Top 3 Reasons Nonprofit Organizations Use Twitter

Twitter is the must-have social media platform for every nonprofit organization. Here are three reasons why.

Twitter is a godsend for nonprofit organizations

Whether you are a charity, a service organization, or an NGO, there is something powerfully useful about this particular social media platform. It would be easy to list off a large number of reasons that Twitter rocks for nonprofits! But we’re going to concern ourselves with the top three. These 3 reasons alone should be enough to convince any organization that they should be Tweeting.

  1. It’s Easy to Use
    A Twitter account can be set up in only a few minutes, and an organization can be Tweeting within seconds of setting up their account. The built-in constraints of the platform are actually quite liberating. Whereas a blog post, or publication, requires intense planning, research, and editing, Tweet takes only a moment to compose, and the occasional grammatical slip is instantly forgivable, because Twitter is meant to look and feel spontaneous.A basic Tweet (Twitter post) consists of up to 140 typed characters. Add an image, a link, and some hashtags… And you are in business!
  2. It ls Useful
    Need to share some exciting news? Get a message out quickly? Learn something new that you think your stakeholders would like to know? Tweet it!Would you like to set up an online chat? Choose a hash tag, let your followers know what the tag is and what time to meet on Twitter… And away you go! Instant online (public) conversation.Looking to increase the visibility of your organization? Trying to build more website traffic? Want to bring more readers to your blog posts? Tweets are now indexed by Google. Post a link to your latest blog post to your Twitter account. You’ve done your own SEO (search engine optimization).
  3. It is Powerful
    The power of Twitter is impressive. In fact, it can be hard to fathom how much power can be harnessed from a social media platform that is limited by design to only microblogging with a maximum of 140 characters. Where does this power lie? What makes it so powerful?The primary power of Twitter is that it forms the core or hub of your organization’s online presence. It functions like superglue to bind an organization’s website, blog, Facebook, and other Internet based platforms into a cohesive whole. If you are hosting an event, and have posted the details to your website, Tweet a link to the website. If your organization has posted a group of photographs to its Facebook page, mention that, and link to it, on Twitter. And this integration goes both ways. It’s possible to have all your Tweets show up on your blog home page and on your website too. This makes it easy to convert an occasional website visitor into a regular Twitter follower.There are also some “hidden” features that can be extremely useful to some organizations. My favorite of these for nonprofit use is the feature that allows an organization to “protect its Tweets”. This feature allows only those people and accounts that are approved by you to see your organization’s Tweets. Think about how useful it could be to a condo board that wants to get a message out right away, but that only condo residents could see and respond to? Or a membership based organization that wants to communicate instantly and privately with all of its members, but only its members?

    Still not sure that Twitter is powerful?

    If Twitter could get Donald Trump elected president of the United States, just imagine what it could do for your organization! (Sorry… That was my “trump” card.)

I’d love the opportunity to talk to you more about what Twitter can do for your organization. If you’re in Toronto, let’s get together. Shoot me an email.

 

Follow buzzyness.com on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter

As easy as Twitter is to use, getting started can be intimidating for beginners. I love helping organizations to get started. By hiring me to get you “over the hump”, your organization will be able to use Twitter effectively and inexpensively. There is no good reason to pay hundreds, or thousands of dollars every month to a company to look after your tweets and twitter account. In fact, your communications will be way more effective if you tweet for yourself.

 

The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma

entrepreneurs meeting

entrepreneurs meeting

Social Media and the Entrepreneur

For the entrepreneur, solopreneur, or sole practitioner, it often seems that business life is divided into two phases. Either we have a lot of work (and sometimes money) but zero time – or – we don’t have enough work or money to invest in marketing initiatives (like social media) that will bring in more money. This “money but no time” vs. “time but no money” is at the heart of the Entrepreneur’s Dilemma.

