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11 Best Twitter Practices for Non-profits

11-twitter-best-practices

1. Provide your followers with useful, interesting and retweetable content
A non-profit that shares and retweets unique, interesting content is likely to be much more successful on Twitter than one that is overloading its account with fundraising asks and self-promotional tweets. Perception is key and people will be more responsive to accounts that a perceived as engaging, rather than self-promoting.

2. Write clear and concise tweets
Tweets should be well written and thoughtful. Tweets that are written in complete sentences without abbreviations are easier to read, and thus, are retweeted much more often. Second, tweets that end in either a period or a colon before the link are also retweeted more often and thus tend to have higher click-through rates. Unless you are a celebrity, a messy, convoluted tweet loaded with hashtags and incomplete dialogue isn’t worth tweeting; take the time to construct a thorough and thoughtfully formatted tweet.

3. Curate Quality Content through Retweeting
Don’t just tweet; retweet other’s information as well. Retweeting adds variety to your feed and engages followers, creating better credibility and quells any perceptions that your organization is over-marketing itself. Only a small number of nonprofits can generate enough quality content to exclusively tweet their own content; therefore, curating other content is a vital step to helping improve your Twitter following and engagement. Adding retweets to your strategy will help draw more attention towards your original content.

4. Tweet or retweet 2-8 times per day
In order to maintain a strong presence, it is important to tweet multiple times a day, but don’t overdo it! Sending out more than one tweet hourly actually decreases your click-through rate; however, for a nonprofit to remain relevant on Twitter it should tweet at least twice daily. The more active your organization is on Twitter, the better your presence will be; however, be aware of over-saturation actually detracting from your following. If you send out more than one Tweet hourly, consider decreasing your tweet rate and study the results to settle upon an optimal tweet-to-retweet rate.

* Tip: Include links in your tweets Tweets with links have an 86% higher retweet rate. Most highly shared tweets on Twitter links to external content. Your organization should utilize a strategy of posting shareable content, such as: Blog posts, news articles, videos etc.

5. Tweet on the Weekends
Your organization may not operate on the weekend, but that doesn’t mean that no one follows Twitter. Most brands do not tweet on the weekend; therefore, by tweeting on the weekend (yes, the weekend!), your organization will stand out from others. You might ask, however, how do I tweet when no one is in the office on weekends? No need to fret, you don’t have to be in the office to tweet on the weekend. There a great tools like Hootsuite that allow you the ability to schedule your tweets in advance. Simply pre-schedule weekend tweets during the workweek. Be sure to schedule at least one tweet on both Saturday and Sunday.

6. Upload Photographs & Infographics; make sure they are properly sized
Tweets with photos and videos are retweeted at much higher than those that don’t. When tweeting information, an infographic can be a great way to create a pleasing visual representation of your message and will engage your followers. The last thing you want, however, is to post a great picture, only to realize it is too big and has to be cropped. Seeing a picture in its entirety gives more depth to its meaning. Pictures that are cropped are significantly less retweeted than those that are not. In order to avoid this, try to keep your photo at 525 x 262 pixels; this the ideal Twitter photo size and will ensure you won’t have to crop your picture.

7. #Don’t #overdo #hashtags
Use hashtags strategically to mention important causes, campaigns and events – but NOT in every tweet! Using too many hashtags make your tweets much harder to read and, as a result, are less likely to be retweeted. Often, tweets without hashtags actually have better output than those with them. In fact, posting more than two hashtags will likely decrease your posts retweet rate, so be sure to #use #them #sparingly!

* Tip: Post with and without hashtags to give a gauge as to which strategy may work better for your organization.

8. Add a “follow button” to your online sources
Adding a follow button to your blog, website, or publication can help create more reader engagement. Having a button also makes it more convenient for readers to tweet out your information. Rather than going through the process of opening twitter and posting the information, having a button gives readers and followers the convenience of retweeting recent information on the spot—from your publication—which is more likely to increase activity and engagement.

9. Use your logo as your profile image
Be sure to have your logo as your Twitter avatar. Having your organization’s logo on your twitter account will make you more recognizable and credible, which will help with engagement as followers are more likely to act on a cause if they feel a visual connection with an organization.
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10. Put Statistical and Quotable Tweets in image format
Posting stats and quotes is common on Twitter, but if you are only posting text, your tweets can become boring and reader engagement could drop. Statistics and quotes that are in image format are more likely to be retweeted. Images capture our attention quicker and keep us engaged for longer. As a result, follower activity increases, meaning more promotion for your organization.

11. Be familiar with the Twitter Analytics Dashboard
Being familiar with Twitter analytics will be useful in helping you gauge and understand analytics like your retweet, click-through, and impression rates. Be sure to have this tool on hand so you can consistently monitor and update your organization’s social media output

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