Seven Tips to Harness the Power of Twitter for Your Cause
4. Return the follow.
“Followers” are people who are monitoring your tweets. Set up your organization’s account to receive e-mail notifications when someone new follows you, then follow them back immediately. "That shows that your organization is listening, not just talking," the authors said.
5. Keep the conversation moving.
If someone mentions your organization in a tweet, tweet them back in a way that pushes the conversation along and builds your relationship with them.
6. Tweet it forward.
Retweet what other Twitter users say or to share a link directly. Retweeting — abbreviated as RT — means copying verbatim what someone else has already tweeted. The authors stress that you should include the person's username in the retweet, as well. When you want to share a useful link or piece of information with your followers that you found through another source or Twitter user but want to repost it in your own way, use a hat tip (h/t) or "via."
7. #Tag it!
Words preceded by a pound sign are known as hashtags in Twitter and are the primary ways Twitter users organically organize the information they tweet. The authors describe it as "a virtual filing cabinet."
Most-used hashtags appear in the Twitter sidebar as “trending topics.”
"Many organizations launch hashtags for particular campaigns, events and issues, and there are a number of free tools available to help you follow the discussion about particular hashtags, to track responses, shorten URLs and manage your accounts," Holland and Ruben write.
They recommend organizations use hashtags to help grow their bases of followers by following Twitter users who send tweets with the hashtag.
Holland and Ruben go on to list eight tactics to help organizations engage supporters and spur change via Twitter. To read them, download the whitepaper in full.