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Twitter gets Tweeter for Charities

Twitter recently made some changes to its design and tools that I believe are really going to improve the way a charity can market itself online through the social media platform.

So for those of you on Twitter, here are few things that will help you get better results from your account. And for those of you that are not, perhaps now is the time to fly out into the Twitterverse.

According to Twitter, the redesign of the site “makes it easier for users to see the information that matters to them, find out what’s happening with the accounts they follow, and instantly discover new content and conversations“.

The biggest change you will see is the launch of the new brand page. The new look account profile will enable charities to have a personalised banner at the top of their page and also a featured tweet. This featured tweet will remain at the very top of all tweets so anyone visiting your profile will always see it. Charities can use this featured tweet to promote an upcoming special event, a current fundraising appeal or a number of many other important things.

Twitter worked with a couple of charities to demonstrate how this could be done. Room to Read is one such non profit who has been able to access this service already. Their brand page is shown below and the branded header and promoted tweet are highlighted (thanks to non profit marketer, John Haydon).

Non profit, Room to Read's Brand Page on Twitter

In the example above, Room to Read use beautiful imagery of some kids they’ve helped in their header and a link to a special promotional video in the featured tweet.

Speaking of links, that leads me to the next new feature to come with this Twitter change. Embedded media links. Until now, tweets could only have 160 characters but with embedded links, you can insert a piece of media via a link but embed it in your tweet so it appears (visually) in your followers’ twitter feeds. That means your followers can actually see your photo or video without having to click on the link – hopefully making your tweet more appealing for retweets and replies. I’ve included an example from my own tweets below (you can follow me here @thefishchick) where I have embedded one of my blog post links (and the image from that post) into my tweet.

An example of the embedded link

The new version on Twitter is also about streamlining so that your time spent can be more efficient, effective and productive. As such you may want to learn these four features too;

  • When browsing your twitter feed you can click ‘open’ on any tweet to get more details or read the full conversation right in your feed – without having to open a new page.
  • Use the ‘@ Connect’ section to find out who is engaging with you.
  • From your home screen, browse the ‘Who to Follow’ section (found just under your profile pic) where Twitter suggests accounts for you based on who you already follow. This helps you grow your networks in minutes in a strategic way.
  • Search in the ‘# Discover’ section to find the most recent stories from your groups and region in a jiffy.

To read more about these new features, visit the twitter website here.

Although announced late last year,  the changes are only just starting to be rolled out now.  You will be able to tell when your twitter account has it because it will have little house, hashtag and @ symbols at the top of the screen (and you’ll be able to use some of the features).

So, I’ll say it again, if you’re not yet on Twitter, perhaps now is the time for your non-profit to make the leap. You need less time then ever before to manage a twitter account so even the smallest fundraising teams should be able to make it work.

And, if you are on Twitter, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new features. Are they helping your tweeting? Is your charity getting better results?

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.

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