Nonprofits that want to reach new supporters, establish thought leadership, and be at the forefront of trending news topics need to be on Twitter.
Their user-base is nothing to sneeze at: Twitter now claims 330 million monthly active users, and is growing year over year.
Want to reach Millennials? Twitter itself says that 80% of their users are “affluent millennials.”
Want to reach Generation Z? 36% of Americans aged 18 to 29 years old use Twitter, more than any other age group.
The ways that people use Twitter can be beneficial to nonprofits that want to get discovered by people interested in their cause and in their work.
People use Twitter as a search engine, to discover news and information on issues they care about.
Did you know that the #1 reason people come to Twitter is to “discover something new and interesting”?
The reality is that Twitter is a busy, noisy, cluttered landscape.
So how can nonprofits stand out and amplify their message using Twitter?
Here are just 7 ways to do just that.
1) Share video.
According to Twitter’s online video playbook, videos are 6x more likely to be retweeted than photos and 3x more likely to be retweeted than tweets with GIFs.
Action for Children frequently shares videos in their tweets, with closed captions so that people can watch with the sound off if they prefer:
2) Use relevant hashtags.
There are three ways to use hashtags on Twitter.
a) You can create your own unique hashtags for specific campaigns, like Make-A-Wish Foundation did with it’s partnership with Disney, using the #ShareYourEars hashtag:
b) You can research what your audience may be interested in, like the American Museum of Natural History did with #ManateeAppreciationDay:
c) You can see what’s trending and jump on board, like Plan International did with this tweet, using the popular hashtag #WednesdayWisdom:
Mental Health American jumped onto the trending hashtag #3WordsICannotStand, making it about their mission and defending the people that they serve:
3) Tell stories.
Twitter can be used for storytelling, even though you only have 240 characters!
Mercy Ships frequently shares stories of the children that they help:
Heifer International tweets quotes and stories from the people that they serve across the world, with an eye-catching colorful visual:
4) Share useful, helpful information.
Twitter is a great place to find and share educational articles and information with your audience.
When finding links to tweet and share, ask: What does our audience want to learn more about? What would help them better understand the cause and the issue? What will add to their busy lives?
Be The Match uses Twitter to dispel myths and misconceptions that people may have about donating bone marrow:
5) Start or participate in a Twitter Chat.
Twitter chats exist on any and all topics.
Before starting a Twitter chat, which can be time-consuming to promote and maintain, explore other chats around the issues that you are working on.
6) Share user-generated content.
Encourage your community members to share their personal stories, and then retweet them!
Nonprofits should also actively ask for retweets, and give thanks to those who are participating and sharing out the info:
7) Promote fundraising campaigns.
Twitter is a great place to promote your fundraising campaigns, and to share in-the-moment updates on your progress towards your goal.
Red Rover asked for donations on #GivingTuesday and used Twitter to help them reach their fundraising goal:
You can also use Twitter for more general fundraising asks, such as this one from Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry:
PRO TIP: When sharing links to your website or other content, remember that 93% of Twitter users access the platform from the mobile app.
Don’t send them to fundraising pages that cannot be accessed easily from a smartphone!
Twitter should not be ignored by nonprofits. How do you use Twitter? Let us know in the comments!
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