What does the recent election have to do with what social outlets animal rescuers use? Perhaps more than you think.
As Facebook - the preferred social media tool for animal groups - becomes inundated with people's personal opinions and sharing of news articles re: the election (for better or worse) the more difficult it will be for stories about animals needing homes to break through (it's just how the Facebook newsfeed works).
While things will likely return to "normal" at some point, and animal-related posts will once again appear on your followers' feeds, it might be a good time to consider additional outlets through which you can broadcast your message.
One such outlet is Tumblr, a blogging and social media platform that is very different from the rest of the blogging sites out there.
Similar to Instagram, Tumblr is largely image-based, but what really sets Tumblr apart from the other blogging sites is it’s youthful and expressive experience. Many companies and brands see Tumblr as a crucial way to stay in front of the young people that make up the majority of its user base.
If used correctly, Tumblr can be a beneficial addition to your rescue’s social media presence, for a few reasons:
- Expand your audience reach. OK maybe being on Tumblr won't double your fan base, but having a Tumblr account serves as another avenue for people to find your rescue, especially young people. In other words, you might get some important INCREMENTAL users from Tumblr
- An additional source for content. If you’re running short on content ideas, you can easily search for things like rescue stories, animal memes, or positive messages related to adoptions and rescues on Tumblr
- A way to express the authentic voice of your rescue. Think personal rather than business. With Tumblr you can show off who your rescue is and what your rescue values versus only posting animals needing homes.
Successful Rescue Blogs on Tumblr
Here are a few examples of groups that have done a great job utilizing Tumblr:
Here's a helpful guide on how to get started once you've made your account.
When you first log in to Tumblr, it will take you to the Dashboard, which consists of the news feed (of the blogs you will follow) and the area to create a new post.
One of the first things you can do as a new user is follow pages that can benefit your rescue, such as animal organizations and pages dedicated to animal memes.
To do this, use the search bar at the very top left of the page that says “Search Tumblr”. Your search results will consist of posts with the same hash-tags and similar blogs to follow. This can give you somewhere to start off in terms of re-sharing content.
Tip: Liking other content is a great way to save it to re-share later.
You can then create and upload new content by using the white box above the news feed. You can post anything; links, text, images, audio files and videos. You can add hashtags to the content so that other users can find it. Above is an example of a photo we uploaded. It allows us to give a caption of the photo as well as an area for hashtags below - the more the better! Just click “post” to add it to your blog.
To see and manage what you’ve posted so far, go to the top right area and click the "person" icon, then click your blog on the drop-down menu. (This area will also help you see your blog activity, what you’ve liked, and who’s following your blog.)
Finally, it's important to choose a good layout for your blog, to give it a clean and neat appearance. There are many themes to choose for your blog. Go to tumblr.com/themes to install one of your choice. While many you have to pay for, they have a wide range of free themes to choose from that will do the job just fine! To install a theme, click a theme of your choosing and click the blue “install” button at the top of the pop-up window.
Once you set up your Tumblr, it doesn't take much time to post content. You can even just re-use what you post on FB or IG by publishing it first on Tumblr and then just pushing out to other social channels.
While adding an additional channel to your growing list of social media outlets may be the last thing on your mind as a rescuer, it never hurts to take a few minutes out of your week to do some research on what else is out there. Who would have predicted the rise of Snapchat 5 years ago? Probably not many people. So though it's been a while, consider revisiting Tumblr and the positive impact it could have on your rescuer. You'd be surprised.
Interested in a social media audit of your animal rescue group? We're going to start offering this service in 2017. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!