Non-profits and public sector organizations are no longer lagging behind the business world in the use of social media. It has become apparent that social media is useful for engaging communities and building brand recognition and small organizations are taking note. Most non-profits, and most of the general population, predominantly use Facebook for social networking. Twitter can seem intimidating to those new to social media. Here are some treads, tips, and tools to help your organization get started with Twitter.
Trends on Twitter
- Live tweeting from events is expected. This is a great article from Nonprofit Tech for Good – How to Report Live from Nonprofit Events and Conferences
- Twitter is becoming more visual. There are so many images on twitter now that tweets without images often get skimmed over because they get lost in the news feed. While not all tweets need a visual – use a visual when possible. Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop will allow you to use to create graphics for your tweets. Infographics are becoming increasingly popular, and you don’t need to be too tech-savy to create them. Check out Piktochart
- Twitter chats continue to increase in popularity. More organizations and people on twitter are becoming familiar and comfortable with participating in a live twitter chat. Twitter chats are a great way to obtain helpful resources, consider new ideas, share your own organizations resources and connect with and follow new people/organizations who have similar interests.
Tips for Using Twitter
- Don’t just tweet about your own organization. Only about ¼ tweets should be self-promoting. Think about educating your audience and sharing important information.
- Don’t over-tweet but tweet consistently. Aim for 3-8 tweets per day (unless participating in a twitter chat or live tweeting from an event). You don’t want to crowd the newsfeed, and you only want to tweet important/relevant information (it’s ok to be selective). You want to make sure you tweet daily so people know your organization is active on twitter and will actively search your profile to read your tweets daily (because they know you always have good stuff to say).
- Check content before tweeting/retweeting. Sometimes an article title or tweet about an article can be misleading, or the source or information is not reputable or appropriate. You want other people and organizations to be able to trust your tweets and be able to retweet them with confidence (without having to check the content themselves if they don’t have time).
- Add visuals whenever possible.
- Include appropriate twitter handles of people and organizations in your tweets. Organizations appreciate the exposure and will likely retweet – dramatically increasing the number of people your tweet will reach. If you aren’t sure if an organization has a twitter account, look up their website, it should be included there.
- Mark your calendar with cause awareness days. Cause awareness days provide a great opportunity for organization to gain new followers and promote themselves.
Useful Tools for Twitter
- Twitter Analytics is a free online tool that allows users to track the number of impressions, engagements, link clicks, retweets, favorites and replies. Note, this application only starts tracking from the first time you use it.
- Twitonomy is a Twitter analytics platform that allows you to get detailed and visual analytics on anyone's tweets, retweets, replies, mentions, hashtags. To use a lot of the features you must have a paid account.
- Tweet Deck is a free dashboard powered by Twitter that allows you to create a custom twitter experience and manage multiple timelines to keep track of notifications, searches, and hashtags. You can also schedule tweets and mute users or terms.
- Hootsuite is a paid social media dashboard that allows organizations and businesses of all sizes to manage social networks, schedule tweets, and track analytics. It is a great tool for organizations who have multiple staff managing social media accounts to delegate tasks and streamline workflow.