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How charities can get cut-through on Twitter

Top fundraising ideas on what to do (and not do)

Marcus Webb

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist

Lady holding a drink and using her smartphone

Every charity has a story to tell – and what better place to tell it than on social media? Here, Marcus Webb, former global editor-in-chief of Time Out (which, by the way, has over 10 million Twitter followers), shares his tips for using Twitter to get cut-through and how these simple tips can apply to charities too.

Four things to do…

1. Post as much as you can

Unlike Facebook, which will hide your content if it’s not being interacted with, Twitter is largely chronologically listed so the more you post, the more likely you’ll be seen.

2. Consider using a Twitter management tool

Platforms such as Hootsuite – who offer non-profit organisations up to 50 percent discount on social media solutions – can help you schedule posts, so you can plan a week (or even a month) of Twitter action by Monday lunchtime and then forget about it. They also track mentions, interactions, tweets, lists and more so you can see what’s working.

3. Involve businesses

Most major companies have social feeds they need to fill, so it might be a good idea to team up on a campaign. It can be as simple as asking some businesses to donate prizes to give away at fundraising events. Then, when you publicise the events on Twitter, you can tag the businesses – which should then spread their message to all their followers.

4. Keep it snappy

Twitter may have increased the number of characters you can use from 140 to 280 back in 2017 – but that doesn’t mean you have to use them all! We’ve found that with broadcast tweets, keeping them to 200-ish characters is more likely to get people reading.

… And three things not to do

1. Don’t forget the picture

Posts with images are much more prominent in your timeline and get increased retweets, likes and clicks. So be sure to include a high quality pic to peak interest in your content.

2. Don’t buy followers

It’s not cool to pay people to come to your party and it’s exactly the same when it comes to spending cash to have hundreds of dummy accounts follow you on Twitter (to make you look popular). People will see through it and it could undermine your cause.

3. Don’t expect a retweet from the ‘Twitterati’

No matter how hard one tries, it turns out it’s unlikely that Beyoncé is going to bounce your appeal on to the Beyhive. However, we have found that you can work your way up the chain. If you start with vocal supporters or patrons of your charity who may well retweet, then others are more likely to follow suit.


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