Near the beginning of this week, I started following a lot of non-profit organizations on Twitter to see how they use tweets. As expected, several of the organizations tweet about up-coming events or articles that they’ve recently published on their websites. Also, as Mansfield mentioned in the article I previously discussed, several of the NPOs retweet other organizations or individuals, which is a way to generate more interest. There were also a few surprising uses of Twitter that I hadn’t thought of before:
- Following Followers: After I started following TechSoup, they soon began following my tweets. I’m guessing they do this with most people who follow them. It allows them to know what their followers are tweeting about, it’s likely to gain more loyalty from their followers, and it potentially makes a followers’ friends more likely to follow.
- Tweeting Surveys: One organization alerted followers about a survey that someone related to their organization was using for research purposes. I don’t know how many people responded, but I’m willing to bet this is an effective method. If an organization has a lot of followers, even 1% taking a survey could generate a lot of info. Also, since people usually don’t check twitter when they’re busy, there’s a good chance that people will be willing to take the time to complete the survey.
- Posting quotes, verses, etc.: I particularly noticed this with a Christian organization that occasionally posted Bible verses or inspirational quotes. One problem that NGOs run into once they’ve set up social media accounts is that they don’t know what to say. Compiling a list of quotes to tweet can solve this problem and ensure that the Twitter account stays active. On the other hand, you don’t want followers to get annoyed by too many pointless tweets, but this still seems like an effective strategy to keep people aware of your presence.
These might be useful strategies to keep in mind for those who will start (or revamp) a NPO twitter account.