20 tips for Internal Nonprofit Organizational Twitter Etiquette

28 Jul

Ya Think you know how to Tweet?  Well, you may be tweeting inappropriately from your workplace account.

Your organization’s Twitter account can be used by various members of staff for broadcasting messages to get a greater impact than most staff would have from using their personal twitter accounts, assuming they are not a Twitter rockstar with thousands of followers.

Here are some rules of thumb to follow when tweeting from a group account that represents your organization:

  1. Do not make the mistake of accidentally tweeting from the wrong account. If you have multiple accounts, use a Twitter client like Thwirl so you cannot easily make this mistake. (there are many others, like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, cotweet, seismic)
  2. Remember that you are speaking for the organization, so you will be tweeting abt diff topics than you may in your personal Twitter accounts. For example, we only tweet about issues pertaining to nonprofits and technology with the @techsoup account.
  3. Be sure to use consistent language and branding as is specified by the org. For example, don’t use words like Buying, when referring to getting product donations, and remember to use hashtags that are relevant to our community (for ex #techsoup #nptech)
  4. When you are referring to someone, if they tweet, use an @ before their name. (ex, Blog post written by @suzboop cites @techsoup promotion)
  5. If someone Retweets (RT) yr message follow them from your organization’s account, in our case, the @techsoup account. They found what you said to be valuable, so you may find their tweets valuable too.
  6. follow users that have mentioned your org, for example by searching “TechSoup” – use http://search.twitter.com’s RSS feeds to monitor mentions
  7. If you are looking for a reference that is older, search on Friendfeed.com, since Twitter’s archive is not as far-reaching.
  8. In general, it is usually better for an individual to tweet from one’s own account and then Retweet (RT) the message from the organization’s account, showing the variety of voices that are spreading your org’s unified message
  9. When you post a link, shorten it by using bit.ly, so you can track the click though.
  10. Avoid sounding too market-y or canned, add a personal tone to the tweet, so we don’t appear to be spammers
  11. RT useful information that would be relevant to our community, don’t just post stuff promoting us
  12. Always reply to people addressing your organization. For example, if they tweet using @techsoup at the beginning of their tweet, make sure to search your replies and respond to those addressing you with @replied. –Twitter is a many-to-many conversation, not a place for announcements only
  13. When disagreeing with others’ tweets, do it from yr own individual twitter account, and don’t tweet outside of your area of expertise.
  14. Don’t tweet more than 5 times a day, and try to make at least two of those informational retweets and non-self-promotional
  15. Follow Nonprofits with large amounts of followers and those you find through a twitter directory (http://twitterpacks.pbworks.com/Non-Profits or http://mashable.com/2009/03/19/twitter-nonprofits/) and RT their tweets
  16. Use Twtpoll.com to survey nonprofit members
  17. Don’t set up new twitter accounts for new campaigns, or you are constantly starting with zero followers, instead, create short and easy-to-remember hashtags, to identify certain events. That way, you will be able to sort and follow them and others who are involved can also use the hashtag, thereby creating a community from identifying with the tag itself
  18. If you are tweeting only on your organization’s account, you should probably set up sn individual twitter account. Twitter’s all about creating a human face to your organization.
  19. Highlight new, pertinent information, give them exclusive access to something, that may only be available via Twitter
  20. Provide messages that can be easily re-Tweeted (RT) and post links to info that doesn’t require a login

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