Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

More musings on Twitter

More musings on Twitter

Micro-blogging tool does seem to be social media tool of the moment, or at least the shiniest new gadget that lots of people are discovering.

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Some thoughts and observations on this subject:

Campaigns

* the Turn Twitter Pink campaign encourages Twitter users to change their photo pink or add a pink background to their Twitter page to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I’d like to see that taken one stage further by encouraging supporters to follow a particular breast cancer charity’s Twitter feed or send out one fundraising/campaigning Tweet to their followers using a standard text from the charity, which would include a Web link.

* Social Actions enables people to send automatically a daily call to action on behalf of the cause they care about. Using the Twitterfeed service, this spreads the message to their network of followers.

Each action appears as a tweet from the sender with the text “Take action:” prefacing each tweet.

* Twitter campaigns can be created very quickly. We mentioned yesterday Bullying UK’s campaign which took less than an hour to go live.

Celebrities

* we’ve had tennis star Andy Murray and polymath Stephen Fry Twittering and gaining considerable media attention and/or large followings.

Now we have Terry Wogan joining the celebrity Twitterers throng, just in time for BBC Children in Need. He’s already done one good deed for Bullying UK by contributing to their anti-bullying campaign.

Given the thrill (yes, that’s what I felt) when I received messages telling me that Stephen Fry and Terry Wogan were following me on Twitter, you can imagine the potential in charities encouraging their celebrity supporters to Twitter on their behalf. Or, if they Twitter already, to post messages from the charity to their supporters.

Will this celebrity Twittering be a fad? Almost certainly. So use it fast while you can.

Could you be duped by someone pretending to be these celebrities? Yes. I’m sure it’s the real Stephen Fry but haven’t listened enough (OK, at all) to Radio 2 recently to know if it’s the real Sir Terry.

Charities not even bothering

* Many charities have still not taken the time even to explore Twitter. Which could hit them when they realise that someone else has taken the perfect Twitter ID for them. So well done to Whizz-Kidz for at least grabbing their ID, even if they’ve only posted one tweet.

So, if your charity hasn’t registered on Twitter yet or is still undecided about whether to spend any time on it, do please at least register your charity’s name as an ID on it. You don’t need to be reminded of the problems experienced by charities who were slow off the mark registering their domain names.

Third Sector magazine has done so, but has not yet published its first tweet. Its jobs site however already publishes jobs via Twitter.

We’ll keep sharing thoughts, ideas and examples of the use of Twitter by fundraisers, but feel free to chip in your thoughts and experiences.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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