Talk is Cheap: 3 Tips on Twitter Advertising for Nonprofits

In an age where companies funnel millions of dollars into the advertising industry in order to get their brand name noticed, nonprofit organizations often struggle to find ways to advertise without spending what little funds they may have. However, in the past decade, the development of social media has allowed nonprofits to conduct campaigns on sites without spending a dime, as long as the organizations know how to use these platforms to their advantage. Twitter is one of the social media platforms being used more and more often by these campaigns, and these three tricks can help your organization increase its advertising skills in 140 characters or less.

1. Use #Hashtags to Increase Visibility

Emily Parker’s article, The giving season: a Twitter Ads guide for nonprofits, states:

According to a 2014 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research survey, 86% of U.S. charities and nonprofits say they use Twitter.

In order for tweets that are being put out by non profits to be seen, Parker encourages the use of hashtags, particularly keyword-targeted or promoted hashtags. By tweeting out with a certain hashtag, an organization is creating a physical link to a topic, and is tagging their post as part of that conversation. Twitter users who are scrolling through that hashtag will be more likely to see your tweets if you tag them. This tactic will keep your twitter linked with the latest trends, and tethered to conversations that could attract possible donors or supporters to your organization.

Top Tip: If there is a current event that somehow connects to your nonprofit, creating a hashtag of your own the way UNICEF did could put your organization in the spotlight. Just make sure the hashtag you’re using is trending for a reason related to your organization, to avoid some public relations disasters like this one:a98944_18k1rsd2d9ovcjpg

2. Mention Supporters of Your Cause

Social media is intended to be a platform through which people share information, thus the ‘social’ aspect of it all. Mentioning supporters with an @ in your tweet calls their attention to your post, but also grabs the attention of their followers as well. According to 4aGoodCause, mentioning other organizations and supporters could even strengthen your campaign in the future.

This is a perfect opportunity for you to open up communication between your organization and organizations you would like to partner with in the future.

This tactic also shows that you care about other organizations and your supporters, and that you are willing to connect with them or partner with them in a way that could be beneficial to both your causes.

3. Find the Perfect Number of Tweets

Staying active and keeping up with the conversations on social media is critical for advertising a nonprofit organization. However, as Nonprofit Tech For Good notes:

Sending more than one tweet every hour significantly decreases your click-though rate, according to social media scientist @DanZarrella.

Putting out too much on your twitter can come off as spammy or annoying to followers, who don’t want their feeds clogged up by the same information being posted over and over again. Two to three tweets a day is the minimum suggestion for organizations, but be sure to spread out your tweets over the course of the day.

Top Tip: Use online plug-ins or other websites like Buffer to help queue tweets for automatic posting. This can also help you stay active on weekends, which tends to be a time when companies and organizations are less active.

Follow these simple steps, and your advertising game should increase dramatically on Twitter, and hopefully on other social media platforms as well.

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