Twitter Best Practices for Nonprofits

  • Starting with setting up your Twitter Handle – remember to choose a clear @username that potential followers will easily recognise as you and use your organisation/cause’ logo for your @Twitter profile image, to optimise brand recognition in the Twitterverse.

  • Getting started with Twitter can be a little daunting, here’s a great “getting started resource” from Twitter.

  • Spend some time Tweeting some value adding Tweets that explain who/what you’re about (so a clear description in your bio is very important). Then make sure you also spend time finding and “Following” your donors, your stakeholders, other organisations you collaborate with, so you build your network of credible people you’re “Following”s.

  • With so many Tweets, people and organisaitons on Twitter, the platform can be rather crowded. Using Twitter “Lists”, is a great feature to use that makes life easier. This gives you the ability to group certain Twitter handles together that you are interested in and easily found in one place – your Twitter list. Here are the details on how to Create your own Twitter list. (Ideas of lists may include: supporters, influences, great resources, influential people)

  • Twitter is also a great resource to use to report live from a (fundraising) event/conference.
    Here are some great tips of how to do that most effectively to gain some traction.

  • Supporters play a crucial role in helping organisations/causes to grow and flourish, so make sure to Thank them. Consider creating a thank you card/image and attaching it to the thank you tweet and remember to include their Twitter handle where possible.

  • Use scheduling tools (like Hootsuit), to help post your Tweets when you’re not online.
    [*just a word of advice - oftentimes automating posts and using a scheduling tool dilutes your personality, turning your organization into a robot. Twitter is a two-way conversation and by automating your posts you are eliminating some of the conversation. Your followers want real interactions!]

  • News and information is constantly distributed through Twitter all day. It is easy to get lost in the mix with all the tweets and people wanting to grab your attention. Integrate visuals to make your content stand out from the crowd. Great images are wonderful to use on Twitter.

  • We know Tweets are limited to 140 characters, but it’s more effective to aim for 120 characters so your Tweet becomes “retweet friendly”. This means that when someone retweets your tweet, the whole message will easily be read. It’s called the “retweetability” factor ;)

  • For those who are regular Tweeters, you may find this article interesting: 140 things you don't know about Twitter