Let’s face it, the use of social media for nonprofits can be overwhelming. Many times, you’re working with limited resources, limited time and small staff. According to the 2015 Nonprofit Content Marketing Report by Content Marketing Institute and Blackbaud, social media accounts for 93% of content marketing tactics for nonprofits with Twitter being the second highest platform used (Facebook is number one).
So why is it that when I’m chatting with other nonprofit professionals, there still seems to be much confusion about Twitter or how it can be beneficial when it comes to nonprofit marketing? While Content Marketing Institute’s report is great to glean insight and strategies for moving forward, it did have a pretty small percentage (17%) of micro nonprofits (those with fewer than 10 employees).
So for those of you who are working with smaller staff (or for those of you who just want some new and inspiring Twitter content ideas), I present to you:
5 Twitter ideas for nonprofits
1. Follow (and use) hashtags
Hashtags are a great way for others to get in on the conversation, to follow along on hot-button issues or to drive awareness to a particular cause. They are searchable, which can help with followers and engagement as well. A few suggestions for hashtags to use include:
- #csr (which stands for corporate social responsibility)
- #nptech (nonprofit technology)
- #sm4sg (social media for social good)
2. Participate in Twitter chats
Twitter chats use hashtags as a way for people to come together online and talk about a certain topic on Twitter. Utilizing the hashtag at the end of your tweet during the designated chat time allows you to be a part of the conversation and follow along. Here are five Twitter chats worth checking out:
#smNPchat: Small Nonprofits | every other Friday | 12pm EST
#ynpchat: Young Nonprofit Professionals | first Wednesday of the month | 4pm EST
#nptalk: Nonprofit Talk | every Wednesday | 3pm EST
#socentchant: Social Entrepreneurs | first Wednesday of the month | 4pm EST (this is a 2-hour chat)
#NPMC: Nonprofit Marketing Community | last Thursday of the month | 1pm EST
#npcons: Nonprofit Consultants | third Thursday of the month | 4pm
3. Give real-time updates on events or even emergency response situations
The American Red Cross is a great example of this. They tweet about preparedness during natural disasters and provide useful information to followers. Think about the information that is useful to your audience and provide that information on Twitter using relevant hashtags and links where they can read more.
4. Create a photo of the day (or week)
Photos are a great way for Twitter to feel “human”. By creating images that are viewable on Twitter (best Twitter image size is 876 x 438 px) you can engage your audience and show faces with your mission. Encourage others to share theirs as well.
5. Get in on the holidays
Utilize tools such as Days of the Year to keep track of funny days to celebrate or obscure holidays that would still be of interest or fun to your audiences. Many of these holidays (traditional and non-traditional) have hashtags associated with them as well. For instance, #NationalChocolateDay and #NationalCatDay. Have some fun with those!
BONUS: Create your own hashtags to spread awareness about YOUR cause or passion
Drive social change by creating and utilizing a hashtag that is relevant to your organization. Use it often and regularly so that others start to understand its meaning and use it, too. Websites such as Hashtag Directory is a great way to find relevant hashtags or to submit your created hashtags so others can search for it to find out its meaning, etc. Hosting a Twitter chat would be another example of creating your own hashtag for your cause or education efforts.
Whether you have a large staff to help manage your nonprofit’s social media efforts, or a staff of one, these content ideas should help provide relief when it comes to planning your Twitter use.
Do you have content ideas for Twitter that work well for your nonprofit? Please share in the comments below!