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It is possible to use Twitter to build a buzz and raise money. Given the 4M-5M Tweeters worldwide, Twitter is one social networking site that has the ability to make an impact. Similar to YouTube users making videos go viral, the right tweet can go viral as well. There is also the possibility of mobilizing Tweeters for a good cause. Remember, using the social media is a tool in your communication and marketing plan. Here are some examples to push your message through Twitter to your stakeholders, their followers and beyond.
Host a Tweetathon
No punctuation please! 140 characters or less!
March 2009 CARE International launched their Tweetathon! Partnering with their long time event company, NMC Fathom, CARE launched a four-day campaign in conjunction with International Women’s Day and the screening of A Powerful Noise. Shown in 450 cities nationwide, everyone and anyone was asked to tweet #apowerfulnoise. www.apowerfulnoise.com
NMC Fathom donated 10 cents for every tweet. They raised $2,800 from 28,000 tweets in three days. Money raised went to CARE’s program to empower marginalized women and girls in the third world.
CARE is an international organization that has the ability to support a film, partner with NMC Fathom events and through them reach 450 theaters on one day. Oh and have their own social networking site- Care Connections. Maybe not the typical non-profit Tweetathon, but it was a first of its kind.
Measuring blogging and twitter impact is a challenge. This impact can be measured in two ways. 28,000 tweets in 3 days is still a lot of tweets on one topic. You could call that viral tweeting. And remember, every Tweeter reaches all their followers and it keeps going through retweets. $2,800 isn’t ALOT of money, but the impact can’t be measured only in dollars and cents. This was one of the first Tweetathons where Tweeters didn’t make contributions personally.
Dr. Mani launched his annual Heart Kids tweetathon as a solo event for the past six years and has raised more than $120,000. Dr. Mani tweets for 24 hours to raise money and awareness about congenital heart defects. In 2008 he moved from 24 hours of blogging to 24 hour tweeting! In this case all donations are made by Tweeters following Dr. Mani’s micro blog on Twitter.
Pushing Your Message
You don’t have to host a virtual event to get attention on Twitter. You can create a call to action for Tweeters. Ask them to:
Sign a petition
Retweet you message so others see it
Do something to show support – send in photos, comments, go to your website or a micro site and take action
Give or raise money – through their own virtual or real event
Special announcement – mark an anniversary, press or award and ask Tweeters to pass it on
It is important that your organization be ready for the responses. Setting up a microsite for the campaign is useful. It can be an additional page on your website with its own URL. However, if your tweets go viral, your server must be able to handle it. Nothing kills a viral campaign like a sick server! Make sure your donation button works. As mentioned in Part 1, staff needs to be assigned to monitor, respond and push content to Twitter and updates on your website and/or microsite if you have one.
I hope you found this information. When you launch your Twitter campaign, please include me! Share your success and challenges. There is a virtual world of colleagues out there to help. I look forward to seeing and hearing about the non-profit sector Twittering for a cause!