Different social media sites have different uses, strengths, and benefits. Twitter is a “real-time social networking” site, a place to share information and connect with donors in real time, often resulting in lasting relationships and contacts.
Twitter reported 192 million daily active users, is among the largest and most popular social platforms. Moreover, 500 million tweets are sent each day. The number of daily users has been increasing since 2016.
If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, go to Twitter.com and sign up for a free account . Do this by entering your name, email address and password in the space provided
With a variety of tools at its disposal, organizations- your church included (or a personal profile if you are a pastor), will find that Twitter is both an easy and effective tool to spread the word and engage with the community.
Here are some tips to get started:
1. Learn Twitter jargon in order to use it appropriately.
Tweet : A tweet is an update of 140 characters or less, which may include mentions to other users, hashtags, external links, or just text.
Retweet or “RT” : Take another user’s tweet and display it yourself, automatically crediting the source, so all your followers can see the tweet. The original style of the retweet would take a tweet and repost it through your own account in the following format: RT @ (username of the person who originally tweeted the tweet): (content of the tweet).
The current system does away with this format, and instead repost the tweet directly, crediting the source below. For example, retweeted from @username.
TweetUps : Using Twitter to meet other people.
Trending Topics (TTs) or Trends: Trending Topics, or hot topics, list a range of topics that multiple users on Twitter are talking about simultaneously.
Lists : Users can organize the people they follow into business lists, or by people who are related in some way. For example, a user can list all the churches and charities they follow in one list, for easy reference.
Promoted Tweets : Promoted tweets, or promotion tweets, are paid tweets, to gain attention and traffic from users from all over the world.
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If you want to let your followers know what you’re doing, type it into the “What’s happening?” Text box. and click on the “Tweet” button. Note that tweets are limited to 140 characters or less; Otherwise, the “Tweet” button will go in the negative.
3. Use hashtags
Starting a word with a # will create a hashtag , more commonly known as the hashtag . A hashtag makes the word easily searchable. Check out trending topics, they often include hashtags making it easier for users to tap into a Twitter-wide conversation about a simple matter of interest.
4. Choose who you follow
You will probably find that you know very few people on Twitter. Use the menu tab on your page and click on ‘Who to follow’, and there are several ways to find people on Twitter, as follows:
- Use the “Find Friends” tab to find people you know through your Gmail, AOL, MSN, Hotmail, and Yahoo! accounts.
- Use the “View Suggestions” link for a wide range of possibilities that may or may not connect with your interests. (Twitter is also working on customizing the suggested follower lists, so keep an eye out for this feature.)
5. Look for people with whom you share an interest.
There are many businesses, companies, celebrities, and nonprofits on Twitter, ranging from Pope Francis (@Pontifex) to Greenpeace (@greenpeace).
6. Create Lists
If you follow a lot of people, it can become difficult to get through all the tweets. For convenience, you can organize the people you follow in a list. To add someone to a list, go to their profile. Then, click on the person’s icon in the toolbar and select “Add to list”. A menu with your lists will appear; you can choose to create a new list or add the person to an existing list.
7. Personalize your profile
Add your church logo or a profile image. Under your profile picture, you have the choice to enter your full name. Adding your full name keeps you looking professional regardless of your username. You can also enter your location, so people know where you are tweeting from and you can also attach the link to your website or blog or a donation page if you wish.
8. Share recent and exclusive information
Take advantage of this dynamism to offer recent and attractive informative content to your followers. This will help establish a special relationship with your audience. Don’t always place a link to your donation page on Twitter – post about your mission, volunteers and your success stories from time to time to build context and trust online.