In my work, helping entrepreneurs get the most impact from their online presence, I come across variations of this theme nearly every day. It seems that nearly all business people have come to recognize the importance of social media and blogging to their online marketing efforts, but too many of them excuse a lack of execution with some version of the entrepreneur’s dilemma.

It’s either,

I’d like to do more online but I can’t afford to hire someone right now, and I don’t understand it well enough myself

or

I don’t have time to do my own social media marketing. I’d hire someone today to do our social media, but I also don’t have time to teach them about my business

The end result of either of these scenarios is that opportunities to build the business and cement relationships with clients are lost. Lost opportunities represent lost money, and at worst, the result of weak customer relationships can mean business failure during the inevitable downturns in the business cycle.

So What’s an Entrepreneur to do?

The good news is that it takes only a little bit of effort to overcome the entrepreneur’s dilemma when it comes to social media marketing and blogging. Let’s start with the first scenario. “I can’t afford to hire someone, and I don’t understand it well enough myself“.

Money may be tight, but the good news is that you have time. So basically all you need is a little bit of knowledge, and the discipline to apply it, for a few minutes every day. The first thing that needs to be done is to decide what social media platforms make the most sense for your business. It’s easy to either get overwhelmed into paralysis by all of the possible options, or just as bad, to join every network out there and the do a half-assed job of maintaining them all. I’m guessing that you didn’t get to where you are in life doing things half-assed.

Which Social Media Platform Makes Most Sense?

The answer to this question depends a lot on the nature of your business. I’ll provide a few suggestions.

  1. Retail Business (B2C)
    The key to choosing the right platforms is in selecting the ones on which your clients are most likely to be found. For a typical B2C (business to consumer) retail store that should start with Facebook, and probably include Instagram too. It’s not difficult to do both, because Instagram photos can be configured to show up automatically on your Facebook page. Just remember, that you want to set up a Facebook “fan page” for your business, that is separate from the page you use to communicate with your friends and family.
  2. Professional Practice (B2C)
    For professionals that serve consumers a Facebook business page is also the best place to start. Since virtually all your customers are on Facebook, it makes sense for your consumer focused professional presence to be there too. The biggest issue with Facebook is that business pages can be difficult to find, especially in the early days. Facebook offers the opportunity to pay for page ads to show up on targeted Facebook feeds. This can cost a few dollars, but can be done fairly inexpensively, and Facebook offers amazingly granular targeting, so you’re going to get huge bang for your buck there. All professionals, whether B2C or B2B (business to business) should also have an up to date LinkedIn page.
  3. Professional Practice (B2B)
    Here’s where Facebook becomes pretty much irrelevant! While every consumer is on Facebook, business users are on Facebook mostly for outreach to consumers. Trying to reach the right people at a business of any size, using Facebook, is probably going to be extremely unfruitful. Make sure you have Facebook page anyway – but don’t spend much time or energy there once you do. Just a quick check to respond to any comments or questions. B2B professionals need to be on LinkedIn, and more than that – to actually use LinkedIn. What do I mean by, “actually use”? Log on every day. Comment on interesting posts by other people. Post updates and ideas of your own using the Share an Update link, and better still, write the occasional article using the (what else!) Write an Article link. It’s also a good idea, even for a self-employed professional to have a blog—either on their existing website, or as a stand alone, that links to and from the website.
  4. Other Business to Business
    For any B2B business that goes beyond the solopreneur level, IE/there is more than one employee, the suggestions for best platform change. Having an up to date Facebook business page is still a good idea, but as with my suggestion (above) to B2B professional, it doesn’t make sense to do more than keep it current and monitor it – unless it becomes very busy. B2B businesses should concentrate their online marketing efforts where their business clients are most likely to be found online during business hours. And that’s going to be on the Web (as they search for products, services, and solutions to problems) and on Twitter, where many business people have their own Twitter feeds open on their desktops all day. Web-based social media marketing basically means blogging. Blogging requires the most input, in both time and money, but a good blog is by far the most effective tool for inbound marketing. Unlike the ephemeral nature of Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram (etc.), you blog posts are permanent. Blogging means that every new post adds more content to your online presence, and makes you increasingly important to search engines like Google and Bing. Using Twitter, in combination with your Blog, is like putting Batman and Robin to work for your business! Set up your blog to display your Twitter feed, and use Twitter to promote your blog posts.

