4 Creative Ways Nonprofits Can Use Twitter to Engage & CommunicateFundraising, Fundraising Services, Lottery fundraising, News, Non-profit fundraising, Online Fundraising, Philanthropy, Social Media for Nonprofit Fundraising, Telephone Fundraising | Desi Cabrera | July 19, 2012 at 12:01 am
This is the third part of my focus on Twitter and its effectiveness for nonprofit engagement and communication. In part one I reviewed 6 Twitter Setup Tips for Nonprofit Fundraising and in the second part I also provided 6 Twitter Insights to Increase Nonprofit Fundraising & Engagement. Although Twitter can be used “traditionally” for engagement and communication, there are many different and creative ways in which the platform can be used. Incorporating these into your social media marketing plans can help make your cause/organization stand out and expand your overall reach. The following are 4 ideas on how to creatively use Twitter:
- Internal Communication. Communicating with the employees, volunteers and board members at your organization can certainly be done through the standard email, newsletters and discussion boards. However, often relaying a simple and quick message is all that is necessary and Twitter can certainly facilitate this. Whether it is to update your group of advocates on the latest appeals or upcoming events, or simply post volunteer opportunities, the short 140 character tweet can efficiently communicate a message to your team. It is important however to ensure that your team is informed and aware that your organization uses this channel as a method of communication.
- Events. From the promotion of your fundraising events to communicating with attendees at the actual event, Twitter can be used to engage attendees into participating in live onsite discussions and conversations. Using Twitter at events as a communication tool also helps include those who are unable to attend and gives them the ability to follow and keep track of the happenings remotely. Two ways that this can be done is through your organization tweeting from their profile and attendees can follow your tweets on your page and secondly by hash-tagging an event related keyword. To ensure that Twitter is successfully integrated into the event it needs to be promoted on all invites and event marketing materials. Displaying the tweets feed on a large monitor or screen for the attendees is a nice touch that completes your event’s Twitter experience. For event promotion and participation, Twitter is invaluable.
- Real-Time Conversations. Twitter can help your organization facilitate internal news or brain-storming conferences throughout multiple offices (if applicable), volunteer feedback sessions or industry chats with supporters and donors where questions can be answered, updates communicated or a cause related topic can be discussed. Joining other industry related conversations can also help connect your organization with other industry leaders and like-minded people who have the same passion for your cause, where ideas and strategies can be shared and connections made. Conversations can be had on the Twitter platform itself by entering a hash-tagged keyword and participants search and follow the hash-tagged keyword which will then only display tweets related to that specific chat topic enabling real-time conversations. A free third-party tool, TweetChat can also assist with conversations.
- Timely responses. Make sure you are responding quickly to all tweets, direct messages and conversations. Delayed responses will ultimately result in lost opportunities and those who once showed interest will move on to other more engaging conversations. Another good practice is to thank new followers, positive @mentions and retweets. All of these gestures of appreciation and acknowledgement will contribute to the relationship building with will (hopefully) convert followers into donors.
It’s important for nonprofits to have a Twitter presence and it’s even more important to ensure the platform is used effectively and maximized to its full potential. Stay tuned for next week when I continue with a focus on LinkedIn for nonprofits. You can browse through all entries in my Social Media Summer Series for nonprofits thus far which includes a series on Facebook and Twitter.
Hope to connect with you soon at an industry related TweetChat! Let me know your feedback @Miratel
Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.