Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Social Media Part II - Twitter

After veering off the social media topic for a couple of posts I am thrilled to be writing about one of my favorite platforms for social media: Twitter.

Many of you know about this blog because of Twitter. I am one of those fundraisers who absolutely loves Twitter. Before I start about Twitter, please remember that everything I present may or may not be a good fit for you, your agency, or your cause. As I say in the workshop, "Different strokes for different folks". This definitely applies to Twitter. All I ask is that you check it out with an open mind.

The main thing for me and Twitter is always looking at my Twitter usage and making sure that it is relevant, that my messaging is relevant, and that the time I put into it is relevant. It's important to me that people actually read and respond to my tweets. It's important to me that my tweets mean something to the reader.

Our name on Twitter is @BoulderAIDS . Have a look at it if you want to see a non-profit in action on Twitter.

Twitter is different than many other types of social media. The writer has 140 characters to use for their message. It might not seem easy at first but you can easily get used to it. A Twitter post is called a "tweet". If you want to reach people who follow different types of groups or causes, you can use a hash tag ( # ) which will add your tweet to a list of other tweets with that same hash tag. For example, when I am tweeting about HIV or AIDS, or something that happened at our agency, I use #HIV, knowing that anyone reading HIV tweets will read mine. This is an incredible way to get your tweet read by even more people.

I tweet about our agency's work and mission, about HIV and AIDS in our community and in Colorado, and about fundraising from the smaller non-profit perspective. I do not tweet about very personal issues as I am tweeting in the name of Boulder County AIDS Project and want to make sure my tweets reflect a level of professionalism.

If you would like to have a Twitter "How To Guide", connect with @ConnectColorado on Twitter and ask for the Colorado Non-Profit Twitter usage study. Lots of great tips on how to use Twitter from the on-profit perspective.

Another great thing about Twitter is that you can connect with so many allies. I was honestly surprised to see how many AIDS Service Organizations there are out there doing amazing work. I have also been able to connect with others in an effort to collaborate in different ways.

I would love your feedback on Twitter, so please leave a comment. There is more to come so please keep that in mind. Meanwhile, check Twitter out. If you already use Twitter, think of ways you can increase your followers, and your relevancy.

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