1. My third installment of this series is called "Execute."  With "Discover, Plan, Execute," you will be a strong member of the non-profit community on Twitter in no time!  After you have formulated your list and your #CharityTuesday tweets, the most important thing you should do is, as I said in my last column, pay attention to their feeds and retweet the tweets that need the most publicity–dates and times for fundraisers, new blogs, et cetera.  Add hashtags if you have room so that a wider audience sees their tweets.  Add them to your #FollowFriday tweets, as well (this is a Friday tradition on Twitter when you make recommendations for Twitter users that people should follow).  Engage with them through @ replies.

    Most likely, at least a few of these charities will begin to follow you back.  Take advantage of the ability to DM (Direct Message; these are private and you can only DM people who are following you) these social media representatives, thank them for the follow, and ask them to keep you on their radar as someone who is willing to work on their behalf.  This is great to do if you’re job hunting, but I highly recommend doing it even if you aren’t, because you can work through social media to support charities without taking very much time out of your life at all.  It’s a new way to volunteer for the busiest people.  Develop relationships with these representatives.

    Find out who else is using the hashtags #charity, #nonprofit, #philanthropy and #socialgood, among others (perhaps there are hashtags that are more specific to your causes), and correspond with them.  Suggest your charities to them, and follow the people that have strong, interesting Twitter feeds.  Return favors, and retweet their tweets and help them promote their causes as well.

    A recent experience of mine is a great example of what this strategy can accomplish.  I was asked to be a social media ambassador for the Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) "Starved for Attention" campaign.  You can see my blog contribution here.  I believe I was asked to do this due to my online reputation for loving non-profits and being ready and willing to work on their behalf, for my specific promotion of MSF, and for the size of my following.  Also, I am accessible.  I respond to @ replies and DMs, and to people’s requests for help.  I find this ambassadorship to be fulfilling and I am so grateful for having been asked.  It took very little time out of my day to write that blog entry and to donate the occasional tweet or Facebook post to promote the campaign.

    You can do these things, too!  Just follow the Twitter feeds of your favorite charities, be active, be accessible, and be personal.  Answer @ replies; don’t just tweet links.  DM actively and reach out; make sure people in the non-profit sector know you’re available.  Retweet a lot.  Don’t forget to take advantage of #CharityTuesday and #FollowFriday!  Follow your heart and be an active member of the community, and you will be amazed at just how little time it takes to become a relevant part.

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