Social media has been a real boon in connecting missions organisations with missions minded people. Whether it is connecting with supporters, churches, friends, other ministries or prospective participants social media can be a great way to connect and have a conversation.

Discussion of social media tends to revolve around the three big ones:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Each of the three big networks has their own audience and way of working. A network however that I think is being ignored, to the detriment of our missions centres, is Tumblr.

Tumblr

Tumble has 101+ million blogs, 44.6 billion posts (90.2 million daily), and provides a fairly effortless way to blog and connect with it’s millions of users. It also makes it easy to connect with your other social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tumblr is different than other social media sites because it is a micro-blogging site. When posting to Tumblr you have seven different options for your posts …

  1. Text
  2. Photos
  3. Quotes
  4. Links
  5. Chat
  6. Audio
  7. Video

Tumblr Demographics

As the name implies Youth With A Mission attracts many young participants, many under the age of 35. Tumblr is a social network that seems to attract a younger audience, with over 50% of it’s users being under the age of 35 (as opposed to Facebook where 65% of it’s users is over 35). (image source)

Tumblr Age Distribution 2012

Tumblr is one of the top 20 sites in 8 different countries, including Philippines, Mexico, USA, Chile, Singapore, UK, Canada and Portugal. (image source)

Tumblr Usage Per Country

Using Tumblr for your Missions Centre

I think that the best example, or at least my favourite example, that I have found is the Doctors Without Borders Tumblr Blog. Social Media Examiner had a great write up about businesses using Tumblr that had this to say about the Doctors Without Borders page:

Doctors Without Borders uses a combination of photos and quotes to convey their humanitarian message. Using a two-column format, the majority of posts are split between photos with short captions and quotes from longer field reports from trouble spots such as Somalia and Pakistan.

Most posts link to larger reports or slide shows on their main site but the combination of the quotes and pictures can be quite effective.

Doctors Without Borders on Tumblr

The way that Doctors Without Borders is using Tumblr I feel could transfer very well to a missions or YWAM Centre to raise awareness and to get other involved. In addition to the photos and quotes they are also using video and audio quite effectively on their site.

Like any social network before you head over there it is important that you have a goal in mind for your Tumblr blog. You need to know what you want to do with it, and how you want to connect with other and connect them with your centre.

You will also need to work out who will run your Tumblr blog. It takes an investment of time and staff to do Tumblr well, and if you are going to get into it you will want to be willing to invest that time and man power. When you set it up you will want to set it up as a “secondary blog”, not as your primary blog. This allows you to set it up so that you can have multiple users managing and contributing to the blog.

It is important that you use Tumblr as a place for interaction and not just as another way to “broadcast” your messages. One unique way that Tumblr helps enable this interaction is with an “Ask a question” option that Tumblr allows you to enable on your blog. You can then answer the question publicly, or privately, depending on the nature of the question.

What’s your experience with Tumblr?

Last week I set-up a Personal Tumblr Blog and a YWAM Global Tumblr Blog to experiment with the platform.

I would love to know what your experience and thoughts are about this growing social network? Is it something that you have used or are considering using?

Let us know in the comments below, and if you have a tumblr blog let me know as well so that I can follow you over there.

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2 comments
JonDavisJr
JonDavisJr

had a Tumblr account for a while, but there was just too much garbage and porn.  I also found the site and the administrative tools to be visually confusing.

I also didn't really connect with anybody there.  It seems that I don't really know anybody that actually uses Tumblr (even if they have an account).

I'll be very interested to hear if your experience with Tumblr is different!

SamWerner
SamWerner

Thats interesting. I never even considered tumblr before.

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