Helpful Twitter tips
Heather Mansfield shared her 10 Twitter Tips for Nonprofits on her blog at Change.org yesterday. Perfect timing as my class at Simmons College was sharing their ideas with Toni Troop of Jane Doe Inc. who spoke to the class Monday night. (Thank you Toni! It’s great to learn from a real media pro and hear your experiences)
Toni and my students would have strongly agreed with Heather’s tip #5: “Don’t tweat about your coffee, the weather, or how tired you are. Provide value to your followers, not chit chat.”
With hundreds of tweats to check, who has time to hear the minutia of any one other than their very close friends. (That’s what I use FaceBook for… to appreciate everything from the mundane to the existential and wry wit of my closer friends.)
I’ve personally been experimenting with Twitter for a few months now so that I can be informed and helpful to the organizations I work with. I try to log onto Twitter at least once or twice a week (sorry, just can’t make it daily or have it stream into my mobile phone). When I do, I always find really interesting references that keep me informed of larger trends and thinking in this sector, which is really helpful to me.
Unfortunately, once I’ve logged in, two hours can go by before I realize that I didn’t get to the top of my To Do list yet. UGH. That’s the downside of Twitter.
In addition to great references, I’m also finding that Twitter is a good lead generator for our web site. And, because our web site is built in WordPress, we’re using a really helpful plug in called TwitsMe’s to send Tweats directly to our Twitter account… you can message me @gaylegifford.
I’m building a following and large list of followers, largely through automatic sign ups via key words which I think I made happen through MR. Tweet, but now I can’t find how to change those keywords. (Anyone who has advice, PLEASE share it).
Unfortunately, any time anyone mentions the word “philanthropy” or “charity,” I’m suddenly following them, even if it was just a rare, one time occasion that they used the word. I’m hoping to connect on Twitter with individuals who dare care about the good work of philanthropy, who have useful information to share about how we can all get better at the work we do, and who might be willing to pass along other news and helpful tips.
So back to Heather’s Tip 5. With hundreds of really interesting people to follow, it helps not to have to scroll through really mundane Tweets from people one doesn’t know and who haven’t offered any reason to want to get to know them.
So, if your nonprofit can find a smart high school or college student to help keep up, Twitter offers interesting opportunities to find a lot of people who care about the things that you care about.