The Agents are pumped to have a guest post for you from our colleague/fellow agitator/total Agent of Good Emma Lewzey with a Special Ops briefing on some undercover work she just completed on Twitter. Enjoy! And you rule Emma!
I came to Twitter last year with a fairly singled minded mission – to learn the ropes and become a relatively competent official tweeter for my non-profit organization.
Six months later, and I realize that the recipe for success is far simpler than I first realized. And more importantly, I learned that Twitter can do your organization more harm than good, and one surprisingly common mistake can end up damaging your relationship with your donors, volunteers and potential supporters.
I talk about many things on Twitter, personal, professional and political – and of course, as a fundraiser, one of my favourite things to tweet about is the great work of non-profit organizations.
Last week, after a particularly enthusiastic rash of non-profit related tweets, something started nagging at me. Of all the organizations I mentioned, complimented, and retweeted, it seemed that I heard back from very few, if any. So, I decided to investigate.
When I went back through my tweets from the past week, I had a disturbing realization: of the ten organizations I tweeted about or at, I heard back from only two.
To be fair, we all have off weeks – so I dug a bit deeper. And sadly, that number was pretty consistent – I’m only hearing back from about 20% of the organizations I tweet about.
Obviously, this is a huge missed opportunity – but more importantly, it’s a significant threat. I’m an active supporter of about one-third of the organizations that were steadfastly ignoring me, and the warm fuzzies that I usually feel when I think of them started rapidly cooling.
So, the recipe for success is pretty simple – respond to me when I tweet about you. A simple thanks will do – sadly, any reply at all will make you stand out at this point.
And the recipe for disaster? Just follow in the footsteps of the 80% of non-profits: ignore your supporters, and simply keep using your Twitter account like a 140 character public announcement system for all that great work you’re doing.
Has your experience been similar, or do your hear back from more than 20% of the non-profits you tweet about? Who do you think is doing a particularly good job of building relationships with their supporters on Twitter? I’d love to hear from you – leave a comment below, or tweet at me. I promise you’ll hear back! J
@EmmaLewzey is a proud small shop fundraiser and CFRE. She’s working towards a socially just world at The Redwood, a safe haven for women + kids fleeing violence, and learned everything she knows about Twitter by following the superstar relationship builders @agentsofgood: @agentjenlove and @johnlepp.