Let’s Talk a Bit More About Scenario Number Two

You’ve read the section appropriate to your business type, and you’ve decided where to concentrate your social media marketing efforts. But you still don’t have time!

OK. My first and smart-ass, thought is just, “make time!” But since I’d never say anything as smart-assy as that, let’s talk about other options. The best option is to hire a person or an agency to manage your social media for you. If your business is big enough, with the human and financial capital to justify $4000 to $12,000 per month, you can probably stop reading, and start shopping now. There are a lot of good agencies that can fill all of your social media marketing needs, including post writing, account management, metrics measurement, etc.

Here’s where my own self-promotion kicks in!

I, and people like myself, offer social media services specifically intended to help busy professionals, solopreneurs, and entrepreneurs, get maximum benefit from social media presence. In a nutshell, I offer the same services as I suggest that entrepreneurs should use themselves. I set up, manage, and maintain ONLY the social media platforms that make will bring the biggest return for the smallest possible investment. Typically that means, I can charge only $500 to $1000 per month instead of the $4000 to $12,000 per month typical of the bigger agencies.

Want to learn more? CONTACT ME

Social Media Marketing: DIY or Paid Professionals?

Facebook Twitter Blogging

Do it yourself, or pay a professional? The question comes up every day for self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs. For most people, most of the time, the answer is relatively straightforward. Unless you have expertise in the task that needs to be accomplished, it’s better to pay a professional. But when it comes to social media marketing, the answer can be less straightforward.

Self-employed people, unlike bigger organizations, are selling more than just a package of generic products or services. We are selling OURSELVES. We know that the factor most important to our clients is the personal service and expertise that we offer. Our advantage is ourselves. We are the value-add, the differentiation, the x-factor, that sets us apart from the competition. It follows then, that the best person to put that differentiation out there on social media is you.

AND THERE LIES THE DILEMMA

How do we leverage the strategic advantage that is ours alone, with the fact that most of us are not professional marketers and writers?

Realistically, there are only two options available to the typical entrepreneur:

  1. Do it yourself, and turn your weaknesses into strengths, by letting your personality shine through your writing and marketing quirks. This is actually not nearly as hard as it seems. Big companies pay professionals thousands upon thousands of dollars to “sound” authentic on social media. By definition, everything that you post on your own is already authentic! That in fact is the biggest reason that social media marketing succeeds. IMHO (in my humble opinion), the only reason NOT to do it yourself, is lack of time. An as an entrepreneur, time is always hard to find.
  2. Pay a professional to help you stay on top of your social media marketing. This can be accomplished in a few different ways. The easiest, most expensive, and IMHO, least effective way, is to outsource the entire process to an online marketing agency. I posted an example in a previous article, but in a nutshell, you end up paying a lot of money, getting much more than you really need, and losing the one thing that you sets you apart more than anything else – your individual voice – your authenticity.The better way forward is to hire an entrepreneur, just like you. Someone capable of speaking with same kind of authentic voice as you have AND who knows how to leave room for you to take part in the conversation. The service that I offer other entrepreneurs is specifically designed to be very affordable, and to offer enough to make sure that the social media presence of your business is consistent, ongoing, and professional. I post to your blog, to your Facebook page, and to your Twitter account. And I make myself available to help you post too, and help you choose any other platforms (like LinkedIn or Instagram or YouTube) that you might consider using in order to boost your presence.

Read my other article

or

Contact Me Now

 

 

Social Media Account Management

social media icons

What is “Social Media Account Management”?

