Can Twitter Help Your Fundraising? – 10 Rules of Engagement

So from LinkedIn to Twitter – two very different platforms but both powerful in their own way.  So how do Twitter and fundraising go hand in hand, and how can you make sure that your efforts result in more engagement, a greater buzz around your organisation and, ultimately, more money for your campaign?

1. Plan, Plan and Plan Again
I know I often bang on about planning but it’s for a reason.  Before you even send that first tweet out there make sure there’s a clear understanding internally about what you’re trying to achieve and when – otherwise, how can you possible establish whether your Twitter campaign has been successful or not?

2. Engagement and Cultivation
Remember that, as with any social media platform – and indeed offline fundraising – you need to start by cultivating your community.  It is the people who you are engaged with – and more importantly, who are engaged with you – who are the power behind your fundraising efforts on Twitter and not the social media platform itself.  So you need to cultivate an audience who are interested to hear what you have to say and want to keep in touch.

3. Create a Buzz
So how do you engage people?  Start by creating a buzz about your charity.  Make people want to engage with you by sending out fun, upbeat messages.  Or create a sense of urgency.  Make your charity stand out from the rest by providing interesting content that makes people want to get involved and gets them talking about your organisation.

4. Clarity
Be clear about your objectives on Twitter.  You only have 140 characters so use them wisely and make sure your message is clear and concise.

5. Remember the Fundraising!
Twitter isn’t a fundraising platform.  It’s a means to build interest and engagement around your fundraising so make sure you have the fundraising systems in place to back it up.  For example, that might mean clearly directing people towards your donations page.  Whatever you do make sure you have everything set up behind the scenes to support the fundraising.

6. Your Followers Are People Too!
The most successful Twitter fundraising is achieved through an online AND offline approach so remember to include opportunities for people to engage with you offline – be that by creating opportunities for them to volunteer, inviting them to your events, or asking them to run 26 miles for your charity!  We are all human after all and sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough.

7. Don’t Forget Your Manners
Donor recognition is just as important on Twitter as it is offline.  So whether you tweet a thank you to all your followers (thereby giving someone recognition among your tribe) or if you thank them publicly at an event doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you remember to do it.

8. Listen
You know that person who whenever you meet them talks endlessly about themselves and never asks how you’re doing?  You know, the one you try to avoid whenever possible?  Well, it’s like that on Twitter too.  People who continually broadcast but never listen and respond aren’t engaging with people – they’re just annoying them.

9. What’s Happening?
Make sure that you keep up to date on the progress of your campaign.  It can and will (if successful) grow arms and legs beyond your organisation with retweets and engagement around the subject, so you should try to keep up to date with what’s happening and where it’s going in terms of reach.  The flip side of that is that you need to keep your followers updated too so regularly updating them on the progress of your fundraising can help to keep people engaged and focused on the target – whatever that might be.

10. What Just Happened?
This is an internal aspect to consider.  Once your campaign is over and the dust has settled, take a good look at it.  Be critical but constructive and look at what worked and what didn’t – and then make sure that you improve upon it for next time.

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If you’re already signed up for Twitter, please link up with me (HeatherActivate) to keep up to date with news and views on fundraising.  And for further reading on Twitter and Fundraising, check out:

The Fundraising Coach

Helpful Hints for Charities

The next post in our social media and fundraising series will be looking at the all powerful Facebook.  We’ve a few examples of successful campaigns but would love to hear about your experience too so please get in touch.

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