Posted by Jay Wilkinson


If you’re not using Twitter network to engage with your constituents, now may be the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon. If you are, keep reading: This is applicable to you too.

For a Twitter strategy that makes a difference, here are ten dos and don’ts to implement immediately.

1. Do share useful, interesting and retweetable content.

This cannot be said enough: Twitter is not the place to overload potential and current donors with pleas for money or self-promotional tweets. It’s not a fundraising tool. It is, however, an excellent social platform for sharing relevant content or useful information with people interested in your cause. Don’t be that guy who just tweets about himself. Engage with your followers and give them stuff they can use—that will keep them interested.

2. Do write clear, easy-to-read tweets.

Tweets written in complete sentences and without abbreviations are easier to read and retweeted more often. Also, tweets that end in either a period or a colon before a link are also retweeted more often and tend to have higher click-through rates. I know you only have 140 characters, but refrain from using a lot of slang, abbreviations and incomplete sentences—it’ll hurt your brand and your tweets won’t get much love.

3. Do be stingy with hashtags.

Use hashtags strategically to mention your nonprofit’s cause, campaigns and fundraising events, but don’t pack every tweet with them. Using too many hashtags makes your tweets harder to read—in fact, a tweet with more than two hashtags will likely decrease your retweet rate. Hashtags aren’t the enemy, but they can work against you if you use them too liberally.

4. Do retweet quality content.

You don’t have to be original all the time. In fact, retweeting other people’s content creates credibility, engages more users and quashes any perception that your organization is only about itself. Curating other content will help improve your Twitter following and engagement, plus when you do tweet out original content, you can make a bigger deal out of it.

5. Do add a Twitter button to your website.

This makes it more convenient for users to tweet out your information, plus it allows them to see your Twitter feed right there on your site. It’s easy to implement, and you’ll boost engagement with your website visitors.

6. Don’t be inconsistent with your tweets.

In order to maintain a strong presence on Twitter, plan to consistently tweet every day, preferably more than once. However, tweeting more than once per hour will actually decrease your click-through rate. Aim to send out 2–8 tweets per day with a good mix of original and curated content as well as retweets and inspirational quotes or stats. Pro tip: Include links in your tweets. They have an 86% higher retweet rate.

7. Don’t avoid the weekends

You may not show up at the office on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean nobody shows up on Twitter. Since most brands don’t tweet over the weekend, if you do, you’ll be a step ahead in creating awareness for your organization. Use a tool like Hootsuite that allows you to schedule your tweets in advance. You can plan your weekend tweets on Friday and maintain consistency even while you’re not at work.

8. Don’t ignore the importance of visual elements.

Tweets with photos and videos are retweeted at a much higher rate than those without. Even if you want to share numbers and statistics, consider creating an infographic and sharing them that way. People will engage and share your content more if you include visual elements as opposed to just tweeting text-based messages.

9. Don’t get too fancy with your profile pic.

Just use a crystal clear image of your logo. Having your organization’s logo on your Twitter account—and in your followers’ Twitter feeds—will make your tweets more recognizable and credible, which helps engagement. For your Twitter page’s header photo, you can get a little more creative and post a photo that tells a story about your nonprofit’s cause and the people you serve.

10. Don’t forget to follow back.

Getting new followers and watching your number grow is great and all, but Twitter is a two-way street. Be sure to follow some of your followers back—you don’t want to appear disengaged or uninterested, especially if some of those people are ardent supporters. Twitter users get excited when a brand follows them, especially if it’s a brand they like. Also, when you follow your donors and constituents, you can see what they’re tweeting about, which opens up possibilities for conversation.

Want more information on how to take your social media presence to the next level? Firespring can help! We have oodles more social media marketing tips and best practices to share if this is an area where you’d like more support. Plus our social media experts offer immediate support to nonprofit organizations looking to update their social networking or start completely new. Learn more by calling 877.447.8941 or email hello@firespring.org.


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