Essentially, a social media account manager, or management service, looks after the social media needs of an organization. That service comes at a cost to the organization, and will nearly always include at least Twitter and Facebook. Larger organizations will have greater needs, and specialized organizations will have special needs.

The following quote offers some insight into what organizations in the private sector typically pay for social media account management services.

Creating a comprehensive strategy for social media marketing and outsourcing all work for all channels (with a minimum of two social networks) costs anywhere from $3,000-$20,000 per month, with the industry average settling between $4,000-$7,000 per month. If you want the social media agency to start the accounts from scratch and consult on a 4- to 12-month contract, you’ll pay between $3,000-$15,000 per month. What do they mean by channels, minimum of two? That’s just a fancy way of saying that the cost includes both Facebook and Twitter…I’m betting there’s probably an upcharge if your company wants Google+, too.

The Content Factory

Social media account management services are included in the social media marketing packages of agencies like The Content Factory. They provide great service, but their services often come at a cost that the typical self-employed professional entrepreneur can’t afford.

What about Buziness.com?

We offer a set of services designed to be a perfect fit with the needs of nonprofits, charities, and NGOs.

The goal of Buzzyness.com is to enable nonprofit organizations to manage their own social media accounts. To make that process as cost effective and simple as possible, we work with organizations to determine which social media platforms offer the most value to their unique requirements.

How do my prices and service compare with other agencies?

I’ll be blunt. My prices are significantly lower than the agencies and companies set up to service for profit organizations in the private sector.

The following example is not meant to show how for profit companies get “ripped off”, or how a big social media agency will “rip off” your nonprofit. It’s actually easy to see that by paying a lot of money, an organization can expect a lot of very good service. The issue, of course, is that the typical small to mid-sized non profit organization is being run on a budget that makes this level of service unaffordable. (My prices)

Example:

The Content Factory ($8000/month)

*The Content Factory positions itself as a lower cost alternative to the big agencies.

For $8,000 per month, here’s a rough outline of the social media marketing, digital PR, web content writing and content marketing you can get with The Content Factory – and we’re also able to negotiate a smaller package for a smaller price tag:

  • 3 blog posts a week. We’ll develop a keyword strategy that targets all of the search phrases you want to rank for. From there, we’ll build out an editorial calendar that systematically targets your keywords, while also offering informative, actionable and interesting content to your readers.
  • Monitoring of Twitter for related keywords, then pushing links/tweets to those talking about relevant topics. If people are tweeting about it, I’ll get an alert and can tell ’em all about your company
  • Getting relevant Twitterers to follow you – We hunt you down several hundreds of followers a week, targeting users by location, number of followers, number of updates, bio keywords and tweet keywords.
  • Daily Twitter updates (an average of 7-10 per day, focusing on interacting with thought leaders, journalists, existing and potential customers, etc.)
  • Managing the Facebook page – 2-3 updates per day, with a focus on sharing content from thought leaders and complimentary, non-competing businesses.
  • Facebook ads – Facebook ad campaign management with a $250 monthly budget built into the rates (you get ads, without being paid extra for them).
  • Google+ and LinkedIn management – With daily updates
  • Reddit Advertising – A mixture of posting, commenting, and generally being active in the community (or specific communities of your choosing). Reddit marketing is flexible, and heavily dependent on what your business does.
  • Custom social media graphics – At least 2 per week
  • Consistent PR – Our clients have been featured on the Today show, CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, TechCrunch, Fox Business…the list goes on and on. Not a month goes by that one of our clients doesn’t get major national press coverage, and it’s a huge addition to social media work.
  • One press release per quarter – We’ll help you make news to make the news.
  • Helping you write articles, then pitching to major publications – One per month. Our clients have written articles that have been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, The Huffington Post and a variety of other influential publications.
  • Contest creation/management as needed. We’re big fans of contests, because they can draw all kinds of people to the site who would’ve never found it otherwise. Plus, they’re great for website traffic.
  • Social bookmarking submissions like woah. We submit to sites that nobody thinks of, but they certainly drive traffic. We also submit links to Quora, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc.

