The idea of using Twitter can overwhelm some, and how to use it as a smart tool for strategic engagement seems downright contradictory to many. Yet as the social-networking platform matures – Rather, as the people who use it explore that myriad ways to make it work for them – an ever growing number of provable strategies are being developed. A significant part of what can bring success to your nonprofit or small business is not simply the adoption of the platform, but the honing of the strategy that makes that makes it work for you.
One of the leaders of the use of social media in the business and nonprofit world is Brian Solis, whose most recent book is Engage! Revised and Updated: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web. Brian has also shared some of his most successful tactics in a recent article in FastCompany magazine – and we want you to be aware of some of them.
The author offers his article, “,” as an introduction to his larger idea of social media as ‘the new democracy’ that has ‘remodeled the process by which companies connect with and show appreciation for their customers.’ True, the focus is on the business world, but the businesses he studies include the Red Cross and the World Wildlife Fund (among others) – so he has plenty to offer nonprofits and charities as well.
We encourage you to read the full list, but we wanted to draw a couple that have proven particularly useful in MKCREATIVEMedia’s experience working with our clients as well.
Number 4: Conversation Marketing
Zappos doesn’t necessarily market on Twitter; instead, it “unmarkets” via conversations and engagement. At current count, 436 Zappos employees use Twitter, including CEO Tony Hsieh. For the record, Tony has over 1 million followers.
Aaron Magness, director of business development at Zappos, acknowledges that proactively sharing the company culture and values creates a humanizing effect that invites people to be part of the community, and also acts as a sales driver. “It’s easier for them to embrace openness,” he said.
Number 14: User-Generated Change
As we’ve seen and will continue to see, in social media tiny online social revolutions can manifest and ultimately ignite change. Historically, the 2009 Iran Election will serve as an inflection point for the rise of user-generated change. While the results of election itself weren’t altered, the Iran government was forced to respond.
Two services namedand are dedicated to organizing people on Twitter to call for change officially.
Number 20: Fundraising
This is a big opportunity and one that will yield amazing stories on how people are using Twitter and social media to raise money for charitable causes and capital for projects and companies. It’s the art of spurring contributions through information and education, not solicitation.
So yes, Tweetstreams can be daunting to navigate. But strategy, planning, and collaboration can go a long way in keeping the information targeted and useful for your audience.