Twitter is a huge social media network with a lot of user appeal but does it work as a good marketing tool for nonprofits?

Nonprofits are consistently looking for new ways to use social media to broadcast their nonprofit’s mission to a targeted audience.  Do I think Twitter should be a part of their marketing mix? The short answer is yes, I do.  Twitter is a great platform for attracting an audience quickly and driving qualified prospects to your nonprofits marketing website.  Nonprofits can use Twitter to create both volunteer opportunity awareness and convert their audience to donors.  Twitter is not a switch on and succeed platform though regardless of what anyone tells you.  In order to be successful on Twitter your nonprofit needs to be doing several things right. Here are just a few.

Did you know? There are over 1 billion tweets posted each week!

Twitter Success Starts at the Content

Your nonprofits content creation capabilities and strategy are going to play the biggest influence in your ability to succeed on Twitter.  If the content that your nonprofit is sharing is not engaging and does not keep quality control in mind chances are your Twitter profile will not be successful in reaching your target audience.  Did you know that as of 2017 there are over 328 million active monthly Twitter users? How is your nonprofit creating content that is unique enough to catch their interest and generate a click? Keep in mind that your organization is also competing with other nonprofits who would like to capture the attention of these users as well.  Creating content that promotes shareability and engagement is a must to separate yourself from the crowd.

Here are some tips for creating more engagement content:

  • Add more visual appeal to your posts that catch the interest of your visitors. Make sure that you keep your target audience in mind and select imagery that would appeal to them.
  • Include a takeaway section to your posts so that content is easily digestible by your audience.
  • Promote engagement by asking your target market questions in the content that prompts them to comment and share.
  • Create content that your target audience actually likes to read and engage with. You can learn what topics these are by researching previous content they have liked and shared.
  • People want to make a humanistic connection with your brand! Be human.

Really Focus on Developing Great Tweets that Spark Curiosity

Writing good content is only half of the battle when it comes to driving visibility from Twitter.  You also need to spend some time writing tweets that interest your target audience and spark enough curiosity to promote a click if you want to get the full benefits of Twitter as a nonprofit marketing tool.  Developing tweets that attract your audience to click on your post link is not easy but here are a few tips that can help entice the action:

  • Make your tweets actionable by asking your audience for their opinion or to share
  • Add more context than just the content piece title (It’s boring)
  • Start interacting with others outside of your twitter feed! Why would they digest your content if you are not digesting others?
  • Use every single character of your twitter post to persuade an action from your audience (You only have 129 characters…. make them count)
  • Analyze and optimize your posts based on data (Keep doing the things that have been successful in past)
  • Use hashtags to reach a targeted audience (We will dive into this in the next section)
Did you know? 80% of Twitter users are mobile

Twitter a Good Marketing Tool for Nonprofits








Use Targeted Hashtags! And Test Success

The biggest strategic benefit of using twitter to reach an audience is the ability to utilize hashtags in your content posts.  Your nonprofit can use hashtags (#) to broadcast to people interested in specific topics relating to your hash tagged words. There are several great resources that can be used to identify targeted keywords that may provide value in your Twitter posts.  Here are a few your nonprofit should check out:

Sprout Social

Rite Tag

Twitter (Native)

Here is an example of how we use hashtags at VolunteerHub to promote our content to a specific audience.











Build a Solid Twitter Profile for Your Nonprofit

The old saying “if you build it, they will come” does not work when it comes to social media.  Your nonprofit needs to build a solid Twitter profile that is inviting and drives people to interact with your brand. The easiest step to take is to make sure that your Twitter profile is complete.  Make sure to include your location, profile picture, and brand bio (great place for your nonprofit’s mission ?). Make sure that your Twitter profile represents your nonprofit brand and the message you want to broadcast.

What are your Twitter ROT (Return on Time) Goals?

It drives me nuts when I hear people say that Twitter is free.  It is true that your nonprofit can post to Twitter without the medium costing you anything directly.  That being said what is your time worth? Twitter should be delivering you a return on your time based on the goals that your organization sets.  Here are a few ROT (Yes, I did create a new acronym) goals that your organization may want to focus on:

  • Clicks from Twitter to your marketing website
  • New donors or volunteers for your organization
  • Twitter follower increases month over month, quarter over quarter, or year over year
  • Twitter visit to lead rate
  • The number of twitter mentions during a given period of time


  • Twitter is a great marketing tool for nonprofits who want to gain exposure and attract an audience
  • Twitter is not a build it and they will come initiative! It takes time and optimization to attract followers
  • In order to appeal to your audience, your content and posts need to be different to spark interest
  • Building a complete Twitter profile is an easy way to get a quick win for your organization
  • Hashtags can help you reach your target audience.

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