Twitter is often seen as a quick fix to getting a lot of attention for a campaign or charity. It can be very useful, but there are a few pitfalls that should be avoided. Here are some tips to help you run a successful Twitter campaign
Whether you are campaigning to raise money for charity, or to raise awareness of an issue, you will likely be looking for the greatest possible public exposure without spending any money on advertising.
You might be told, ‘Sign up to Twitter, is great for getting publicity‘, which is not wrong but it is not quite that simple. Here are a few tips on how to organise a Twitter Campaign.
Start by setting up a Twitter account. Add a picture to your profile – It can be something to do with your campaign, your logo or a photo of yourself. Under no circumstances should you leave the Twitter egg as people will not follow you, thinking you are a spam account.
Add some information about yourself and your campaign. It needs to be short and snappy as you only have 160 characters. Don’t forget to link to your blog or website.
The first problem is that if you are new to Twitter, you will not have any followers. Simply tweeting, ‘We are hoping to raise money for X, please read and RT’ is not going to help you much because no one will see the tweet.
Following other Twitter users who tweet about the same issues, and connecting with them is a good way of building a network. for example, if you are campaigning for AIDS/HIV awareness, then enter the search term, ‘HIV’ into Twitter search and select ‘people’.
Then look for tweets using the clever little Twitter hashtag #
The hashtag is used to collate tweets on a particular topic. In the above example, if you type ‘aids’ into the search box and click ‘tweets’, rather than ‘people’ you will see sick jokes and lots of unrelated tweets. Searching for #aids turns up this
Search for media outlets, particularly those in your vicinity. Local radio, newspaper and TV shows are always on the look out for local interest stories. Look for journalists who write about your issue, on both a local and national level.
Use Twitter search to find people and businesses in your area by putting the # hashtag in front of your city or town name.
Once you have found some people to follow, start communicating with them. Don’t jump in with a request to RT your issue, but comment on something that they have tweeted or RT one of their tweets with a comment.
This takes time, you cannot do this in a day or two so be patient. Twitter is all about communication and the easiest way to get new followers is to chat to those you follow. Don’t waste time trying to get a response from a celebrity, concentrate on normal everyday people. Look for ‘influencers’ – people with at least a thousand followers.
After a few days, you will find that there are some people on your timeline who you often agree with, or like chatting with. Check out who they follow and who follows them by clicking on their profile and follow those you like the look of. Looking at the last few tweets will give you and idea if they are worth following.
A common mistake made when campaigning is tweeting celebrities and asking them to RT a comment or link. People like Stephen Fry, Philip Schofield, Lily Allen and Victoria Beckham get thousands of requests like this, and the chance of them seeing your tweet is minimal so save your energy and try something else.