Twitter and NonProfits Twitter Guide by pcherukumalla


									      Your Message Media &
Direct Intelligence’s guide to


                            Convergence Marketing Strategies
                                        TWITTER AND NON-PROFITS

	     According to Twitter, Twitter is “a service for friends, family, and co–workers
to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to
one simple question: What are you doing?” Twitter is used by individuals, businesses
and nonprofits for communication, promotion, education, and just to stay connected. It
is currently one of the fastest growing social networking sites being used today.

        Members of Twitter write what is referred to as tweets. Tweets are text-based
posts of up to 140 characters in length and are the basis of the Twitter service. It is
a social networking site in its own right, allowing people and organizations to stay
connected through their micro-blogs (tweets) of Twitter updates. More importantly, it
is an incredibly useful way to drive traffic to a website, and a central place to publish
updates through different mediums such as Instant Messaging, mobile phones, and

       Twitter started in 2006 by three techies at a San Francisco company who used it
to communicate internally at their organization. By 2007, the service was made public
and rapidly grew in popularity, receiving awards and gaining prominence within the
technology industry. The initial users were people within the tech industry. According
to the Twitter blog, they saw “significant increases in overall traffic during [computer-
industry] events like MacWorld or CES”.

       Twitter is small, but rapidly growing. The service no longer sees significant
increases at tech events, it takes worldwide events such as inauguration of President
Barack Obama (10x the number of normal tweets) to see a significant increase in
traffic—a testament to how far the service has come in just a few years. is now one of the top 500 sites visited each month. It is used by more
than 4.1 million people in the U.S. alone and is rapidly growing. The site tends to attract
a more educated, young adult audience.

                        Convergence Marketing Strategies
                                 TWITTER AND NON-PROFITS

Here is the breakdown of reported U.S. users (

      •      Sex:          53% are female / 47% are male
      •      Age:          1% are 13-17
                           49% are 18-34

                           30% are 35-49

                           20% are 50+

      •      Affluence:    21% earn less than $30K

                           28% earn between $30K-$60K

                           24% earn between $60K-$100K

                           27% earn more than $100K	

      •      Education:    63% are college graduates

Your audience is already on Twitter and trends show that its use is only getting more
and more popular.

     15.             RealTimeTrends KZ2 - has risen to the #3 trend on
            twitter. Follow here: about 3 hours ago from
                                         TWITTER AND NON-PROFITS

                 moriddim Note this: when I drink I make more. also
    16.Tweets are the 140 character postings that Tweet up all Icommunication in Twitter.
        think it a great idea to trim my own eyebrows through email, websites, and through
Why 140 characters? Since Tweets are pushed out about 3 hours ago
every mobile phone on the market, messages have to be short and to the point, and
work in these different mediums—the most limiting of course is a mobile text.

     17.         moriddim Gem of Wisdom: Outdoor cats return with
        strange skin conditions. Attribute it blog or website, MySpace,
       Link your Twitter updates to your to maturity. DON'T call the Facebook, Google
        vet lest your cat become a pussy about 3 is your one-stop shop
chat, your clients cell phones, emails etc. This hours ago from for sending short
updates across many platforms at the same time.

	                moriddim of writing a carpet, post (aka tweet) which is linked to a
     18.Here is an exampleIf you spill onTwitter you may asawell
         continue to do so. It gives it post-modern character about 3 hours
        Facebook profile:
         ago from

                 ericaeg is catching up on what my favorite non-profits are
     19.         doing. catching up ago from web
                 ericaegabout 3 hourson what my favorite nonproftts are
         doing. about 3 hours ago from web
                                 Erica is catching up on what my favorite non-profits are do-
           Facebook status:
                                 ing. via Twitter -3 hours ago
    20.            moriddim - BEHOLD: pre-ice.
         It's like ice, but filmier. It should turn you on. If it doesn't, see a
         therapist. about 3 hours ago from TwitPic
        Tweets can be kept private or open to the public. If public, in order for someone
to view your tweets, they’d have to be looking at your page, “following you” on Twitter,
   Older » « would
or your postNewer have to show up in a search done by someone.

	          Having	trouble	fitting	your	message	into	the	140	character	limit?	Check out
these useful tools:
         © 2009 Twitter
         About Us
•	     To shrink your text, visit
•        Apps
       To shrink a link, visit
•	     If you use Firefox, you can also download an addon called Twitzer which will do
       both of these things. Visit	to	
       download.                                                              2/15/2009

                             Convergence Marketing Strategies
                                  TWITTER AND NON-PROFITS

       Profile pages list your most recent tweets. Businesses and individuals can
personalize their Twitter profiles in a number of ways. Besides your recent tweets,
profile pages show a background picture, which can be unique for the organization/
individual, a profile picture, and a short description. The description includes space for
a name, location, website, and a biography.

