Using Twitter to Support Charities, Part the Second

Using Twitter to Support Charities, Part the Second

  1. My second installment of this series is titled "Plan," because now that you have discovered which of the non-profits that are active on Twitter are your favorites, you’ll want to plan how to best support them!  I would advise that you make a Twitter list of the charities you want to support.  This will help the charities, because many Twitter aficionados measure the worth of a Twitter feed not by their number of followers, but by the number of lists on which they appear.  This is because it is difficult to determine whether followers are just following to be followed back, or if they are spammers, et cetera.  A Twitter user who lists another, however, is the mark of a user who is following for a specific reason and finds special value in that particular feed.  In order to create your list, go to the individual profile of one of your charities, and find the drop-down menu that says "Lists," beneath the username and just to the right.  Pull down the menu and choose "New List."

    Name the list whatever you like: "charity," "favorite charities," "social good," or something else!  I strongly advise that you make this a public list.  Now that your list has been created, go to each charity’s profile and add them individually using the same drop-down menu; your new list should now be an option.  Once your list is complete, share it!  Encourage your followers to follow it, and tweet it out with hashtags like #charity, #CharityTuesday, #FollowFriday, #nonprofit, #philanthropy, #fundraising and #socialgood to make sure it gets the widest audience possible.

    Next, plan a #CharityTuesday tweet, or more than one.  These will be the charities that you will tweet out on Tuesdays with the #CharityTuesday hashtag.  In order to save them, you can just do what I do and mark the tweets as favorites, or you can save them into a word document and copy and paste them from there.  Here’s a sample:

    #CharityTuesday @LoveRecycled @globalDIRT

    These two charities, Jessica Seinfeld’s Baby Buggy (a charity that supplies clothing and equipment for babies to New York City’s families in need) and Global DIRT (Disaster Immediate Response Team, a small NGO working in Haiti), will now show up in a Twitter search that is performed by any user for the hashtag #CharityTuesday.  Tuesdays are the most important days to support charities on Twitter because of that particular tag, but you can tweet like crazy with the hashtags I provided above that are not specific to a day of the week.  Explain in your tweet why the charity means something to you and why your followers should support it, tag it and send it.

    You should also plan to retweet these charities a lot, particularly when they are making announcements with regard to donation links, dates and times for fundraising events, new blog entries, or any other message that needs publicity.  This will help you start to build a network of like-minded charity lovers, as people who support the same causes will start to follow you, and many of the charities receiving your support will start to follow you back.  In my next column, I will walk you through what to do once you have made your plans and are beginning to build a network of giving and like-minded souls.

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