So what do you want to use Twitter FOR?
In its purest form I find that twitter is good for:
- Being Human
- Talking to People
- Linking to other things on the Web
There is also a longer ‘what is Twitter useful for’ post here, looking at the question in more detail.
All the uses I refer to are however linked to the same thing – conversations. If you are willing to jump in and be part of conversations, twitter is a great way to promote whatever it is you are promoting.
Here’s an example of a strategic use of twitter:
East Anglia’s Childrens’ Hospices are fundraising for a new hospice building in Ipswich (disclosure – the architects I work for designed it). They need to raise £3m in 12 months. EACH has a fundraising twitter account and a facebook page for their main appeal, which raises the huge amounts of funds required to look after the hundreds of children and families they care for all over East Anglia, but they (sensibly) set up a separate Twitter account for what has become known as the ‘Treehouse Appeal’.
The charity set up a separate facebook account, a separate twitter account, and a special page on their website. The purpose of these tools is to draw attention to the appeal, share information about the build (which is going on at the same time) and interact with supporters and enquirers.
On the appeal page they describe the project, showcase ways you can help support the appeal, provide a running total and a form for direct giving, alongside linking to their main website.
On the facebook page they post images, video, stories, links and encourage sharing of ideas and wider discussions about the appeal.
The Treehouse Appeal Twitter account serves a number of different purposes in this combination of tools:
- The appeal has a presence on twitter, so twitter users are encouraged to visit the facebook page and the website for more information.
- The twitter account can link to anything else on the web related to the appeal, and uses the #treehouseappeal hashtag in its tweets to collate and associate messages from supporters.
- The twitter account is an immediate way to contact the appeal team without picking up the phone.
- Following the appeal, like ‘fanning’ a facebook page, lets supporters keep in touch with the charity as part of their daily activities.
- The account updates followers with news of appeal deadlines, and shares updates from all its supporters including those taking part in charity activities (listening out on twitter too).
- The account connects with its main supporters the local paper and radio station, who also have twitter accounts.
By tying together all their online activities the appeal has been able to galvanise support from across the country in a way that isn’t possible with a static website. People feel involved, listened to and supported in their charitable activities by the twitter community. The appeal has raised over £1.1m just five months and is well on the way to meeting its target.
Now imagine who your community is.
How could you listen to them?
What do they need?
How would you talk to them?
What can you do for them?
How can you join together things with twitter to help them do their work?
See all the Seven Steps Here