Twitter Use for Non-Profits

I wrote a guest post over at Huhns.org about 12 ways Non-Profits and Church’s can use Twitter.  The post is part of a series called “Top Twelve Tuesdays”.  Please go check it out.

Great Video About How to Get Started on Twitter.

Take 8 minutes and watch this video from Jim Kukral at SmallBizTrends.com. If you don’t have Twitter account and aren’t sure where to start this will get you up and running without having to ask for any help.

How to get started on Twitter Video.

Remember you can just listen at first and ease into updating and interacting.

 

Get started by following twitter.com/ryanpaulsmith.

Compaints on Social Media are a Good Thing. No, Really!

I have had conversations with past clients who resisted participating is social media because it posed a potential pr/customer service risk.  This article for MSNBC is one of many just like it.  These savvy and successful business people recognize the power of social media but fear the lack of control.  Burying your head in the sand isn’t a way to solve this problem.

Business owners big and small must start participating in the conversation about their brand.  This doesn’t mean a single location family owned resturant should start paying for Radian6 social media monitoring, but they can participate, here’s how to start.

Small Business First Steps into Social Media

1. Search your business name in Google, Yahoo, MSN Live and Ask.  Is your website at the top or at least the first page?  Are your competitors present?  If you can’t find yourself or your competitors outrank you it is probably time to get some professional help.  If your business appears you are ready to dig a little deeper.

2.  Start searching major social bookmarking/networking sites for your brand. {a starter list of the major sites can be found at the end of this post}  If you can find your brand you need to take stock of weather these are good or bad comments.  Whether the sentiment as good or bad there is work to be done here in the near future, but that is another post.

3. Start searching these same search engines and social networking sites for your industry specific keywords.  Without getting into keyword research you can just use some common sense.  For example:  If you are a day spa in Fort Worth, TX start searching (and keep a list) of Day Spa, Fort Worth Day Spa, Facial Fort Worth Texas and a few other combinations.  Are you coming up on the front page or are your competitors?  You get how important this is I am sure; if you don’t, email me and we can quantify how many people are searching on your “common sense” terms in your area.

Future posts will deal with what you should do with these results.  Don’t be afraid of knowing the results.  Yes it will add to your already busy schedule, Yes they might be bad results.  People complain about service in a lot of different ways, view the compaints as an oppurtunity just as if they had approched you at your place of business.

Search Engines:  Google, Yahoo, MSN Live, Ask, Aol.

Social Bookmarking and Networking: Digg, Myspace, search.twitter.com, Delicious, Furl.

Extra Credit Sites:  Yelp.com, local.yahoo.com, maps.google.com, mapquest, judysbook.com, tripadvisor.com, citysearch.com

How to get your organization to use social media.

Many organizations haven’t delved into social media yet; you are not alone.  You have probably read some guides telling everything you need to know on how to get started but while it is easy to write down the five steps to using social media it is exponentially  harder to actually get started or convince decision makers to spend time or money on it.

So, what do you DO now?  

Start with your personal social media brand.  Get on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and start listening. This will give you personally a presence and help make you more comfortable selling social media to your organization.  It might even give you some real world examples to share with your organization.  This is the Twitter sign up page. You will need a username (use your real name so your firends can find you easily), a password and your email address.  After you sign up go to http://www.twitter.com/ryanpaulsmith and click follow.  Then underneath the “what are you doing” type in “@ryanpaulsmith Hey Ryan, joining twitter after reading your blog”.  I respond and your life will never be the same again……

Second, start small.  Get a Twitter account for your company. Don’t try to invest the time it takes to run a good blog (even poor blogs take time and energy, ask me!) or even to get a branded presentable facebook page.  Twitter will give you a presence, a voice and a way to interact.  This interaction will allow to gain insight to guide which next steps are right for your specific situation.

What is a Tweetup?

http://twittonary.com/

If you are new to Twitter or not even on twitter yet, this site is for you.  Those kids in the advertising meeting kept talking about Tweety Bird but never Sylvester, this site is for you.

James Dickey’s Ten Commandments of Twitter

http://jamesrdickey.com/2008/12/the-ten-commandments-of-twitter/

This is a great post of some guidelines that let you know if what you are doing or planning on doing on Twitter will be accepted.  

This is my favorite set of “rules” for the beginning Twitterers.  These guidelines will get you started in the right direction, especially the first rule.  Not everyone will use twitter the same, some celebrities will follow very few but have tens of thousand of followers while using twitter to broadcast more than have a conversation.  Others will not be interested in how many followers they get as they will be using Twitter to communicate with a small group of “real-life” friends.  

Because social media is so new there are rooms for many different styles; don’t let someone tell you you are doing things the wrong way before they know your goal!!