“Tweetbooking” for Non-Profits: Creating a Successful Campaign

Just about everyone these days has either a Facebook or Twitter account, so going over the specifics on how to set one up, add friends, post stories, events, etc. is just being redundant. You’ve probably already created all your necessary social media accounts and have been on a good track towards gaining fans & followers… but you’ve noticed that you’re flatlining. The frequency you’ve been recruiting people to join your page has slowed down and maybe you’re noticing less “likes” or “re-tweets” than you previously had – well now is a perfect time to take a step back and review what you can do to improve your social media presence.

Obviously, most non-profit’s do not have a huge marketing budget – which is why  social media’s zero-cost implementation is one of the most effective ways of online promotion. “But constantly maintaining my social media accounts will take up a lot of my time, which I don’t have” you may be saying to yourself. Never fear! Below are some simple and effective tactics you can quickly add to your current marketing activities that will ensure you are successful!

1. TweetDeck

There are a few different options out there for desktop applications that will connect your multiple social media networks together and send out tweets/posts at the same time, but TweetDeck is definitely the most widely used and all-around awesome one we’ve found. Just check out some of the amazing things TweetDeck can do:

  • Update Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google Buzz & Foursquare at the same time (or separately, if you wish)
  • Manage conversations with @ replies and direct messages
  • Schedule tweets and posts to go out in advance
  • Check into FourSquare directly from the desktop client
  • Share photos & videos
  • Follow search topics that you create (ie. “heart disease”, “modern art”, etc.)
  • Add additional networks such as WordPress or Tumblr

TweetDeck is free for anyone and a great way to keep your outgoing and incoming social media messaging streamlined and organized. Take a look at how JBC uses their TweetDeck:

We've been doing a lot of work for the Houston Art Car Parade

2.  Contests & Giveaways

EVERYONE loves free things! One of the best ways to gain fans & followers and give your organization a friendly, “we love our fans!” feel, is to hold small contests on a regular basis giving away prizes to your lucky fans. These can be tickets to an event, promos like t-shirts or koozies, or even gift cards/giveaways from some of your supporter companies (Whole Foods, car washes, etc.).

It’s completely up to you how you want to handle these contests – they could be trivia games, first person to post/retweet, uploading an original picture, or any number of different things. Below are some examples of contests that we recently created for The Orange Show:

We had over 60 comments - great feedback!

There were actually phone calls to the Orange Show office about this - people were loving it!

The same concept can apply for Twitter as well – simply keep track of those people who are responding to your contest through @ replies – TweetDeck helps out with that a lot!

3. Facebook Ads

Yes, yes, we know that ads are not free. But, we wouldn’t recommend you doing something if we knew it wasn’t effective and useful. If you’ve never thought about purchasing Facebook ads, we high suggest you continue reading. Facebook has structured their ad sales similar to the way Google sells AdWords. With Facebook ads you have the ability to determine a specific target audience you are looking to reach – demographically, geographically, and even down to what their interests are, where they may have gone to college, and who their friends are.

These ads are designed for local small businesses – because, well, they are cheap! You tell Facebook what your daily budget is, how much you are willing to pay per “click” or per “impression”, create a call to action, upload a photo, determine where you want the ad to link (to your website, your facebook fan page, etc.) and PRESTO! You’re getting your name out into the largest online community in the world.

We recommend starting with at least four different ads within your campaign, each unique in their messaging and photo, and determine which gets the most traffic. Facebook pushes those ads out that have specific keywords, an appealing image, and stay within their suggested cost. We could write an entire blog post about creating the perfect Facebook ad (in fact, we might do that next!) but for now, check out Facebook’s Ad page – there is great info and case studies on how to make your advertising campaign successful. You can take a look below at a few of the successful ads that we used for the 2011 Houston Art Car Parade. We had a budget of $40 per day, and ran ads for 10 days (a total of $400) which resulted in almost 700,000 ad impressions, 2800 new fans, and over 337,000 Facebook post impressions – an enormous difference compared to before running the ads.

4. Link to other pages

If you have community supporters that also have Facebook fan pages, one of the greatest things you can do its acknowledge them by linking them in your posts and statuses. This can results in double even triple the traffic to your Facebook page, and certainly increase the likelihood that new, interested users will “like” your page.

So the next time someone does something great for your organization, make sure you give them a shoutout on Facebook!

5. Be Frequent, Be Dynamic

Think about the types of Facebook pages or Twitter accounts you personally like to follow. We’d guess that they are probably providing you with fun, interesting and information content – and they probably upload pictures, videos and other forms of multimedia regularly. Now does this sound like what you’re doing? If not, start uploading some of that awesome content!

Every time someone “likes” something you post, or “shares” it with their friends – that’s publicity for your page! The more cool stuff you add to your social media sites, the more free advertising you’ll get!

Also, make sure that you’ve included links to all your social media sites on your organization’s website, and vice-versa. Everything you do should attempt to lead your fans back to your website!

Now go forth and conquer the web!

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