The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

What is Twitter and What Can a Nonprofit Do With It?

I realize that many people in nonprofits may answer that question with “I don’t use Twitter.”  I’m not saying everyone should.  But for those who have adopted it or are thinking about it, the next step is to find a style of use and how to integrate it into your work flow.

What It Is:

  • Twitter is a microblogging tool that allows users to post short updates
  • You follow your friends and groups you’re interested in
  • You can get your messages via IM, mobile text, or the web
  • Twitter changes some expectations associated with online communications – you are limited to 140 characters per update

How It Might Be Used:

  • Social while at a conference to find better sessions or parties
  • Using Twitter as a virtual water cooler.
  • Industry gossip
  • Share resources or blog posts
  • Drive traffic web page/blog or comments
  • Ask a question, get an answer
  • Get referrals
  • Ad hoc collaborations
  • Sending reports in an emergency
  • Getting news
  • Product recommendations while in a store
  • Solicitation tool for a fundraising campaign

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of it.”  That’s what my husband said the other night when I showed him Twitter.  He also added, there’s more effective ways to spend your time.   Then, he went through the Twitter Life Cycle

The next question is something like, “What’s an effective way to use it?”

Trend Tracking:

You can now track concepts on Twitter via your cell phone. You can track keywords like “Nonprofit” or you can ego track “Beth Kanter.” Jermiah Owyang suggests “This could provide more utility for those that are responsible for watching certain markets, products, or even emergency use.” 

Sources: http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2007/10/dip-in-or-subme.html and http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2007/10/trend-tacking-w.html

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Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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