A To Do List for Nonprofits Who Want To Start Using Twitter

by: Adam Greenberg, Developer & Tech Writer

Twitter has more than 600 million active users and more than 135,000 more joining every day. Nonprofit Organizations have taken longer to get started on Twitter than small businesses, and even those who use Twitter do it in sporadically, without any consistency or strategy. Twitter can be overwhelming, especially for those who are new to social media, but despite the initial intimidation of getting started, it‘s a valuable tool for connecting with the community, and it should be a part of your nonprofit’s marketing plan. Here are a few “to do” items to get you started.

Pick the right image for your avatar. If you’re using Twitter as yourself, upload a professional, friendly photo as your avatar image. It’s how your followers will recognize you, it’s the face they’ll associate with your Twitter account. If you’re creating an account for your nonprofit, use your logo instead. It will help with overall brand recognition for the organization.

Add a bio header image. Pick an image that represents your mission. It can be a photo of a community outreach event, a fundraiser or even a graphic image that tells your story. Text in the header image cannot be used as a link, but it’s still a great opportunity to use text you otherwise wouldn’t have the space for.

Complete your entire profile. A complete profile gets three times the amount of followers as an incomplete one. Add your location, your website address, and most importantly a very strong about section. Keep it very brief, you only have 160 characters, but make sure you use the space to give a very clear description of your mission.

Research hashtags. Do your research and find out which topics and hashtags are trending in your industry, then use them. Using the wrong hashtag is not only a missed opportunity, but it could mean offending your audience and many others as well.

Follow relevant people and organizations. Look for strategic contacts that will help grow your brand. Following the tweets of your target audience serves more than one purpose. You’ll gain insight into what matters to them, problems they have, and their mission focus. They’ll become aware of you and your brand.

Be timely and consistent. People use Twitter because they want to know what’s happening now, not in the past. As such, being timely and posting on current events is important. Stay on top of trends and don’t go off-brand it will only make you look like a spammer. It’s also important to post every day, many people will stop following you if you don’t.

Experiment with promoted tweets. Nonprofits often have limited budgets, especially when it comes to marketing. Social media marketing is a low cost way to reach a wide range of potential supporters with less effort than other marketing techniques. Start slow and find what works best for you.

Acknowledge your twitter followers. Thank the people who follow you and share something useful with them. Make sure you always reply to their messages and comments. Being responsive shows your followers that you want to engage with them.