Posted by Trina on 26th March 2012
1. Tweet re-angled content.
We spend hours on some communications that only get a mention on Twitter once. You might tweet about your fantastic annual review when it’s being launched and never mention it again. Don’t be afraid to re-visit it when relevant. So, with your annual review it might be when there’s an article about transparency in the third sector in the press. Or for a press release about a new service, you could retweet to highlight the impact of funding cuts.
2. Contact organisations like yours.
Too often in the charity sector, charities doing similar things work in insolation. Twitter is a platform from which you can start making contacts with other organisations to make them aware of your organisation, learn about what they do and gain their support. Maybe you could congratulate them on a campaign win or retweet one of their blogs. Doing so might mean they understand more about what you have to offer and you could cross refer service users or volunteers.
3. Respond to negative feedback.
It’s not nice when someone slates your organisation, one of your services or what you do. But not responding to what they say is a mistake. It could start a stream of vitriol. Instead, thank them for their feedback and point them to somewhere on your website where they can find out more about what the issue you’re discussing. It might start a conversation which could see that person become your most fervent campaigner. For best practice in responding to negative feedback, follow big brands and companies to see how they handle it.
4. Join in the conversation.
Generic plugs for your online content are a charity staple on Twitter. And this is okay – sometimes. But Twitter is a conversation between people and not to get involved is missing a trick. Make it a rule that you communicate with someone at least every third tweet. You don’t have to wait until someone mentions you. Keep an eye on what the people you are following say and comment on it if it’s relevant to what you do, pointing them to content and services.
5. Be authentic.
If your organisational values are to be “friendly”, “approachable” or “honest” tweeting about strategies, stakeholders and service users might not convey the image you want it to. The Twitter audience is different. Followers are used to informal language and if you communicate in stuffy speak, your content will stand out for all the wrong reasons. You don’t need to overegg the colloquialisms but talking in a natural way, avoiding jargon and using plain English should be your aim. That way more people will understand what you do whether you’re a research-based charity or an animal welfare one.