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ShareVision Blog

Conversations on technology for community service providers

Trick or Tweet

Halloween is the much-loved cultural holiday filled with the odd tradition of going to stranger’s homes and asking for candy. However the trick aspect of trick or treating seems to have been lost and candy acquisition is the sole remaining goal. Ask any six year old! I can’t help but imagine that when I was six, and if our entire neighborhood of kids had been on Twitter Halloween night, how our candy intake could have been efficiently maximized with tweets about where the good candy scores were and what spooky places we should avoid. So how many of your tweets end up like those nasty nameless molasses toffees, unwanted and left at the bottom of the pile?

We want our tweets to be like peanut butter cupsMaximize the effectiveness of your tweets…here’s how

  1. Your tweets should have personality – and offer an engaging voice – there’s a reason celebrities and politicians and generally funny people have followers
  1. Stick with a few topics…i.e. don’t post every news tidbit you come across. For us NGO’s this may mean posting news relevant to your sector only. Let someone else tweet the headlines.
  1. Check in with your followers and stakeholders (How about a survey?)– are they even reading your tweets? –If so when?– morning noon or night? How often do they LIKE to receive tweets? Be careful of the overwhelm factor. If you serve people around the country or globe, time tweets roll out in different time zones.
  1. Remember that asking questions engages your followers i.e. “What do you think of our new mascot?”, instead of just posting a picture of it
  1. It is also ok to ask – Adding “please RT “ may give the prompt needed to re-tweet.
  1. Ensure you follow people back – As no-one like those who are just “TALKING” and not listening.

And the experts from the Seven Habits of Effective Twitter Users offer these three top tips:

“They monitor their performance
Some of our favorite tools include Buffer and Hootsuite. These can greatly improve how and when you engage with your followers, as well as give you analytics on when the best times to tweet can be.

They limit self-promotion
This one should go without saying: Don’t spam your followers! If you fill your timeline with tweets asking your followers to fund your latest Kickstarter/artistic venture/Sunday brunch, then you’re doing it all wrong. You should always be adding more value to Twitter than you hope to gain from it. Use a method that some call the 80-20 rule: If 80% of your tweets are full of interesting and interactive content that is beneficial to your audience, you’ll keep your network engaged enough to have them interacting with the self-promotion that you allocate for the other 20% of your tweets.

Highly effective Twitter users are positive!
It’s been shown that when you’re happy and humorous on Twitter, you gain more followers than those who tweet in a more regularly negative tone. This makes sense: people don’t sign up for Twitter to engage with negativity! In fact, it’s been shown that Twitter users whose tweets are mostly of a negative sentiment start to lose more followers faster. Happiness is the key to success, especially on Twitter!”

So tweak your tweets and perhaps you can turn your toffee into peanut butter cups!

Topics: non-profit