How Non-profits Can Build a Successful Twitter Campaign

Twitter’s continued growth to 450 million users and counting has reinforced its place as a corner stone of sound social media strategy.  Twitter is by far social’s simplest platform, with hardly any learning curve in terms of use.  Designing a successful Twitter campaign for your non-profit, however, will take a bit more thought and deliberation.

non-profitsNon-profits and Twitter:  like PB & J

Non-profits have taken to social media like a fish to water.  There is simply no better way to target advocates, volunteers, private and corporate donors, and raise awareness about your cause.  Because tweets are 140 characters or less, Twitter is a great way to make your point quickly, share links, promote events, and even sponsor live exchanges.

Creating a specific Twitter campaign has specific elements that can coordinate your message “brand” to expand your non-profit’s reach, influence, and donor attraction.

How to Be FFFlipping Awesome on Twitter

To get started, stick with three main concepts to outline your strategy:

  • Focus.  What audience are you seeking to engage?  You have to know who you are looking for before you can hatch a plan to get them to follow and advocate for you.
  • Find.  Discover your audience by using the “# Discover” tab at the top of your Twitter dashboard.  Browse categories or find users with an appropriate hashtag.
  • Follow.  Once you’ve identified key players, follow them and they may follow you back.  Follow all who follow you, and pay attention to what people are tweeting about.  This may take a little time but it’s important to know what is on people’s minds.

 The Nitty Gritty on Getting Twitty

Once you’ve accomplished the above three steps, it’s time to get down to business.  Remember, there isn’t a set of rules you must follow when designing your Twitter campaign.

  • Create your own hashtag.  If your Twitter campaign is promoting a specific event or cause, create a hashtag to help people spread the message using it.  Make sure the hashtag you want to use isn’t already taken by searching for it.  Ask followers to tweet or retweet using the hashtag.  Use the hashtag in all your digital marketing:  website, social media, and content marketing.
  • Customize your Twitter wallpaper.  Visually, this draws attention to the heart of your campaign, and unique graphics will help followers retain information better than a generic background.
  • Challenge followers to get the word out.  Host a live Twitter event and invite all followers, Facebook fans, people in your email list, and like-minded organizations to see how many people they can get to attend.  Post questions and respond to the Twitter feed as they come in.
  • Send direct messages.  Twitter is much more than just tweeting.  Send automatic direct messages to all who follow you and personalized messages to those who could become advocates, champions, and key influencers.  Reach out to those in the media, government, and even celebrities who care about charities like yours.
  • Sing your praises.  Celebrate your non-profit’s successes.  Tweet campaign results in real time, such as number of followers, retweets, up to minute news, and your organization’s specific efforts pursuing donations, cause legislation, or other markers of progress.

Twitter is an awesome place to connect with those who can help you make a difference in the world.  Putting some preliminary thought into your Twitter campaign can give you measurable results you can repeat and get better at with each subsequent effort.