According to Business Insider, “Twitter is Surprisingly Small Compared to a Bunch of Other Apps and Online Companies” Twitter is one of the ten most-visited websites, with a reported 232 million active users worldwide. These users are sending over 400 million tweets per day. The micro-blogging network has evolved into a platform that allows people to consume news, exchange ideas, and connect with a global community in real time.
Some reported facts from HubSpot, “18 Fresh Stats”:
- 36% of all marketers found a customer through Twitter in 2013
- 47% of users who follow a brand on Twitter are more likely to visit that brand’s website
- 72% of Twitter followers of a brand are more likely to purchase something from that brand
Although tweets are limited in length, the platform is built specifically to facilitate timely conversation, connect with unlikely contacts, and discover chatter around particular topics. Cause-specific organizations, such as fundraisers, are well-served by Twitter because it allows them to easily uncover and connect with their audience, engage with like-minded organizations and leverage current events to drive campaigns.
Twitter Social Media Marketing
According to the Pew Research Center, “72% of Online Adults are Social Networking Site Users” the largest population of Twitter users is made up of 18-29 year-olds who have had at least some college education.
The Millennial generation should be of great interest to most brands and organizations, primarily because they account for $200 billion in direct purchasing and will inherit around $41 trillion from older generations. As this Millennial generation transitions into its peak earning years, fundraisers and charities will need to connect with this population on the social media networks they prefer. And with Millennials making up more than half of Twitter users in the US, this is a great platform to initiate engagement.
In addition to its prevalence with Millennials, Twitter is also experiencing solid user growth across other age groups. Because of its ease of use and rapid conveyance of timely information, the fastest demographic of Twitter users is the 55-65 years old.
Regardless of where your supporters, volunteers and donors fall demographically, having a voice on the mobile-optimized Twitter platform will help you expand your reach and engagement with your supporters.
How To Get The Most Out of Twitter
Buffer Social “10 Surprising New Twitter Stats” recently recounted some statistics indicating that certain kinds of tweets can generate higher engagement levels. Keep these ideas in mind as you utilize this platform:
- Tweet with less than 100 characters (120-130 if you include a link)
- Include one or two hashtags, as opposed to three or more
- Ask for a retweet (and spell out the word “retweet”!)
According to social media scientist Dan Zarrella from Kissmetrics, the timing of your tweets can also influence their exposure and engagement:
- Tweets posted in the afternoon tend to have higher click-through rates
- The highest percentage of retweets occur around 5 PM
- Click-through rates spike midweek and on the weekends
Twitter Tracking Trends
Twitter is an excellent way to rapidly discover what is happening and being discussed around topics that interest you on both a local and global scale. By utilizing the platform as a micro-news aggregator, you have the opportunity to leverage real-time events with like-minded supporters or thought-leaders, campaign for your cause, or curate content most relevant to your audience.
It’s rather simple to see what is trending on Twitter by utilizing the “trending” widget located directly under your profile picture. This widget allows you to set the topics for both local and global trends. Couple this with the search widget, and you will be able to find discussions on any current topic by using either a specific hashtag or normal searches.
Building Influence and Community
Hashtags make it possible to stream and display tweets relating to a particular topic or event. This allows you to enable, join or follow engagement around your interest. Think of this as a powerful tool to focus and hone in on an audience that is interested in your cause and community. By providing additional information or simply relaying relevant information you will build a presence or influence within the existing community.
To understand what hashtags your community uses and who the key players are, start with a simple search query. The “top tweets” on the search filter will typically be from Twitter influencers. You might also try using a web application like BuzzSumo to find out who the key influencers are in your sector.
Don’t just think about influencers making things happen for you, i.e., driving traffic to your blog, making intros for your company, re-tweeting your latest fundraising tweet, etc. It’s about you being influenced by those who have earned influence around common interests/passions and areas of topical expertise.
Begin strengthening your presence on Twitter by following these key influencers, the users who are engaging with them (for example, “favoriting” or “retweeting” their tweets), and then joining in on the conversation by offering your own views and relevant information.
Adding value to these conversations, rather than sending out links directly to your site or constantly shouting out your cause, is the best mode of engagement on Twitter. Think of the links to your site and motivating people to your cause as a secondary impact after you have garnered trust from this community.
How and What to Post on Twitter
If you’ve collected Twitter handles through your fundraising registration process, take the time to give your supporters a personal shout out. Not only will this broadcasted thank-you make your donors feel special, but it can also increase the visibility of your organization. You can also include a link to the individual’s peer-2-peer fundraising page as a way of appreciating and supporting their efforts.
Retweets & Replies
Spreading great tweets and relevant content from other Twitter feeds is a valuable way to share information with your network. Retweet others’ tweets that are relevant, supportive or that you think your audience would find interesting. People do notice and appreciate your retweets relevant to their desires.
Maintaining a conversation on Twitter also means responding to your followers when they tweet at you. According to HubSpot, 25% of consumers who complain about products on Twitter expect a response within 1 hour. Reply to tweets in a timely and helpful fashion, and the rest of your network will also see that you value your supporters’ feedback and perspectives.
Visual Media & Links
Photos and videos attached to posts automatically preview on users’ feeds on mobile and web streams. This allows your posts to be more visible on a user’s crowded feed by visually connecting with them. Tweets with a photo reportedly garner 5 times the engagement as text-based only tweets. The value of visual storytelling applies to Twitter as much as it does to any social network.
Driving Global Engagement
Twitter is based on the premise that anyone can reach you and you can reach everyone else. Because of this ease in connecting, the platform is perfect for fundraisers or charities that utilize a global supporter base.
#GivingTuesday is a great example of a campaign that relied on a global community for momentum and growth. The #GivingTuesday campaign is the charitable counterpart to shopping mega-events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was launched in 2012 around a simple hashtag and grew 90% year over year. In 2013, the nationally trending #GivingTuesday was tweeted an average of 11,208 times per hour.
If leveraged effectively and creatively, Twitter can be an incredible tool for connecting your fundraising group with a wide audience of like minded supporters. You can increase your exposure and engagement with just a few tweets a day, and following news and other influential voices in the nonprofit sector will enable you to add value to your followers’ feeds while also keeping pace with current trends.