Twitter is more than an outlet to send your message; it’s also a platform for engaging and listening. Non-profits can utilize Twitter to find supporters who genuinely have the same passion for their cause. Twitter can give your followers a voice, making it easier to share responses with your organization, and to help one another without depleting your organization’s limited resources. It also allows you to begin discussions with new people, informing them about your goals and supplying tools to a much wider audience.
Many non-profits are great at communicating with their direct constituents, but need a little help spreading their message far and wide. This is where the power of the “retweet” comes in: your organization sends a message via Twitter and that single message, like a domino effect, can get retweeted into perpetuity. So messages that would historically take days or weeks to reach the eyes and ears of a broader audience can happen faster than you can say, “viral marketing”.
Twitter allows fast mobilization of information so that your followers can be notified of the latest developments happening within your organization or in the communities you serve. Twitter users often interact among themselves and can spread the word quickly—a huge benefit to those organizations that are looking to broaden their reach beyond their usual followers. One obvious area is the immediate dissemination of information after natural disasters. Governments and news sources can form networks in Twitter for information exchange, urgent announcements and up-to-the minute news.
Twitter is also a great way for nonprofits to keep their fingers on the pulse of the needs, wants, and interests of both the nonprofit and donor communities at large. By using Twitter to follow potential donors and supporters, be they individuals, foundations, corporations, etc., nonprofits may glean new ways to align their messaging according to trends.
However it gets used, Twitter is a great listening tool, providing nonprofits with a new way of communicating with their supporters as equals.