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Twitter Tips for Non-Profits

Guest post by Community Media Workshop board member Teresa Puente

As Community Media Workshop welcomes a brand new class of social media bootcampers this week; Workshop board member Teresa Puente reminds us that using Twitter is a great way to share information about your nonprofit and expand your networking connections.

Here are 10 helpful tips:

1)   Make sure your Twitter profile is complete and includes a photo. If you have the generic Twitter icon people will know that you are not a serious Twitter user. Always include a link to your website and blog and even a telephone number.

Teresa Puente’s Twitter profile picture.

2)   Twitter is about sharing information. It’s a two-way street. You shouldn’t just tweet out information about your organization. Only one in three tweets should be about the work you do.

3)   You should also tweet about news that impacts people in your field as well as information about groups with similar goals. Tweet about your “frenemies” and this should also nudge them to share information about your work.

4)   Tweet often but not multiple tweets in a row. If you tweet too much at once, people will miss the bulk of your tweets.

5)   You should have a schedule for tweeting based on time constraints. Try using a program like HootSuite to schedule your tweets 15 to 30 minutes apart. You can schedule tweets in the morning and for the afternoon or evening.

6)   Look up who your favorite journalists, nonprofit or policy makers are following and follow some of their followers.

7)   You also can find new people to follow by searching for keywords in your field using the #.

8)   You also should use some of those keywords at the end of your own tweets.

9)   Always include a link in your tweets. You need a value added to the tweet and use links that provide your followers with additional information.

10) Engage journalists and influential people on Twitter by asking questions or even complimenting their work. It might lead to a new contact, story or more.

Teresa Puente, author of “Chicanísima” blog on the ChicagoNow network is founder of “Latina Voices.com.” A veteran journalist, she is also an Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia College Chicago and a long-standing board member of Community Media Workshop. Follow her tweets @tcpuente

 

Lessons learned from Social Media Bootcamp

Guest post by Marissa Wasseluk, New Media Associate

I’ve found that most organizations know they need to have a social media presence, but are unsure how to utilize social media tools to get their message across. What most don’t understand is that there is a philosophy behind social media communications and strategy behind its utilization.

The Workshop heard the outcry for a comprehensive look at this emerging, ever-changing communications platform (it sounded kind of like a kitten stuck up in a distant tree). We responded by creating a three-part course that delves into the world of social media to help break down and understand the medium and how to use it effectively.

hang in der, kitteh.

Thus, Social Media Bootcamp was born.  Adapted from social media trainings the Workshop has done in the past, we covered the following:

Day 1 – Introduction to Social Media Policy & Plan
Participants were asked to put into question their communications goals, and why social media will help them acheive those goals. Ask yourself, “Who am I talking to? How will I address this audience?” Explore, “What is a social media policy? How is it different from a plan and why do I need both?”

This was the week we played the social media game. I love the social media game because everyone wins.

Day 2 – Utilizing Tools & Tactics
This week we made the link between legend media and new media. You may not see it at first, but there is one. Best practices for the social engagement on Twitter, Facebook, & blogs were covered.

Tip of the week: keywords are just that – WORDS THAT ARE KEY TO YOUR MESSAGES. Analyze your goals and listen to your audience to find your keywords and draw upon them to start and join conversations on social media platforms!

Day 3 – Measuring Impact
Participants were introduced to tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social and how to use them to understand their audience. Finding influencers and engaging them, as well as workflow were covered.

We also learned a little bit about SEO using the power of music.

I find that because the nature of social media is that it is ever-changing, the more I explore on the topic, the more I want to know.

Find out what can you learn from Social Media Bootcamp by listening in on and/or join the conversation on Twitter and following the hashtag #smb2012 . For more communications tips and tricks, you can also “like” the Workshop on Facebook or sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter!

If you just asked yourself what a hashtag is or how one uses it, I highly encourage you to join us for the Making Media Connections conference or contact us about a custom training!

Happy communicating!

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