As part of Small Charity Week the FSI and Small Charity Week partners are releasing a range of free, informative toolkits for your small charity during the week. To access these toolkits, please visit the SCW website, here.

 

As today is ‘Big Advice Day’, we thought we’d share with you some of our own tips that your organisation or group may find useful.

 

These days, one of the best methods for promoting and publicising the work of your organisation – or indeed just making your presence known to the local community – is to master the tool of social media.

Perhaps the most useful of these outlets for companies and organisations, is Twitter. In just moments, your events, news, and even promotional flyers and posters, can reach an audience of millions.

Minimal effort, maximum effect.

But is it as easy as that? Well, yes and no. Learning how to use Twitter isn’t in itself difficult, but just as with any other form of communication, learning how to utilise it to its full potential, find your online voice, and appeal to your audience may take a little while to master.

So, on ‘Big Advice Day’, here are our top ten tips to help you unleash your inner social media maven.

 

1 – Be a visible presence

Make sure your Twitter name is relevant to your organisation or group, and is one that’s easy for others to remember. The more obscure your Twitter handle, the less likely people will be to a) be able to find you in the big, wide, online world, and b) recall your organisation’s Twitter name to include you in their posts and lists.

 

2 – Tweet, Tweet, & Tweet again!

Inactive Twitter accounts will lose followers, and since it takes virtually no time at all to send out a Tweet, make sure you are regularly sending out messages. Even if you have nothing to say (rarely happens around here, but just in case…) retweet another group or organisation. A retweet is better than silence and it lets people know that you’re still around, plus, it shows that you are taking an active interest in other users and their news.

 

3 – Remember, ‘What would Adele do?’

Apologies for the sneaky pop culture reference there, but the answer is obviously – ‘Say hello!’ Don’t be shy about starting conversations or jumping in on chats already in progress between local groups. Not only do you make online friends this way, but it opens you up to a wider audience and allows their followers to spot you. It’s also a crafty way of adding to your own followers. You’ll be surprised at the organisations or individuals who will suddenly strike up a conversation with you. And who doesn’t like making new friends?!

 

4 – Hop on that hashtag

Is there a national day, a Twitter movement (#MotivationMonday, #CharityTuesday… you get the idea), or a charity campaign currently trending?! Well, hop on that hashtag, even if it’s with a motivational quote or amusing photo to round off the week. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be in increasing your Tweet engagements and recruiting followers. Communications don’t always need to be serious. Sometimes, it’s about reminding people that there’s human beings at the other end of the Twitter account. Have fun with it!

 

5 – Use multi-media

Twitter now gives you the ability to include photos, videos, and even Gifs in your Tweets. You may be wondering what exactly a Gif is – do you remember that Tweet with a three second clip of the Carlton Banks dance to celebrate that #FridayFeeling? Or Elsa from Frozen accompanying a Tweet about insulating your house this winter? Well, that’s a Gif. Use them. People like them! If you have an event to promote, include your flyer as a photo, it’s sure to secure more attention, and we all enjoy a bright and colourful Twitter feed. If you or a local group/charity have a promotional video, Tweet it!

 

6 – Proof read your Tweets

We can’t emphasize this strongly enough. Twitter is a quick, convenient, and gloriously trendy way to get your message out to the masses, even Her Majesty is Tweeting these days. So make sure that there are no spelling mistakes in your Tweet, and that you’ve taken advantage of the character limit to ensure your message is concise and easy to understand. If you’re taking our advice from no. 4 and are excitedly whipping out those hashtags, make sure you’ve spelt the tag correctly. You’d be surprised at how many people miss out on ‘trending’ due to miss-spelling a hashtag!

 

7 – Use symbols whenever possible

No, we don’t mean hieroglyphs, runes, or the Enigma Code, but given Twitter’s slightly mean character limit, you are going to have to be inventive when constructing your Tweets. Instead of ‘and’, think about using a & or + sign. Need to include a link to a website? Add a shortened link instead. Remember – be short, sharp, and to the point!

 

8 – Make the first move!

A great piece of advice I once received as a lowly intern, was to set aside an hour or two each week to concentrate on finding and following all relevant regional groups, organisations, MP’s, councillors, councils, universities and colleges, local celebrities, and sports teams. All of a sudden, you’ll find your Followers list is growing rapidly, as most of these Twitter users will happily follow you back. Not only does this allow you to be a little more clued up on what’s going on in your sector and your local community, but it provides you with an audience who may be similarly interested in what you have to say and inclined to share your Tweets with their own Followers.

 

9 – Strictly NO political Tweets!!

We know it’s tempting, but just remember that not every member of your audience will share the same political beliefs you do. There is no easier way to lose Followers than by Tweeting a political, partisan message. If you follow MP’s or other political figures, don’t be tempted to re-Tweet their political posts. Keep your tone professional, light, pithy, and friendly, and you won’t go wrong.

 

10 – No personal info!!!!

It might seem like common sense, but Tweeting your direct email address or even worse *gasp* your phone number, is a one way ticket to Spammerville – and nobody wants to go there! Save yourself from unwanted spam emails and instead post links to your contact pages, or invite people to PM you. Oh, that brings us to another point – remember to check your PM folder regularly and reply promptly to enquiries.

 

Well, there we have it, our top ten tips to ruling the Twitter feed like a social media pro! We hope you found these pointers useful, and if you’d like us to focus on another area of communications or media, why not drop us an email at commshub@wolverhamptonvsc.org.uk and let us know!

 

 

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