While Facebook and Instagram are obvious choices for social media marketing, Twitter For Nonprofits is an underrated platform. Twitter is a great platform for distributing your latest content, discussing new events or fundraisers, and interacting with supporters through comments, retweets, and likes.
Here is our ultimate guide to Twitter for Nonprofits:
Why You Need a Twitter for Nonprofits Account
First, let’s talk about why your nonprofit needs a Twitter account.
One of the main benefits of Twitter for nonprofits is the purpose of the platform. With social media apps, there tends to be a spectrum. On one end, you have platforms like Facebook, which are dedicated to interaction with friends and family. On the other end, you have platforms like LinkedIn is dedicated to interaction with business professionals.
Twitter is an “in-between” social platform, with both business connections (LinkedIn’s audience) and personal connections (Facebook’s audience). By appealing to both audiences, Twitter can give your nonprofit access to both audiences at the same time.
Twitter is also a social media platform oriented towards short-form content. This can make it easier to produce content for Twitter for nonprofits compared to content for LinkedIn or a blog.
Twitter can also be a good platform for engaging with your supporters. With a variety of different engagement opportunities (retweeting, replying, or liking) for both your organization and your supporters, Twitter can be a great platform to grow a community around your charity.
How To Set Up a Twitter For Nonprofits Account
Next, let’s discuss how to set up a Twitter account for your nonprofit.
First, go to twitter.com. Once there, create a Twitter for nonprofits account by signing up with your organization’s Google account or email address. Side note: If you don’t know, you can get free access to Google Workspace (which includes Gmail) through Google for Nonprofits.
Next, you should pick a Twitter username that matches your organization. For example, the American Red Cross uses the @RedCross handle and St. Jude uses the @StJude handle.
The next step to set up your account is to create a great Twitter bio. You should pick a short and unique that fits the 160 character limit. Your Twitter bio should include a brief introduction to the work you do. In addition, you can add emojis, call to actions, SEO keywords, and even some humor.
Once you have chosen a username and written your Twitter bio, the next step is to choose a picture for your account. This could include your organization’s logo or any other picture which you think could represent your charity.
Finally, you need to choose a background image. To choose a background image, you should find an image that resonates with your nonprofit. For example, an animal shelter could choose an image of a person interacting with an animal. Similarly, an environmental nonprofit should choose an image of the environment with significant greenery.
Once you fill out everything for your account and confirm it, you’re all set to go!
Tips and Tricks For Success With Twitter For Nonprofits
Now that your account is set up, let’s discuss some tips and tricks for success on Twitter.
1. Cross-Platform Promotion
One of the first things you should do is promote your Twitter account on other platforms. Whether it’s your Instagram account, Facebook account, or even your Tik-Tok account, you should announce your new Twitter account on as many platforms as possible.
You should also add your Twitter link to all social links on your website. For example, many website footers contain social links. Be sure to add your Twitter link there, and any other place where adding a link to your Twitter account would make sense.
This can give your Twitter account a boost while starting out, and can drive strong engagement from your audience.
2. Promote Website Content
One content idea for your Twitter account while starting out is to promote blog posts from your website. Promoting blog posts can drive more traffic to your website and increase search engine traffic.
If you have evergreen content (content that will be applicable for a long period of time, like this article), you can tweet this content multiple times over a long period. Do NOT tweet the same blog post more than once every week. Otherwise, your followers will feel like they’re being spammed.
3. Tweet Organization Updates
Announce everything (literally everything!) on your Twitter account. Whether it’s a fundraiser, event, or charitable dinner, you should discuss everything on your Twitter account. Even smaller announcements, like announcing partnerships with other nonprofits, should be announced.
If you’re questioning whether or not you should write a tweet about an announcement, remember that people on Twitter are used to reading many tweets from a single person. In fact, there are 500 million tweets sent every single day!
4. Tweet at the Best Times
Like with most social media platforms, there are always certain times that are the best for engagement and others that are the worst for engagement.
According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on Twitter for nonprofits are Wednesday from 10–11 AM and 2–4 PM.
The best day for posting on Twitter are Wednesday, while the worst day is Sunday. The best times for posting on Twitter for nonprofits appear to be Tuesday-Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM.
For daily tweets, you should aim to post between 9 AM and 5 PM. While it varies between different days, the time period here appears to be the best for posting.
Keep in mind that some of your supporters may be in a different time zone. Because of this, you should post your content at times that appeal to as many as possible. This is especially important if the person running your Twitter account lives in a time zone that’s different from most of your supporters.
5. Schedule Your Tweets
To ensure that you make use of the best times for engagement, schedule your tweets in advance. Scheduling your tweets can also help with consistency, which is always a valuable benefit on any social media platform. Additionally, you can reduce the amount of time needed to manage your Twitter account by writing all your tweets on one day of the week.
To schedule your tweets, you can use spreadsheets or Twitter scheduling software. While it may seem time consuming to write many tweets at once, you or your volunteer should remember that you’re saving a significant amount of time by scheduling tweets.
6. Tweet Often
While scheduling your tweets, you should start out with at least one tweet a day or seven tweets per week. Over time, I would recommend trying to scale up to at least 3–5 tweets per day.
Depending on your organization and how much content you can produce, this number may vary. It’s better to tweet less often if you don’t have enough content to discuss. Otherwise, your posts could be seen as Twitter spam that should be ignored. Ideally, try posting at least once per day.
7. Engagement With Your Audience
If you have a volunteer who can spend significant time on your Twitter account, a great tip is to engage with your audience. Whether this is responding to tweets, responding to comments, or even responding to comments on tweets, engaging with your audience is a great way to show the “human” side of your nonprofit.
However, this will take a decent chunk of time every day. You should only focus on engaging with your audience if you have enough resources to do so. Otherwise, it’s better to schedule your tweets.
8. Engage With Other Content
Another tip for nonprofits that have volunteers dedicated to managing Twitter accounts is to engage with other content. This can include commenting on the tweets from similar organizations, tweets about a statistic related to your organization, or essentially any relevant tweet from another account.
Like the previous tip, this will take a lot of time. If you have a volunteer dedicated to just social media or just Twitter, then your nonprofit should use this tip. Otherwise, you may find this tip to be too time-consuming for a volunteer who may be more productive in other areas, especially if your organization is a small or local charity.
9. Collaborate With Others
Collaborating with others can be a great way to build relations and benefit multiple people. Whether it’s a similar organization, a local charity, or even an influencer in your target audience, collaborating with others can be a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Working with a similar organization or a local charity can help both nonprofits gain new supporters. Working with an influencer can give your charity more supporters and can benefit influencers who love supporting your cause.
10. Ask Staff/Supporters To Retweet Content
When you first set up your Twitter account, you’ll have few followers. Even with the boost of cross-platform promotion, it’s going to take some time to build traction with your account. One way to speed up this process is to ask your staff, volunteers, and even your donors to retweet your content. Not only does this raise awareness about new events or fundraisers, but this also promotes your organization and your Twitter account
Be sure not to retweet too much, however. While staff/supporters can retweet new events or fundraisers, you should try to avoid retweeting small update posts. Otherwise, retweets may appear like spam, which would end up hurting your nonprofit.
11. Pin a Great Tweet
If you have a tweet with a high engagement rate and a high value for you (like a donation or volunteering request), pinning it can be a great way to continually promote this tweet. This way, anyone who views your Twitter account will always see this tweet first. Consequently, you may start to see more donors and volunteers.
Another example of a tweet you should consider pinning is an end-of-year impact statement. Directly showing donors and volunteers their impact can lead to more donations and volunteering in the long run.
12. Use Photos
All Twitter accounts, especially nonprofit accounts, should use photos to maximize audience engagement. For some posts, photos may be unnecessary. For others, like donation or volunteering requests, photos can be very important.
Photos boost audience engagement, and adding photos to posts about new blog posts can drive more clicks to your website.
13. Use Videos
Videos, like photos, can be a great way to increase audience engagement. Twitter posts with videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than tweets with photos. They add a visual appeal to your charity’s requests, which can be the tipping point for some donors or volunteers.
Psychologically, using videos on Twitter might even be related to the FOMO social effect. With images or text, a quick glance can tell you everything you need to know. On the other hand, people will need to watch the video to consume the information in your post. This can increase audience engagement, boosting your tweet and your Twitter account.
14. Use GIFs
Like with photos and videos, adding GIFs may improve engagement with your audience. Depending on your audience, GIFs can become a powerful tool, especially if you decide that you want your Twitter account to be more humorous or meme-based.
15. Use Polls
Using Twitter polls is another great technique to improve engagement with your audience. While leaving a meaningful comment may feel somewhat cumbersome while scrolling social media, simply tapping on a poll is easy for anyone to do. This makes it easy to get thoughtful responses from your audience with a simple click.
Additionally, you can use Twitter polls to help improve your charity. You can ask for feedback about a recent event, test ad copy, how your audience feels about your charity, and other related questions. You can even post humorous polls not related to charity to drive follower engagement.
16. Use Numbers
Especially for nonprofits, using numbers and statistics can be attention-grabbing information on social media. Having information on the impact per dollar for donors or the impact per hour for volunteers can be a valuable way to get more donors/volunteers and encourage further donations/volunteering.
17. Use Hashtags
By using Twitter hashtags, you maximize the potential impressions for your Twitter account. By not using them, you miss out on a valuable opportunity to promote your content to your target audience.
Twitter hashtags (in the form of #example) discuss the topic of different tweets, which can help potential supporters find your content. For example, using #yourlocation as a local charity will help you find supporters in your local community.
Additionally, you can use hashtags to represent holidays that align with your nonprofit, such as #GivingTuesday or #CharityDay. Similarly, you can use hashtags about current events, conferences, or pop culture trends.
18. Ask Questions
Similar to using polls, asking questions can be a great way to collect information from your audience. While you’ll probably get less responses from an open-ended question compared to a poll, you’ll get more in-depth responses from your audience. This can be great if you want to collect information that is more detailed, such as:
- What can we do to improve our Twitter account?
- How can we improve our charity?
- What new events or fundraisers would you like to see?
19. Use Twitter Threads
Twitter threads are a set of connected tweets discussing a related topic. With Twitter threads, you can add up to 25 tweets in a single thread to discuss a conversation in-depth. This can be useful in cases like natural disasters or emergencies, where having information collected in a single thread can be a great resource for people who need or want to learn more.
Here are 5 other ideas for Twitter threads from Madalyn Sklar:
- Tell a Story to Your Audience
- Share Step-by-Step Tutorials
- Provide Valuable Tips on a Specific Topic
- Build Excitement Through Each Tweet Within a Thread
- Use Threads During Twitter Chats
20. Include Call To Actions
One of the most important points of a Twitter account in the first place is to drive actions from your audience. This could be engaging more donors, recruiting more volunteers, or growing your newsletter’s audience.
By adding a call to action (when relevant), you can maximize the number of actions taken by your audience while also minimizing the chance of appearing spammy. You should encourage your Twitter audience to click a link to your website, donate, volunteer, or engage with your content whenever possible.
21. Tweet Quotes
Tweets with quotes can receive substantially more retweets than other forms of content. This is often because your followers want to publicly display their support for your cause, especially with quotes about environmental justice, racial justice, and other social issues.
Other than simply writing quotes in text, you can also post quotes as images. This can push your audience engagement to the next level by combining two powerful tools: images and quotes. This can drive further engagement with your post through comments and more impressions through retweets.
22. Use Lists
According to this study, tweets that linked to how-to or list-based articles received significantly more retweets than other text-based content. For nonprofits, list-based articles could include different achievements by your organization, while how-to articles could include information for volunteers, donors, and potential supporters.
23. Use Multiple Accounts
As your nonprofit grows to a larger size, consider using multiple accounts. For local or niche nonprofits, you probably won’t need to use multiple accounts. On the other hand, larger international nonprofits (especially those who target multiple issues) may want to use more than one Twitter account.
For example, a global humanitarian organization may want a different Twitter account for each language area or country it operates in, which can help localize support. Additionally, the organization could also use a different Twitter for Nonprofits account for the different issues it targets or supports.
24. Use Emojis
On Twitter, emojis can be a fantastic tool to show the human behind your tweets. Emojis are powerful tools for engagement, especially since they take up just one character in your Tweet. According to this WordStream article, a tweet with an emoji had a 25.4% higher engagement rate compared to the same tweet without emojis.
25. Understand Twitter Language
To properly connect with your audience on Twitter, it’s important to understand the language of Twitter.
Here are some basic terms to know:
- RT = Retweet: The tweet you’re looking at was forwarded to you by another user.
- DM = Direct Message
- QOTD = Quote Of The Day
- BTW = By The Way
For more Twitter acronyms, check out the articles on this Google search page.
Twitter can and (hopefully) will be a powerful social media app for your organization. From scheduling tweets to using emojis, these 25 tips for Twitter for nonprofits will help you scale your Twitter account to the next level.
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