10 Twitter Tips for NonprofitsTuesday, September 3, 2013
Twitter is the fourth largest social network in the world, with more than 200 million active users. It is a unique platform because you have the option of either A) broadcasting a mass message to the entire Twitter world or B) having a one-on-one discussion with just about any individual. These factors make Twitter a valuable tool for promoting your organization and connecting with your audience on a more personal level.
Keep reading today's post for ten tips that will help you improve your nonprofit's Twitter marketing.
(New to Twitter? Check out my Twitter Beginner's Guide!)
1) Find content faster with Twitter Lists.
With Twitter’s activity feed running 24/7, it can be difficult to keep track of what people are saying. Twitter Lists allow you to organize the people you follow into segmented feeds and filter out everyone else’s tweets.
This is a very helpful tool for finding shared content on a specific topic. For example, you could create a list of “Nonprofit Marketing Professionals” and use it as an internal resource for your organization. By creating a list of other organizations in your industry, you can find relevant content to retweet to your followers.
Another way to find content about a specific topic is to perform a search in Twitter. Simply type in a keyword, like “fundraising,” and a list of tweets containing that word will be generated. You can filter your search results to show just one type of result—tweets, photos, or people (using the “people” search is a great way to find new users to follow!).
3) Keep up with Trends.
Twitter Trends, located in the left sidebar of your Twitter homepage, shows the most popular hashtags and keywords being tweeted by users in a particular city or region. Twitter has recently added A LOT of new locations to choose from, making this a valuable tool for organizations serving a specific city or region.
So instead of simply seeing what is trending across the country, change your settings to see what’s trending in your very own backyard. Keep an eye out for relevant trending hashtags, and use them in your tweets to get noticed by other Twitter users in your community.
4) Create a weekly hashtag.
A weekly hashtag is a fun, interesting element to incorporate into your Twitter routine. For a lighthearted end-of-the-week tweet, try sharing a weekly joke with the hashtag #FridayFunny. (Just make sure the joke is relevant to your organization!)
If you don’t want to get too playful, something like a TipOfTheDay hashtag will allow you to show some personality without compromising your professionalism.
5) Tweet like a person, not a robot.
You’re not the Associated Press, so your tweets shouldn’t sound like the headline of a news release. Be conversational and personable on Twitter.
Instead of writing something stiff and formal like, “New Tips for Increasing Engagement on Twitter, Facebook,” try turning it into a phrase someone might say. For example, “Check out these great tips for increasing engagement on social media!”
6) Find a happy balance of professional and fun.
It’s good to be conversational on Twitter, but don’t take it too far. Avoid tweets like this: “C u all l8ter at the networking event!!!”
7) Don’t go overboard with hashtags and @ tags.
While hashtags and @ symbol are great tools, too many will make your tweets difficult to read.
DON’T tweet like this: “Watch @TMJ4NBC tonight with @johnsmith and @janedoe to learn how @Kohls is using #Twitter and #Facebook to #engage followers”.
DO tweet like this: “Watch @TMJ4NBC tonight to learn how Kohls is using #Twitter and #Facebook to engage users.”
The second tweet is less cluttered and much easier to read.
8) Retweet at least once daily.
Retweeting has two big benefits: 1) It’s a quick and easy way to share relevant content with your followers; 2) The user you retweeted will probably be flattered, and that puts you one step closer to building a relationship with that person!
9) Always say “thanks.”
Another important step toward building relationships with other Twitter users is to show appreciation when that person shares your content, whether they retweet you or share a link to your latest blog post. You should also acknowledge people when they first begin to follow you. You will be notified by email any time someone engages with you on Twitter, but you can also check the "Connect" tab daily to see interactions and mentions!
10) Schedule your tweets.
To be visible on Twitter, you should tweet at least five times a day, spaced out with several hours in between. There are many great free tools online that you can use to schedule out your posts. One great tool is Buffer, which allows you to choose what time you want posts to be delivered. Buffer also provides general analytics, such as how many people have clicked on your posts, how many retweets you’ve gained, etc.