Many non-profits are not really using Twitter to its full potential. Social Fundraising software like DonorDrive has built-in Twitter functions to help your constituents generate donations and get the word out about your event or campaign. But there are many other Twitter tricks (including using Twitter during the event itself) to boost the excitement and increase last-minute giving.
- Ask for retweets. Encourage adding the phrase “Please RT” to pertinent event/campaign tweets. It can generate four times more retweets. (Limit tweets to 120 characters to allow space for retweeting.)
- Choose an event hashtag. If your event is “Night Walk 2012” shorten it to something like “#ntwlk12”. You want it to be unique, so search Twitter to make sure the tag isn’t already in use.
- Assign an official tweeter. Dedicate a person to be in charge of tweeting and monitoring before your event/campaign, as well as during. They can help steer the conversation and build excitement.
- Encourage constituents to add your event/campaign to their Twitter bio. This gives the event more visibility and can get the event/campaign included in Twitter searches.
- Offer a Twitter background branded for your event/campaign. If you have a graphic designer who helps out your cause, ask them to create a Twitter background specifically for your event/campaign that your participants can use on their Twitter page. These get a lot of notice.
- Promote your hashtag. Long before your event/campaign, promote your hashtag on your site and in all communications. Encourage constituents and staff to tweet it and use it as an official news channel for tweeting anything about the event/campaign.
- Tweet events live. Use your hashtag to report happenings during live events. This encourages Twitter activity from those at the event and those monitoring elsewhere.
- Encourage participants to tell their supporters to follow the hashtag live. This creates immediacy and can generate last minute donations.
- Monitor tweetflow as it happens. Tweetdeck and Hash for iPad will monitor the hashtag in real time, allowing for easy response or retweeting.
- Add a Tweetwall or Tweetboard at events. This is a big TV screen that shows the constant flow of tweets with the hastag. This works best indoors, but some have used it successfully outside as well.
- When it’s over, archive your event/campaign tweets. Hootsuite Archives allows you to save all tweets with your hashtag. This can be valuable data to track success and gain insight into what you can do better next time.
Since Twitter is a public broadcasting tool, it has a wide reach. The addition of a hashtag helps to focus the conversation around your event or campaign and makes it easier to track. Sometimes high activity of a hashtag can make it a Trending Topic, which will get your event/campaign even more notice.