogs. • Sub-blogs can add users.
  46. 46. Dashboard • Where you create posts • Where you’ll see the latest posts of blogs you follow • Where you can search • Spend some time here every day. • Run through the list of posts and reblog the ones you find the most compelling.
  47. 47. Doing a Content Audit • Collect all the visual assets that you’ve used recently on social networks, especially evergreen ones • Pull interesting info from your website, even if it isn’t “new to you.” • Look at archives. • Consider how content you have planned for other networks could work on Tumblr.
  48. 48. Queueing content • The Queue feature is a great asset of Tumblr • You can set it so a specific number of posts go out each day. • Once you have a content audit complete, start queueing it up.
  49. 49. Reblogging content • While original content is where you build your brand, reblogging content is where you show you are part of the conversation. • Aim to reblog as much content as you are able to -- and the more you can comment on it, reframe it, make it your own, the better.
  50. 50. Find and follow • Go to the dashboard and search for users who are using the terms important to your user base. • Follow as many blogs as you can that are relevant. • Follow hashtags.
  51. 51. Use hashtags • When you blog or reblog content, make sure to use hashtags so users can find you in search.
  52. 52. Common #fails • Not participating • Not thinking about design and branding • Not showing up
  53. 53. Why Tumblr? • Because you have limitless opportunity to align or extend your branding through Tumblr design and still cut through the millions of posts. • Because people are already talking about the issues that matter to your organization, and it’s up to you to capture their voices.
  54. 54. tumblr.com/spotlight/non-profitsNonprofits on Tumblr
  55. 55. Thanks! amanda@jellybeanboom.com