We offer some tips to help you grow your charity’s Twitter presence
After fifteen years, Twitter is as popular as ever. Data from Statista shows that there are around 16.45 million people using Twitter in the UK and 187 million worldwide.
Twitter is a good way for charities to reach out to new supporters. You can use the platform to share your charity’s story and show the impact of your work. If you’re thinking of setting up an account for your organisation, or you want to improve your pre-existing account, here’s our step-by-step guide to help you along the journey.
Before you start posting on Twitter, you need to set up your profile. Use your charity’s name for your Twitter handle (username). If someone else has something similar, you may need to be a bit creative.
Next, upload your charity’s logo to your profile picture. If your current logo doesn’t work for the space, you may need to create another logo for social media.
Use strong photos for the header image. Search Engine Journal recommends changing this regularly and using the space to showcase your brand.
You’ll need to write your Twitter bio which is a maximum of 160 characters. If your charity has them, your boilerplate copy and key messages will help you to write this. Make sure you use relevant keywords and hashtags.
Also, set up your profile so people can contact you through direct message. This will make your charity more approachable.
Getting your profile set up properly will help you to get your account verified by Twitter. The blue tick on your profile shows people your account is authentic, which will make people more likely to follow you.
The way charities talk to people, how they sound, and how they present themselves are all very important. This includes everything you post on Twitter.
To give potential supporters a positive impression of your charity, you want to sound real and human. You can achieve this by avoiding jargon, answering people’s questions, and having conversations with people.
If you haven’t used hashtags before, these are words or phrases that have the # sign before them. For example, #charitydigital and #charitycommunications.
Hashtags categorise tweets by topic. People can search for what they’re interested in and follow individuals and organisations with shared values.
Make sure you’re posting content when your audiences are online. Use Twitter analytics to see when engagement is high. Unless you’re targeting people in a different time zone, avoid scheduling posts during the night. A good time to catch people is at lunch or mid-afternoon when people are having a break and scrolling on their phones.
As well as posting your own content, have conversations with other Twitter users. Retweet their tweets, reply to their posts, and tag them into posts. Others are more likely to notice and follow you.
When planning content, it’s important to think about pictures as well as words. Tweets with images receive more likes, shares, and retweets than those without them.
You may also want to use infographics, videos, or GIFs. Start building up a pool of images and videos, so you have them to hand when planning content. This could be photos and videos of volunteers helping to deliver your work, or pictures of people using your service.
There’s nothing worse than seeing cut-off photos on social media. You can find image size specifications for Twitter online. It’s important to have a bank of good quality photos to use. All smartphones take high resolution images.
Make sure you post a variety of content. Don’t just use Twitter to ask for donations or signpost to the ’about us’ page on your website. People will get bored of only seeing promotional posts about your charity.
Instead, share useful information such as top tips or facts about your cause area, or post links to relevant news stories.
User-generated content. First-person case studies of the people you support – whether in written format with a photo, or video – are a good way to communicate your charity’s work.
Create a content calendar so you can plan your tweets in advance. This will help you to stay organised, and means you’re not rushing around trying to find information to post at the last minute. It will also help to make sure you’re posting a wide variety of content across the month.