Compared to other social media platforms, Microblogging formats such as twitter, have much more limited options to get your message out. In that regard it is important to have a very specific strategy for your Microblog. Here are 3 things about some campaigns I found that stood out:
1) They had a short tag line and a link for more information. The tag lines were bold statements or questions. Here are a few examples:
2) The questions asked help collect useful data. When you only have 140 characters some of the most useful ways to use a microblog are to ask a meaningful question. This data while maybe not in-depth, can show you trends in what people are interested in. It can also show you where your organization should focus to draw people in. Read more tracking health trends with twitter here.
3) Calls to action are very powerful: Asking someone directly to like your page, re-tweet your post or download your app are appealing and quick calls to action that people can do. If your cause moves them you have just given them a simple way to help you spread the word. Often I think non-profits get caught up in the idea that a call to action involves asking for money or time, but with Twitter your call to action is more about presence and spreading the word. Here are some good examples.
It is going to take practice. As with any form of social media it really is about finding what appeals to your audience and how to get them to engage with you. This means trying multiple approaches and changing it up often. Many successful brands have it figured out. Using big news events can be a segway for your organization to share a message. Here are two example that I felt like the domestic violence organization I work for could use for an effective Tweet:
- Media covered that 3 Doors Down stopped mid song to kick a man out of their concert for shoving a women. This is an opportunity to link with a big name brand, like a music group and use the story to create awareness about the issue and your services. Read the media story. This was also tweeted by the band, so using the hashtags they used could get more people to see your organization and participate in a conversation.
- The Grammy’s Its on Us campaign and Alexander Gaskarth Tweets about his feeling of there being a double standard because a big name star with a history of domestic abuse was invited to attend the event. This is a great way to start a conversation about society/communities responsibility. Read the media story
Here is a great tool kit from the CDC that can help public health organization take the leap into social media. The pages on Twitter were particularly informative. Here are two key takeaways from the tool kit for twitter.
- Keep content short and simple. CDC recommends writing tweets of 120 characters so that messages can easily be retweeted, (the practice of posting another user’s tweet), without editing. If a tweet contains the maximum 140 characters, users who want to share your message by retweeting will need to edit the message to reduce the character count.
- Provide more information with a shortened URL. If possible, provide a link back to your main website for more information. You can save space by using URLs that are shortened. Several websites are available that can help you: http://tinyurl.com or http://is.gd.