“Tumblr is all about discovery.” (Internet Retailer)

This summer, we embarked on a Tumblr discovery of our own. It began when we invited Liba Rubenstein, Tumblr’s director of strategy and outreach, to speak at MCON 2014, and she responded with an idea: Let’s partner in an experiment to promote this national conference using the Tumblr platform.

Intriguing? Yes. A little intimidating? Maybe. We weren’t on Tumblr and already had our small staff pretty busy. Yet, never one to shy away from exploring promising possibilities, our President Derrick Feldmann began brainstorming ways a Tumblr-MCON partnership could promote an ongoing conversation about cause-related research – one that could generate, for years to come, topics for future MCONs and areas of focus for millennial impact studies.

We soon agreed to the strategy below, Tumblr agreed to promote the blog through its communication vehicles, and we launched MCONideas.tumblr.com in late June with high hopes.

It’s a huge understatement to say we’ve been pleasantly surprised. In less than a month (June 2014), we soared from 0 followers to more than 7,200. Today, we’re at nearly 9,800 and growing daily.

Our initial strategy had three phases:

Pre-MCON engagement:

  • Promote upcoming conference – speakers, topics, locality.
  • Promote sponsors and partners.
  • Promote upcoming research release.
  • Share info from MCON 2013.

MCON event engagement:

  • Host a Tumblr Room for speaker participation (GIFs, Social Q&A).
  • Post event images and sponsor images/story links.
  • Share research data and analysis.
  • Debut videos/films.

Post-MCON engagement:

  • Promote event videos/photos.
  • Promote research data and availability.
  • Share educational and inspirational content.
  • Promote sponsors and partners.
  • Seek out and share thought-provoking/idea-starting content from other sources.

The Tumblr Room we hosted during the conference was one of the best parts of our Tumblr experience. During MCON, we encouraged (and helped) each conference speaker to create a GIF post (see examples below). We had a great time, and it created a real sense of camaraderie among our staff and the speakers (some of who had never made a GIF before). Plus, most of the speakers shared their GIFs via their own social media accounts, extending our audience reach exponentially.


(Above: Filmmakers Mo Scarpeli and Vanessa Black participate in MCON’s Tumblr room.)

(Below: Some of the Achieve staff celebrates a successful MCON.)


Taking a chance on Tumblr was something of a leap of faith. It required a fair amount of staff time to learn the platform, create a cohesive strategy and begin implementation – and, like any other social media platform, churning out content is a never-ending duty.

Yet, we all ignore Tumblr at our peril. It’s the world’s largest blogging platform, grabbing the second-largest share of “time spent on site” among all social media platforms (after Facebook). Tumblr hosts 100 million blogs generating 80 million posts every day, and it’s the 15th most popular website in the U.S. (Quantcast.com, April 2013)

In these three short months, we’ve generated about 500 thoughts, ideas, what-ifs and even a few jokes about Millennials, causes, social movements and corporate social responsibility by tending to our Tumblr account. And we’ve all become fans of this quirky, mind-opening platform for personal and professional reasons.

Come join the conversation, won’t you?


MCONideas.tumblr.com is sponsored by American Express

P.S. To help spread the word about MCONideas.tumblr.com outside the platform, we’re adding the icon to our web pages and started a complementary monthly e-newsletter. MCONideas highlights a few of the inspiring, thought-provoking and controversial ideas being shared about the culture, resources, relationships and movements people are creating and supporting today. Sign up here