Twitter Tips for NPO’s

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What You Need To Know About Twitter And Your NPO
by christopherjanb

Is Your Non-Profit on Twitter?

Twitter is a great platform for any non-profit organization. It’s not always the first platform people think off – that would be Facebook.

Facebook is a great place to connect with many people, share videos and images and have in-depth discussions and conversations with your audience. Twitter, however, can be just as powerful as Facebook yet needs to be looked at a bit different. With only 140 characters to work with and a much shorter post life than a Facebook post, tweets can be a powerful networking tool for your NPO.

In this article you will learn

How Twitter works for a non-profit
How to set Twitter goals
How you can create a Twitter strategy for your non-profit
How Does Twitter Work?
Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform. People tweet all day long, all hours of the day and night and there’s always a conversation to be had. Twitter users live all over the world, therefore tweeting around the clock allows you to reach and connect with a diverse and international audience. Many tweets contain links to industry-related articles and research. Twitter is a highly searchable platform and thus high in-demand by bloggers and industry experts.

Some great Twitter uses for NPOs are to

spread awareness
reach potential supporters and sponsors
support a fundraising campaign
boost PR
thank donors
reach journalists
find volunteers
How can your NPO use Twitter knowing what Twitter can do? That depends on your Twitter strategy.

Twitter and NPOs
Would you run a marathon without training? Would you be able to complete a marathon successfully, without a training plan? You wouldn’t be successful; you might not even finish the race. Just like training and planning for a marathon, it’s imperative to your social media and Twitter success that you start with a plan. The plan you create should start with goals; what social media goals are you trying to accomplish? Need help?

Find 15 social media goals for non profits in this article.

Next step will be to combine your social media goals and what Twitter has to offer and create a strategy and get to work.

How You Can Create Your Twitter Strategy
To show you how to create a working Twitter strategy, I am taking one of the goals mentioned in the linked article and I will use it as an example of how to turn a Twitter goal into a strategy. I want to show you how a goal can transform into actionable steps to attain that goal.

Example – Strategy to get local recognition and media attention using Twitter.

Step 1 – Research!

Find and connect with local news stations, journalists and reporters. *Twitter lists are very helpful in connecting with a large group of people like this. Check to see if any of the local journalists have such a list.
Follow other local non-profits.
Find one or two locally used (and active) location hashtag(s).
Find a local calendar of (charity) events.
Take your list of all your local sponsors and supports and follow them.
Take note of what is currently being tweeted, locally, about NPOs. Is it human-interest stories? Events? TV appearances? Charity giving? Pleas for help?
Step 2 – Update Twitter Branding for local recognition.

Make sure your bio reflects your location.
Display your website and your NPO status.
Display your logo.
Personalize your Twitter background and colors.
Step 3 – Converse and be consistent.

Start sharing local stories, highlighting local events and mentioning other non-profits, making sure to use the local hashtag(s) you found. Mix those in with your regular scheduled tweets.
RT relevant stories from the new connections you’ve made and answer their tweets if they ask questions or try to engage.
Offer help in spreading awareness, event promotion and tweeting out content. Then do it. Consistently and happily.
Be present on Twitter to monitor and respond to local conversations. Add to the conversations when appropriate.
Step 4 – Pitch/Launch Your Story/Event/Fundraising Campaign on Twitter

Tweet out content re: your story, event or fundraising campaign and ask for RTs.
Tweet @ local news stations and journalists, asking for support.
Use a call-to-action in your tweets.
Be specific in what you will ask your audience to help with
Support your Twitter campaign with email marketing, post of your other social media platforms and other types of marketing.
Step 5 – Follow Up!

Thank each and every one of your Twitter supporters.
Continue to support other NPO and local events.
Ask how you can help your community.
Analyse your tweets and their effectiveness.

You can easily substitute a different social media goal and come up with a new Twitter strategy.

Leaving Twitter on the Back Burner Leaves Money There as Well!
I strongly believe that Twitter and non-profit social media strategy go hand in hand. One of the main goals of any NPO is to get money and funding, am I right? Let me ask you this: who has money? Companies! Ding ding ding; you got it right! And where are companies and local businesses connecting on social media? Twitter! And just like you (should be), local businesses are connecting with news outlets and journalists. Therefore, if you connect with one, you connect with the other.

Having been part of a relatively small non-profit right here in Myrtle Beach, I’ve seen the power of Twitter work several times, turning tweets into opportunities and opportunities into money for the non-profit. One example that comes to mind it a law firm who responded to our tweet (tweet was a call-to-action asking for sponsorship money). They responded and became a sponsor for our event. Another time we asked for donations and items for our golf tournament goodie bags and again we got a response and we got results. The same non-profit also established connections with local reporters on Twitter and when we announced that our board president won a national award, he was interviewed on TV. That opportunity, being able to be on TV, directly resulted in more sponsorships. (‘we saw you on TV and want to be part of your mission’)

Now that you’ve read my account on how Twitter could help your non-profit with just one strategy and one goal, do you think that if you had several goals Twitter could be even more powerful?

Let me know your thoughts!

Do you think using Twitter can enhance your social media strategy?
Do you see potential for using Twitter for your non-profit?
What goal do you want to start with and what tactics will you use on Twitter?
Happy Tweeting!

Author information

Dorien Morin-van Dam
Owner at More In Media
Dorien is the face behind the orange glasses and is founder of More In Media, a social media consultancy. She consults with clients in the non-profit sector, retail and service industries, as well as PR and community associations. Besides social media consulting and management, she enjoys teaching, speaking, blogging, networking and running marathons. Proud to be Dutch by birth and American by choice, Dorien makes her home in Myrtle Beach, SC with her husband, 4 kids and 3 labradors.

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