Social media has become an integral part of the daily life of so many people. It only makes sense that NGOs should also use them to further their cause and to fundraise. Last week we have talked about the reasons, why an NGO should have a facebook account. Today, its time to talk about Twitter for NGOs.
Before you open a twitter account for your NGO, you should carefully consider if you have enough time to manage the account. If you do not feel like someone in your organization can spend at least 20 to 30 minutes per day to manage your twitter account, maybe it is not a good idea to open one. Twitter is highly interactive and needs very quick reaction times, so daily management is necessary.
You also need to consider the people you want to reach with your social media activities. Twitter has 335 million users worldwide, but the network focusses more on the news and newsworthy information. While pictures are always helpful, the network does not rely that much on pictures. If you have a project that has close ties to an ongoing discussion like climate change or women’s issues, and you want to be part of the discussion, twitter can help you. If you only want to present the work you do in a local project, the social network might not be a good fit. It is a good idea to join with a personal account first for a couple of weeks to get a feel for it. After this, it is easier to make a decision about the need for an organizational account.
But what are the ways in which Twitter can help your organization? Here are the 5 main reasons why you should have an account on Twitter after considering the above-mentioned points.
Connecting with similar organizations
Twitter is a great place to connect with similar organizations. You can find NGOs that work in the same field or the same geographical area and network with them. Maybe you can even find potential partners for a cooperation. You can share each other’s posts and tweets and support each other’s work as a way to create trust and a good base for a partnership. Exchanging information and experiences always is a great way to learn.
Connecting with potential donors and supporters
The same goes for potential or actual donors and supporters. On Twitter, you can connect with them, tag them in your posts and get the information they need out there. When you follow a donor for a while, retweet and comment on their posts and show them that you are interested in their work, you might have the first foot in the door when you approach them for support. If you are active on twitter and stay up to date with current developments, you show potential supporters that you are an expert in your field and want to learn more as you go.
Joining in on discussions
Twitter uses hashtags to categorize tweets. Sometimes, a hashtag about current events is trending and many people will use it in their tweets. This makes it very easy for people who join the discussion to find relevant tweets. You can use this for your NGO. Make sure you monitor trending hashtags and join in on discussions if they are relevant for your organization. This way, you can show that you are up to date and want to be part of the change. This shows potential donors and supporters that you really care.
Sharing of current information and news
On Twitter, you can share your own website articles. It is also a great way to share articles and links that have information about your field of work though. This way you educate yourself and show supporters that you are willing and able to learn. It also makes sure that you stay up to date on developments in your field and are able to incorporate this new information into your project work.
Showing that you are part of a movement
Twitter is a social network where many movements like #metoo or #timesup were born. If you work in a sector that is part of any movement, you can use that to your advantage and become part of this. Make sure though that you do not jump on a train that takes you in the wrong direction. Only join the discussion if you have something to contribute. There are many stories of brands who tried to use the publicity that comes with using a trending hashtag but failed spectacularly. But if you are working for women’s empowerment, it makes sense you join this discussion. If you work on climate change mitigation, it is good to add your voice when this matter is discussed. Becoming part of a movement can make your organization stronger and lead to new connections and partnerships.
Does your organization have a profile on twitter? You can find us here on Twitter. Please share your profiles and your experiences on Twitter with us in the comments, or directly on Twitter on our page.