To help make sure we’re always on the same page, every month we send our clients a monthly update with the following information:

  • New Twitter followers and interesting interactions
  • New FB fans and interesting interactions
  • Google Analytics traffic reports
  • Number of blogs/articles written (with stats to match)
  • Feedback quotes from social networking sites
  • Links to media coverage we’ve gotten you/your company, social shares
  • Whatever other info/stats you want us to keep track of
  • Goals/milestones achieved
  • Tasks slated for the following month

So, that’s what we do and how much we do it for – you can click here for a much more thorough rundown of everything that’s included in our packages. In the interest of full disclosure: our rates are significantly less than the industry average, and it’s entirely possible that larger online PR agencies have more contacts and resources than we currently have access to.

Unfortunately, for a typical small or localized nonprofit a budget of $8000 a month exists only in the realm of fantasy. However, if your organization can justify and afford that amount, the Content Factory actually offers a heck of a lot of service for that amount of money.

So What Can a Nonprofit do?

There are a couple of options open to organizations on tighter budgets.

  • Look for volunteers
  • Hire a student
  • Hire a recent graduate
  • Hire a professional social media manager
  • or…

CONTACT ME

We can talk about an affordable solution that offers the best of both worlds. Professional guidance, informed decision making, appropriate account setup, initial training, and customized ongoing support options to fit every budget.

Twitter Tips

This article focuses on “micro-blogging”, specifically the 140 character limited, microblog platform, Twitter.

Most of what I write in this blog has to do with what I’ll call “Blog Blogging”—that is, writing about posting articles on a traditional blog, like those that I build for my clients.

Following, are some of my favorite Twitter tips for maximizing your microblogging impact.
Tweet Frequency:

Aim for two tweets, twice per day. That’s fairly easy to accomplish by doing one “original” tweet plus one retweet, in the morning – and then doing the same in the afternoon or early evening. Tweeting more than this is better, with the important proviso, that overdoing it to the point that the only Tweets in your followers’ feeds are yours, will result in you being “blocked” or “muted”.

 

Retweet Other People’s Content:

Scroll through your feed, choose an interesting tweet from someone you’d like to increase your connection strength with. Then just click “retweet”.

 

Tweet Original Content:

  • Quick ‘quip’ (an idea or thought that you think your followers might find helpful)
  • A link to your most recent blog post
  • A link to a previous blog post
  • A link to a useful article posted on another site
  • It is more than OK to post links to older blog posts. It’s a great way to get more value out of work you’ve already done
  • It’s OK to post a link to a competitor’s article, not too frequently, but once in a while. Hopefully they’ll either reciprocate, or at least give you a ‘mention’ in their Twitter feed.

 

When to Tweet

I’ve read a few different articles about this, and looked at some graphs. Audiences are biggest in the workday mornings, and early afternoon. The most popular time to tweet is during the typical workday hours. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the best time to tweet for maximum engagement and click-through is actually around 1 to 2 AM!

(data here: https://blog.bufferapp.com/best-time-to-tweet-research)

 

Personally, I try to Tweet every morning, and then again every evening after dinner. My thinking being that, people open their Twitter feeds when they arrive at work, turn on computers, and start checking email etc. Then, after dinner, they’re sitting at the TV with their phones or tablets in their hands.

 

Final Thoughts
Your goals on Twitter, are similar to your goals when blogging.

  • Add Value
  • Think of marketing potential
  • Consider SEO (links to your website and blog)

Final Final Thought

Add value. Add value. Add value.

If we want people to follow us, and more importantly remember and follow through with us, we need to provide a reason for them to do so.

Remember, all of my blog building packages include FREE Twitter setup and blog integration too!