To be completely honest, no, I don’t use Twitter. It’s extremely addictive and seeing how much time I spend on Facebook, I don’t think anything would get done. However, Twitter is extremely effective when used for companies and organizations–specifically nonprofits. Here’s some tips on What, How, When, and Why to Twitter (tweet) with some help from Sprout Social and Social Brite.
Twitter is a great way to spread the word about your organization- especially because it’s essentially free publicity. Here is a list of ways that Twitter can be useful to nonprofits.
- Twitter –> Website
Tweets can include pictures, videos, retweets, hashtags, and url’s. This means that organizations can post a multitude of media that links followers to the homepage where they can then learn more about the company and potentially donate or commit to volunteering.
- Twitter –> Awareness
Tweets are short and sweet. Therefore, followers are more willing to read tweets than long articles or stories. Something like “Save the Elephants” will definitely get people’s attention quicker than a long paragraph about saving elephants. Followers are also more likely to read your tweets because they’re often on Twitter while at work. And when the choice is either: do work or read this tweet about how I can save elephants, people will opt for the latter.
People like to know where their money is going (assuming they are donating) or how they can volunteer (assuming they are interested). Thus, posting tweets about how your new Koala Exhibit is opening soon will show patrons they helped to fund it. And tweeting how or when to volunteer may increase the number of people willing to help your cause.
Ultimately, all of these actions can benefit an organization in one way or another, it’s just a matter of engaging your supporters in the right ways. Here’s 5 Twitter Tips to make your tweets more effective.
- Make your tweets emotional by using pictures or videos. Use a personal voice that allows people to relate to you and your cause.
- #Use hashtags. They are synonymous with causes and allow others to communicate your cause to their followers. Catchy hashtags will also be more memorable. This blog has some great nonprofit hashtags. Additionally, creating hashtags for certain days such as #meatlessmonday or #rescuewednesday will encourage people to engage in certain behaviors on that day such as being vegetarian on Mondays or reading about rescued animals on Wednesdays.
- Your tweets should be about more than your company. Retweet what your followers have said or what a fellow nonprofit has tweeted. Don’t make people get tired of you. Also, respond when people tweet at you. No one likes to be ignored.
- Use keywords in your tweets to increase Search Engine Optimization which will allow people to search for your tweet. Keywords also help followers understand what you’re trying to say just by skimming.
- Tweet certain things at key times (which I’ll talk about in the next section) by using Twitter management programs such as Hootsuite, which allow you to schedule what you want to tweet and when it will be tweeted.
When you tweet is almost as important as what you tweet. People are often on Twitter while at work or bored, but not during dinnertime. One such approach is seen on the infographic on the right (click the picture and then click again to zoom). Essentially, Twitter gets a lot of traffic from 9:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. The most traffic is in the early afternoons.
Twitter is free, effective, manageable, emotive, and involved. There’s no good reason not to use Twitter for your nonproft.