An introduction to Twitter

Tablet with welcome to twitter on it for an introduction to twitter

Twitter is an online news and social media platform that enables people and organisations to share their thoughts and have discussions with other relevant Twitter users.

It is the third most popular social media platform in the UK with 20 million users, following Facebook and Youtube.

In this post we explain what Twitter is, how charities can benefit from using the social platform and have a look at some examples of charities already using Twitter to their advantage.

Who uses Twitter?

Individuals, businesses and charities. 45% of adults online in the UK use Twitter.

How does Twitter benefit charities?

Twitter only allows messages of 280 characters to be posted by its users so it’s a good way to share short punchy messages to your followers. 

1. Raises your brand awareness

The benefit of short messages is that they’re easy to read and can be retweeted easily, making your brand be seen by more people than your followers, for free.

2. Builds your credibility

Twitter is a platform that can connect your organisation with other brands. If a credible brand retweets your post or has a conversation with you on Twitter it builds your brand credibility within the nonprofit sector and can generate new followers.

3. Helps to curate content

Only a tiny portion of nonprofits create enough quality content to be able to only tweet their own content, so retweeting other organisations or individuals posts is another way to curate content on Twitter.

4. You can reach people daily

20 million people in the UK use Twitter and 37% of those account holders log in daily. Over 80% of users view Twitter on their mobile, making it accessible to people throughout the day.

How can charities use Twitter?

It’s a chance for you to share the latest news with your followers and to find out what your customers and supporters are thinking. It is easy to set up a profile and start using the platform, by following organisations and individuals, interacting with their tweets and sharing your thoughts.

Here are some examples of how charities have used Twitter to achieve their objectives.

To drive donations

A pinned tweet stays at the top of your Twitter page, so a link to your donate page with a light ask is a good place for this to sit for any Twitter users thinking about donating.

Challenge events promo

Twitter is another channel that can be utilised to reach other people who might be interested in signing up to a challenge event.

Promote a campaign

Oxfam have created the hashtag #EvenItUp to promote their campaign on the wealth gap.

Legacy Giving

Again Twitter reaches other users that might you might not have reached on other social media platforms and marketing channels. Here Oxfam have promoted a Will offer as part of a legacy giving campaign.

To thank your supporters for their loyalty

Top Twitter Tips

Tweet with an image

Including an image in your tweet can improve engagement. Tweets with an image receive 18% more clicks than tweets without images, so if you have an engaging image representing your cause, make sure you share it!

Link to your blogs and news pages

Tweets not only involve messages but links too, they’re a good way to direct social media traffic to your website. And tweets that use links are 86% more likely to be retweeted, raising your organisations’ profile. So tweet links!

Ask to be retweeted

Twitter posts are quite informal and light-hearted, it’s okay to ask people to comment or retweet your post. In fact tweets are 12X more likely to be retweeted if you ask for it.

Use the Hashtag #

People use the hashtag symbol before a relevant keyword or phrase in their tweet to help them show more easily in Twitter search. Clicking on a hashtagged word shows you other tweets that include that hashtag and your tweet is therefore discoverable to more users looking at that hashtag.

Links to introductory stuff 

Other blogs to help you promote your charity online

  • How Facebook ads can recruit donations, fundraisers and campaigners.
  • 5 reasons Google AdWords is key for charities to reach supporters and potential donors.

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