What does a non-profit organization that enables and promotes education and literacy in nine developing countries have to do with Twitter? It turns out, a whole lot.
When Twitter began its year-long project with Crushpad to sell wine and give all the proceeds to Room to Read, an organization that educates children across the developing world and promotes literacy, @RoomtoRead knew it was time to get busy with Twitter. Hundreds of thousands of followers later, they've learned some key lessons that other non-profit accounts would be smart to take stock of.
Whether tweeting about current events, recent news from the field, corporate partners, their chapter's efforts, or The Fledgling Initiative with Twitter, @RoomtoRead provides valuable information for interested global citizens everywhere. If you're looking to develop a professional non-profit account, consider following Room to Read's lead in the following ways:
Give information about your cause. Information is power, and making sure that your followers believe that your tweets are incredibly useful is paramount. Room to Read consistently delivers quality information about educational issues facing children worldwide.
Create a separate account for your founder or director. In the case of high-profile John Wood at Room to Read, it made sense to give him a separate account. This way, @JohnWoodRtR can give a more personal angle on his daily work, and the organization has even more Twitter angles from which to engage users.
Give shout-outs to other non-profit organizations, supporters and partners. If another organization is having some success, cheers to them in your own tweets. @RoomtoRead does this regularly, also participating in popular Follow Fridays to encourage their followers to engage with other accounts.
Re-tweet often. Don't forget to pat your peers on the back for their efforts, both when they make the news and when they do a great tweet. Re-tweets are a central part of @RoomtoRead's tweeting strategy.
Build a network of key players. Room to Read's first step in building their list was to identify the key players most relevant to them and begin to follow them and engage in conversations.
Automatically follow new followers. For non-profits interested in getting their message out, changing your settings to make sure that you are automatically following anyone who follows you can help boost your network early on. @RoomtoRead experimented with this setting early on to help build up a network off followers.
Important events deserve major tweets! When the Fledgling Initiative wine first went on sale for $20 a bottle (with $5 going to Room to Read), Room to Read wasn't quiet about it. The result? More wine = More good for @fledgling.
Although @RoomtoRead was unique in receiving some quality hand-holding from Twitter about how to best use a Twitter account for non-profit success, following their model can help any non-profit or philanthropic organization find their feet on Twitter.