Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How a Non-Profit Can Use Twitter

One of our previous posts was on how the United States Air Force goes about blogging. Here is an example of how the National Wildlife Federation is using Twitter as a social media tool.
I signed NWF up and started tweeting random wildlife facts and links to NWF action alerts and more. I didn’t really know how to start the conversations yet–but I knew that NWF could be a reliable resource for anyone who wanted to follow us.

NWF’s Twitter account was always fun and useful, but I soon wanted a more personal voice, so I created my own account @starfocus and encouraged other people at NWF interested in tweeting to do the same. I knew it would give a personal voice to our programs and I hoped it would open up conversation more and encourage people to feel connected to the organization.

Things did bubble from there! We have two programs on Twitter, @campusecology and @greenhour, along with numerous staff members. @NWF still serves as our main touch point. I think it is great to have people and programs also serve as Twitter accounts because conversations can be more personal and targeted.

NWF has gotten a lot of value from Twitter. We use it as one of our top listening tools because we get to join in the conversation and also get a glimpse of how we are doing our jobs. We have mended relationships because of Twitter, we have made new friends because of Twitter, and we have helped spread important messages and increased our online activism all because of the way this social media tool leads people to things that interest them.

Start slow, listen and understand the space before you jump in. Don’t follow too many people initially–but follow people who share your interests or who are local to your area. Grow organically and be authentic. Talk to people like they are your friends, not like you are trying to advertise. I think the most important thing you can do is be real and ask for help when you need it.

Read the entire article here.

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