NetSquared’s monthly Net2ThinkTank question this month is: How can nonprofits use twitter? Should they even bother?
My first response is, “Sure! Totally! Maybe!” 🙂
So, my second thought is really the more important one. I have said it before and I will probably say it a million more times, but, nonprofits need to use the tools that will best help them reach goals for projects and the organization. Not everyone needs a facebook profile. Just because of that though, not everyone needs a facebook group. Some organizations don’t need some tools at all but could benefit a great deal from others.
How do you know if it is right? Use the POST method!
I blogged about POST before and still think that it is one of the best ways to approach new media planning (thanks, Forrester!). If you have identified your goals and hoped-for outcomes and Twitter is then identified as something to use to meet those goals, then dive right in!
How could Twitter help? By helping you listen and learn!
Twitter is a terrific tool for listening to and gauging the conversation of your audience (and with Twitter, you can sprawl out to hear voices beyond the community you may think you are in). You can ask questions, make comments, and otherwise participate with Twitter in the conversation like anyone else, of course. But it offers a window into live conversation about your industry, organization, or niche that you would probably miss if you weren’t using it.
Still nervous about jumping in? Use it yourself!
Twitter is just like all of the other available tools online when it comes to getting started: You should really use it yourself, in a non-organization-realted way first. This will let you feel out how it works, how to make connections and participate in conversations. Figure out areas you don’t understand and how to get answers down the road when new things come up that you may not understand. Most of all, using the tool personally will let you better visualize how it can be used most effectively and efficiently for the organization, and who at the organization would be the best to handle it (maybe you!).