Is Twitter right for your organization?

Nonprofits have a variety of social media platforms at their disposal to aid them in advancing their mission and connecting with the community in which they serve. It is important, however, for nonprofits to pick and choose which platforms will work best for them and invest time and energy to develop strategies that will allow them to achieve maximum benefit.

Twitter is one potential way for nonprofits to engage with their supporters and extend their reach. Twitter is unique in that it is essentially created for the transmission of very short messages or snippets of information, which might lead some to believe that it is one of the simplest platforms to use. In reality, there is a rhyme and rhythm to using Twitter that many organizations have not seemed to get the hang of. They often sync their Facebook accounts, unaware that the audience base is different, misuse or overuse hashtags, and lack a specific vision for their account.

When is Twitter right for your organization? Here are a few ways to discern:

When your organization has someone (or multiple people) willing to spend time and energy establishing a strategy and distinct voice

Social media is often seen as a costless and effortless way to market your organization. Despite this thought process, in order for online marketing to be successful, consistency is key. In order for Twitter to be effective in expanding your reach, it is important to post regularly, with fresh and interesting content and this certainly takes time and dedication. This often involves scrolling through other accounts and websites to browse for shareable content and interactive media to add to tweets. It is also useful to take the time to utilize Twitter Analytics to study the types of tweets that provide the most engagement.

When you have distinguished your mission and target audience

It is critical to highlight your mission on your twitter page, as the main goal for using the site is to build awareness and develop new connections. This helps you stand out and is a platform off of which to base your content and decide which accounts to follow and engage with. The more specific and targeted your tweets are, the more your followers will notice and retweet them.

When publicity or increasing organization awareness is a major goal

Twitter’s retweet and hashtag features make it easy for your followers or others to share your content, increasing your organization’s exposure. Consider creating a hashtag for a campaign or event your nonprofit is hosting or incorporating an existing hashtag to join in on another organization’s campaign. Using hashtags (limit to 1 or 2 per tweet) to provide commentary on current events or policies can also reach a wide audience with similar views and establish your nonprofit as a resource on a certain topic tied to its mission.