Football is a game of strength, speed…and strategy. That’s why a coach doesn’t just send 11 random players onto the field, cross his fingers, and hope for the best. If he hopes to lead his team to success, he needs a strategic game plan and a carefully composed playbook.
The same goes for Twitter. You can’t jump blindly into the game and expect to win. You need a strategy that takes into consideration your organization’s overall marketing goals and how Twitter can be used to accomplish those goals.
In today’s blog post, learn how to put together a Twitter marketing strategy from start to finish.
Every marketing activity you perform, from tweeting and texting to cold-calling and door-to-door fundraising, should be done for the sole purpose of accomplishing your organization’s end goals.
For the first step in developing your Twitter marketing strategy, identify and list out your overall goals. Some of the most common goals for nonprofits are:
Your objectives are what you plan to accomplish on Twitter in support of your organization-wide goals. Twitter objectives will vary from one organization to another, as every organization has different goals. But here are some examples of what your nonprofit’s Twitter objectives might be, based on the goals listed above:
Goal: Increase brand awareness
Goal: Increase and retain membership
Goal: Increase non-dues revenue and donations.
In order to really drive success, be sure your Twitter objectives are measurable, obtainable and set within a specific timeframe. An objective to “increase our number of Twitter followers” won’t cut it. But the objective to “increase our number of Twitter followers by 200 over the next three months” is measurable (200 followers), obtainable (reasonable number of new followers) and includes a timeframe (3 months).
Once you’ve set your objectives, think about who you’ll need to interact with in order to accomplish these objectives. Define your target audience, then find them on Twitter and follow them. Observe their Twitter behavior (are they frequent users?), figure out what subject matter interests them, and look at the users they follow and retweet.
Gain an understanding of what will resonate with them—this will be valuable when you begin trying to engage and interact with them.
The next step is to create a plan of tactics that will resonate with your target audience in order to help you accomplish your Twitter objectives.
Get started by listing out all of your Twitter objectives. Under each objective, begin brainstorming tactics that could help to accomplish that particular objective. (As you do this, keep your target audience in mind.) Edit and refine this list over time, eliminating tactics that don’t seem to have any effect. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many tactics—develop a reasonable number of tactics that can be carried out by a single member of your marketing team.
Below, I have provided a list of tactic ideas that can be applied to some of the aforementioned objectives.
To increase your number of Twitter followers:
To drive traffic to your website:
To earn “Become a member” form submissions:
Tweet informative information that has to do with membership to your organization, and include a link. Just simply saying, "Click here to join now," won't make much of an impact. The key is to share a blog post about "benefits of joining," include a link to the blog post, and have the blog post lead them to the form.
Some other ideas:
To interact with current and potential members:
An “interaction” occurs when someone retweets or favorites your post, or when someone mentions you in a tweet using the @ symbol. The best tactics to accomplish this objective are to tweet interesting content that will incite an interaction, and to always reply back when someone reaches out to you. Specific tactics include:
To earn “Donate” form submissions:
Evoking feelings of compassion among your Twitter followers is important for gaining donations. “It can be hard to make a Twitter timeline feel ‘human’,” says Susan Gunelius in 5 Nonprofits Using Twitter Right. Hard, but not impossible. Here are some ideas to get you thinking outside the box:
To get more people to sign up for events:
If you need some more reading material to jumpstart your tactics brainstorming, check out last week’s post: 10 Twitter Tips for Nonprofits.
So there you have it—a blueprint (and a pretty good head start!) for putting together a winning Twitter strategy. The image below illustrates how your marketing strategy should be formatted when you write it out.