Here is the lowdown on Twitter for nonprofits: at this point, your audience expects you to be there. A social media conversation without Twitter is unimaginable, and best practices for nonprofit Twitter accounts are not too different from other brands. Here are our best tips to gain + engage with your Twitter followers and become a TweetStar!
Twitter for Nonprofits: Why is Twitter so important?
The goal for using our social media platforms is always impact, which comes from conversions. Twitter followers will not immediately lead to more conversions immediately, but it will look good to new visitors. Google and Twitter have struck a deal in which your Twitter account will come up before your LinkedIn in a Google search.
Moreover, Twitter shares can help boost SEO and increase awareness about your organization because it is such a popular platform. Ideally, with better SEO and more awareness about your organization, you will be able to have more conversions and meet your goal. Now, let’s optimize!
1. Make good content
Quality content is always the first step to optimizing because if you don’t love your own content, how are you going to love anyone else’s content? And even more than that, if you don’t love your own content, how do you make other people love your content? Good content gets shared, end of story.
2. Promote everywhere
Literally. Everywhere. Go ahead and cross promote on all of your other social media accounts! Do not forget to embed your Tweets within your content, and be sure to add a button to your thank you pages, as well as the top and bottom of every page on your website.
3. Spread the love
You know how it goes: an eye for an eye, like for a like, re-tweet for more shares? People are more likely to re-tweet someone who re-tweets them. Plus, re-tweeting other people’s content embeds you in the community and shows that you aren’t just a content creator, but also a content curator. It may not be totally intuitive, but re-tweeting helps you to gain followers just as much, if not more so than writing tweets.
Also, you get 1000 likes to use free day, which is like free money to spend! You should try to max your likes out because when you like someone’s tweet it creates a brand impression. Imagine creating 1000 brand impressions a day and how that much more engagement could lead to so many more conversions. Be sure you don’t do this mindlessly though, or you’ll get mindless engagements on your tweets that don’t result in any conversions. Instead, make sure to like good content produced by:
- organizations you like
- ones you want to partner with
- influencers in your area of focus
And when you re-tweet, quote re-tweet instead so that you have the chance to add your personality and genius to other people’s content!
4. Be your own ambassadors
As social creatures, we like hearing from humans more than organizations because it feels more personal. Ask your staff to become unofficial or official brand ambassadors by quote retweeting your content and make sure they link to your account in their bios if they feel comfortable with it!
5. Make a good first impression
No one wants to scroll through all of your content to get to the good stuff (but also let’s be real, all the stuff should be the good stuff). Therefore, make sure that you have a good mix of tweets “above the fold.” The fold is where Twitter breaks up your tweets and suggests people for you to follow, and at that point, if you have not engaged the user, many of them will stop scrolling.
“Above the fold” tweets should include a variety of tweets such as highly liked/shared tweet pinned, a few re-tweets to show that you spread the love, and some images and videos.
6. Post photos and videos natively
Speaking of images and videos, post them natively to Twitter, even when you post a link. Twitter wants people to stay on its site, so they prefer when users can see the content without being redirected. This may sound like a downside for your website traffic, but it’s great for Twitter engagements: Twitter will show your content to more people (who love visuals because who doesn’t?). The other plus side of images is that you can use them to expand on the 140 character count by including a screenshot of a text or an article. We like to use Canva as an easy tool to add text to images when we have a lot to say. Also, feel free to add more GIFs because those will immediately show your audience what type of tweet your tweet will be.
7. Stay organized
Make lists, both public and private, to track your followers and people who you want to be your followers!
Public lists for accounts you want to convert into followers. You can name your public list something like “Organizations I love!” Those organizations will get a notification that you have added them to your list. After they see your notification, it will hopefully encourage them to check out your account (which is why we want to make sure we make that good first impression) and then they might like you back or follow you. Their reciprocation of likes or follows may not be guaranteed, but it is definitely worth a shot!
Private lists for influencers or accounts you love and admire. These are the organizations that you want to track and keep up with what they are up to.
Creating these lists makes it easier to quickly like and re-tweet content relevant to your interests since your feed will consist of a curated list of content from accounts your trust.
8. Stay Trendy
Twitter is all about the present. See what’s trending and try to find a conversation that your organization can take part in. The only way to stay trendy is just to be present on Twitter as frequently as you can. Find an experienced tweeter on your team or take turns logging on and exploring the platform for 20-30 minutes everyday and that way, you can stay in the loop!
As of August 2016, shortened links were not popular, but Pokémon Go! content was all rage. Within a month, Pokémon Go! had declined in popularity, along with many other trends. Keep in mind that everything changes and trends can die within 24 hours. So act fast or don’t act at all! Watch how Twitter grows and evolves, stay on top of the trends, and don’t let your account get dated.
Those are just a few Twitter tips for nonprofits on how you can become a TweetStar, but the best way is to just go on the site and try it yourself to see what works for you. Good luck!