       The most important part of profile is the profile photo, which shows up on all
tweets no matter where an individual is seeing it from, whether it’s on your page, on the
homepage or through a search.

	      Examples of profile pictures for organizations on Twitter:

       Effective Twitter use will grow your audience and allow you to meet another
part of your current audience on their turf. You want people to “follow you” on Twitter.
When someone is following you, your tweets are put on their homepage and are put
directly in front of them to read. The way that you get people to follow you is to
provide content that they find useful, whether it be resources or entertainment.
       If your organization is known as an expert in a certain field, post on those topics.
Be a resource for individuals interested in that work. Try mixing up your posts. If you’re
an advocacy organization, link people to take action, but in between those actions,
educate people. You can link to your website often, but also retweet interesting posts.
Visit sites such as and for ideas on what people are
interested in online at the moment. Check out for real time Twitter
analytics or visit for a list of the top topics people are twittering
about at the moment and get in the conversation.
        Most importantly, interact with people. Did someone give you a shout out on

                                        TWITTER AND NON-PROFITS

Twitter? If so, thank them. Follow them and respond to their posts with a compliment
or a question. Twitter is a social networking tool. People want to interact. Get to know
people, and allow others the chance to get to know you. Be a resource, interact with and
compliment other users, post links that are exciting, and ask questions.

       Another way to interact with your supporters is to follow everyone that is
following you. This will help you see what your supporters are thinking about and
respond appropriately. During the election, for example, Obama’s account followed
everyone that followed him, Clinton’s did not. It makes a difference and is a simple way
to show that you care and are interested.

      Another tip is to provide someone with a gift or a special message once they
follow you. To do this send the individual a Direct Message, a private message to
one individual, thanking them for following you. Do you sell goods? If so, use this
opportunity to thank the individual with a coupon code for 10% off. Are you trying
to be a resource for people? If so, use this opportunity to ask them if they have any
questions. Do you have a free guide online guide you can give out? Thanking someone
for following you is an easy, personal interaction.

       Tip: Make it easy for a supporter to find you. Be sure to mention your name in
your Tweets at least once every few days. This way if someone searches for you, they
can easily find you.

	     Overwelmed	by	the	number	of	tweets	you	need	to	sift	through?	Tweetdeck is a
valuable tool ( to help you manage your Twitter communications.
You can use it to monitor keywords, replies, direct messages, and to stay organized.

	     Want	to	share	photos	on	Twitter?	Twitpic allows you to integrate images into
your Tweets. Visit to get started.

       Currently there is no offical paid advertising through Twitter. This doesn’t stop
people from using Tweets as advertisements all the time. It is only a matter of time
before Twitter does have offical advertisements. In February 2009, Twitter announced

                        Convergence Marketing Strategies
                                  TWITTER AND NON-PROFITS

that they are planning to charge businesses who use Twitter. Details have yet to be
released and we are not yet sure if this would affect Nonprofits in any way. Either way,
this should not discourage your use of the service.

      Your audience is on Twitter and you ought to focus on an effective way to reach
them and engage them in the important work that you do.

        Twitter is a great tool to bring people to your website. Most of our work cannot
be summarized in 140 characters. The easiest way around this is to tweet and include a
link to an interesting page on your website. Got an interesting news clip? Link to it in a
tweet. Use interesting posts that tweaks people’s curiosity and leaves them wanting to
click through the link provided to read more. Do this by leaving out the main point, for
example: You won’t believe this:

        Ask your friends and followers to retweet about important topics to help your
message spread faster and further as other active users pick it up. There is a viral nature
to all types of news, even on a site like Twitter.

       Once you have established an account, work to establish a following. Tweet
about your work, but also include some outside news from the field, studies, facts,
or interesting information. You can become a resource for those interested. By
throwing in your own information as well, people will begin to learn more about your
organization. When you have a loyal following, then you are free to also include links
to fundraising campaigns.

       Do you have a challenge grant? Is there a specific compelling project that people
may want to contribute to? Feel free to work these asks into your weekly Tweets.
Remember to always test different strategies to see what your supporters tend to
respond to best, and then continue to build on them.

        Organizations and individuals are using Twitter for a variety of reasons. Not
everyone will want to use Twitter in the same way. How your organization builds an
effective Twitter presence will be dependent on your target audience, your goals, and
the amount of time and resources you have available.

        There is undoubtedly a strategy for your organization to use that fits in with
your mission and goals. The right consultant or expert can help you build and launch an
effective strategy specific to your organization’s needs.


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