Last Friday I shared some thoughts on how charities can use Twitter, inspired by the Comic Relief team.  Now I want to share my own personal Twitter success story.

Using Twitter for CharityLast week as I was browsing Twitter I clicked a link on a tweet that led to a published author contacting me*, asking me to write something for his blog.

Once I had stopped jumping around like an excitable child and distracting Joe from his noble and important work on the Xbox**, I got straight to work on writing my post, “Helping Young Cancer Sufferers or How Twitter is Helping Me to Support CLIC Sargent”.

Since then I’ve had another writer, who blogs about living through cancer, contact me to ask if she could put my post on her website too.

I decided to go one better and I’ve written something for her too.  (I’ll post the link when she posts what I’ve written.)

Awesome, right?

But, here’s the thing:  While Nik Perring was incredibly generous, both with donations and giving me a little extra coverage, my guest blog post didn’t do much to boost donations.

Awareness is a hugely important thing, so if anyone went straight to CLIC Sargent to donate, that’s just great.  And it’s always good to spread the word about what I’m doing.  But, honestly, raising a little more cash for the cause would have been nice.

So, what can charities learn from my experience?

1. Get out there and connect with as many people as you can, don’t dismiss anyone just because their blog has a small readership – if they want to talk about you, encourage them!

2. Make it easy for people to find you – link to your website from blog comments, bookmark your content on social sharing sites and build your brand online.

3. But, don’t expect miracles, social networks are noisy places.  Twitter in particular is one big nightclub of conversation and it’s hard to be heard through the noise sometimes.  Continually connect with people, and gradually build your network of advocates who are prepared to talk you up.

4. Be generous.  Thank your supporters and promote them even as you’re promoting what you’re doing – what goes around comes around.

5. If you’re in charity marketing, you’re probably more than aware that it can talk several touches to get someone to give their pennies.  Particularly in social media, you just need to keep at it and don’t lose hope.

6. Test out how you use Twitter – you can never quite predict where it’ll lead, but trial and error will often uncover great times to send your tweets.  Once you know the times when people are most likely to engage with you, choose these times to send out your most important tweets.

These are just some thoughts on how charities could use Twitter.  If you’ve got any other top tips, why not share them with me in the comments?

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PS.  Want to keep up with me on Twitter?  Follow @KatieSaxon

PPS. Do you live in Nottingham and love Pixar?

I’ve organised a special charity screening of Finding Nemo on Sunday 27th March, 12 noon at Broadway Cinema, to raise more money for CLIC Sargent.  (Don’t contact the box office, follow my link for how to book).

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*Thanks, Nik!

**Sarcastic, moi?

Image courtesy of CDN