10 Twitter Best Practices for Nonprofits

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Guest Post by Meg Rulli, Co-Founder, ModMark Group

Social media is king when it comes to spreading awareness of your organization in today’s digital world! But which platform should your nonprofit focus its effort?

There are plenty of communities out there, so it really depends on what the marketing goals are of your organization – and where your audience is located. But to break things down at a high-level, platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are outstanding for video and photo content, but Twitter is my favorite platform to connect for nonprofits to connect with  their audience influencers in the social good space.

After all, Twitter is the only true social network. It is incredibly easy to have short conversations on Twitter that you eventually can take offline and turn into a partnership/customer.

If you aren’t using Twitter, you may be leaving some opportunities on the table!

Twitter Best Practices

Photo Credit via Shawn Campbell

I’ve quickly highlighted 10 simple steps that you can take to ensure your content and brand’s reach is maximized in the world of Tweeting.

I hope you find the tasks below to be a valuable addition to your Twitter strategy.

  1. Use personal and unique visual storytelling of your organization on Twitter – To help attract new followers on Twitter, visually draw users in. Ensure that your profile photo is a crystal clear image of your logo and your background image on your profile is creative, beautiful, and tells a story about what your organization is all about.  Pictures are also becoming increasingly share-worthy and popular content on Twitter – be sure your content strategy on Twitter has a blend of picture-based Tweets to help keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
  2. Follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to sharing content – Your followers don’t just want you to spam their Twitter feeds with updates on your company. In order to be interesting on social media, you need to be sharing more of other’s content than you own! 80% of content you share should be 3rd party content (or connecting with 3rd parties) and only 20% should be about your organization.
  3. Get granular when you Tweet out articles from major industry publications – When sharing 3rd party articles, give kudos to the authors in your Tweets – not just the publications/companies of the content you are sharing. Getting a response on Twitter from the author is much more likely than getting retweeted by the publication itself, which often has millions of followers (just think of Huffington Post, which has 4.8 million followers). As an added bonus, chatting with authors on Twitter is a great way to connect with PR outlets for future guest posting opportunities for you and your organization!
  4. Join weekly Twitter chats in the social good community – Joining Twitter chats on the regular will allow you to connect with a large audience of like-minded people on Twitter in real-time. Some of our favorites include the #socentchat, #fundchat, #commbuild and #npcons.
  5. Take #FF (Follow Friday) a step further – Instead of just randomly blasting Tweets to a ton of Twitter users on Follow Friday, leverage #FF shout-outs to connect like-minded people and organizations. For example, if you felt especially inspired by several female entrepreneurs in a particular week, mention them all in a Tweet on Friday (using the #FF hashtag). Odds are, they have a lot in common and will want to connect… as a bonus, you will be seen as a connector on Twitter!
  6. Use trending hashtags that are particular to that day/week (as applicable to your organization) – By Tweeting with associated trending hashtags, you’ll get hundreds of more people seeing your Tweets beyond just those people who are following you. Check (on your Twitter account) daily to see which hashtags are current and trending and use these as it relates to the content that you are sharing.
  7. Use social good specific hashtags as part of your regular content strategy – To expand your reach on Twitter beyond just your regular followers, use relevant and popular hashtags that correlate to the content that you are Tweeting out. Some of our favorites in the social space include: #SocialGood, #Socent, #Nonprofits, etc.
  8. Use Twitter effectively as a lead generation tool – As mentioned before, Twitter is a true social platform where you can easily reach out to someone directly through a casual Tweet. But instead of just Tweeting at someone, get into Direct Messaging on Twitter. DM’ing someone is a great tool to send a more personalized and private note to someone. Use DM’ing especially to exchange emails and phone numbers, so you can secure a coffee date with the CEO of that nonprofit you want to partner with!
  9. Create lists of your favorite organizations, industry influencers, and customers – There is A LOT of chatter on Twitter. Creating lists in Twitter (and on platforms like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite) will allow you to organize your Twitter feed so you can easily access the Tweets of your favorite people and organizations… and filter out all the noise. You can also create public lists within Twitter, which will not only help establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry (others can see your public lists), but it will help you gain new followers. Whenever you add someone to your public lists, they will get an email notifying them that you added them to a list – and will be inclined to follow you back in return.
  10. Have a Twitter list of your employees and team members for continual content ideas – Have you ever heard of the phrase, “don’t reinvent the wheel?” When it comes to sharing content on social media, you don’t need to be stressed with finding new content to share each and every day. On Twitter, you should create lists of your team members, volunteers, and brand ambassadors. These are people who know your organization the best – and they are probably sharing content about your organization and relevant industry news on their Twitter feeds. If you have a list following all of these people on Twitter, you will be able to effortlessly reuse their content for your own social media strategy on Twitter.

Your turn: How do you best connect with your audience and industry influencers on Twitter? We’re always looking to learn from our community members, so please share below in the comments.

Meg’s Bio:  Meg is the Co-Founder of ModMark Group – a boutique marketing and PR agency working with social good companies to grow their communities and expand their global impact. “Carpe diem” is her favorite cliche and motto. Meg is a high-energy girl living in Portland, OR that loves traveling, being active, spe

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