Tweet, Tweet: A Crash Course in Twitter for Nonprofits
Still wondering what this Twitter thing people keep talking about is and if/how your nonprofit can use it to connect with constituents?
In the Network for Good webinar "Twitter Fundraising: Holy Grail or Fail Whale?" in late April, presenter John Haydon, a social-media marketing coach and consultant and publisher of a free report for nonprofits called "Twitter Jump Start: The Twitter Guide for Small Nonprofits," shed some light on what Twitter is, mastering the four post types, the advantages of Twitter vs. e-mail and direct mail, and Twitter campaign-management basics.
Twitter isn't a silver bullet, Haydon said. You need to have the basics (Web site, donation processing, e-mail marketing) covered before spending a lot of time with it or any social media, for that matter. And Twitter might not be right for your audience.
If you’re going to delve into something like Twitter, Haydon said, it's important to be able to give an elevator pitch on it, so he schooled attendees in some Twitter basics.
"If the technology is clearly understood," Haydon said, "execution of your social-media strategy is more likely."
One of the simplest ways to explain Twitter is using this equation: IM + B = T, or instant messaging plus blogging equals Twitter. Twitter is like instant messaging in that messages are short (limited to 140 characters) and quick, and it's like blogs in that messages are archived, SEO friendly and everyone can see posts.
Haydon recommended individuals or organizations looking to sign up on Twitter go to Twitter.com, click on the "Watch a video!" button and watch the "Twitter in Plain English" video, sign up (enter your name, bio, e-mail, picture), and invite friends.
When you sign on for Twitter and start posting, people who are interested in what you're saying can opt to "follow" you, and you can do the same, following others whose posts are of interest to you.
Four post types
Haydon went over the pros and cons of the four types of Twitter posts: