30 Twitter Tips for the NonProfit Worker
Twitter can be a great resource–if you know how to use it. Here are 30 tips for nonprofit people who want to learn how to use Twitter to network and share information:
1. Determine your purpose
Before spending any amount of time on Twitter, you should decide what you want to get out of it. Do you want to meet people who share your interests? Do you want to promote something? Do you want to update colleagues in your industry? Knowing what you want to do ahead of time will transform Twitter from a time waster into something worthwhile.
2. Use keywords in your profile
Your profile should include information that is relevant to your purpose. For example, if you are a program associate for an environmental nonprofit looking to meet other people who are working on environmental causes, you should indicate somewhere in your profile what you do. This will help other people find you.
3. Add a picture
You can upload any type of picture to your profile, but it is best to post your own photo. People want to see WHO they are following.
4. Find people to follow
You can find people to follow by using the Twitter Search and the Profile Search. You can also broaden your network by looking at who follows the people you follow.
5. Search Twitter directories
Twitter directories are excellent places to find other Twitter users just like you. Good nonprofit directories to try include Just Tweet It and We Follow, with the tag Nonprofit.
6. Analyze your Twitter network
After you have found people to follow, you can broaden your network further with a special service that analyzes your network and helps you discover new people. A good service to try is Mr. Tweet.
7. Don’t play the number game
A lot of people who use Twitter worry about how many people are following them. It can be easy to get caught up in this numbers game, but you should try to avoid it. Followers won’t materialize overnight. Give your Twitter account time to grow and draw interest before becoming too frustrated.
8. Connect your cell phone to Twitter
Twitter can be connected to your cell phone so that you can post and receive updates via SMS (text messaging). Twitter doesn’t charge anything to do this–however, your cell carrier will. You might want to make sure you have unlimited texting to avoid a large, unexpected bill.
9. Use a URL shortening service
With only 140 characters allowed per Twitter post, there is no room for lengthy URLs. You can shorten URLs for free using one of the many services that have been set up for this purpose. Bit.ly and TinyURL are two good services to try.
10. Manage your account through a third-party client
There are several third party clients out there that can help you manage your Twitter account. Some of the most popular include TweetDeck, Twhirl, and TwitterFox.