Back in October, CommUlinks of Colorado produced a report on Twitter use by Colorado Nonprofits. (Read the report – pdf ). In that report, we named ten organizations we called the Top Birds, who had a strong presence on Twitter.
Since we published that report and have been telling nonprofits about the power of Twitter, several organizations are now giving our Top Birds a run for their money and gaining influence on Twitter. For fun, we are calling them Phoenix Tweeters. While there were no ashes for them to rise from, they are definitely rising to glory.
What makes these nonprofits so special on Twitter? They all have some things they do well in common:
1) Always the first on this list is that they follow back people and companies who follow them.
2) They acknowledge followers who pay attention to them, whether by simply saying thank you to a follower or by retweeting or mentioning them in a FridayFollow or #FF
3) They all have lists on their Twitter account where they add followers who are noticing them.
4) They tweet regularly (daily or at least several times a week)
5) They tweet interesting things that are related to their mission. The tweets are diverse and include links newspaper articles, videos, blog posts, photos.
6) They are thanking their donors and volunteers publicly.
7) They are increasing their following or they already have a significant following.
8) They aren’t tweeting everything through Facebook.
9) They are opportunity seekers, meaning they realize when a follower might have something to offer them and they ask for support.
These are the Phoenix Tweeters, along with additional special notes about what they are doing are:
Focus Reentry - @focusreentry on Twitter – What I like about this group is that they engage with their followers. They are looking for opportunities, but they are also giving a lot to their followers. They also express appreciation well and often.
Food Bank of the Rockies - @FoodBankRockies on Twitter – This organization is noticing when people are talking about them on Twitter, even if their Twitter name is not being used. (When someone mentions you on Twitter using your @name, you can see those on a notification list. But to find those talking about you otherwise, you either have to search for them or read the tweets of your followers. This means they go out of their way to notice).
EarthLinks - @EarthLinks_CO on Twitter – When I think of EarthLinks, I think of excitement for their mission. That is how they come across on Twitter. They tweet fun photos of what they are doing and they engage really well with followers. They also soak up information about how to improve their presence on Twitter. They have made a lot of progress since I looked at them weeks ago.
Kids in Need of Dentistry - @Kindsmiles on Twitter – KIND has only been on Twitter for a little over a month but they are rapidly increasing their following. What is great about KIND is that even though they are also using Facebook and sending those status updates to Twitter, they are not ignoring their Twitter account. They always say thank you and they pay attention to tweets from their followers, even tweets that aren’t about them.
Turning Point - @Turning_Point on Twitter – This organization is making sure they are thanking those who are donating to them and volunteering. They also have some great lists, which helps them to increase their following.
Bluff Lake Nature Center - @BluffLake on Twitter – Bluff Lake keeps ending up in the Charitable Colorado paper produced by CommUlinks because of the great links they post. They promote visiting Bluff Lake while also providing fun and interesting educational information about nature in general. I think of them as being “highly retweetable.”
Community Shares of Colorado - @csharescolorado on Twitter – Twitter is such a great tool for an organization like Community Shares. They have really stepped up their tweeting in the last couple of months, too. They are using lists really well and provide a variety of tweets.
Bonfils Blood Center - @bonfilsdotorg on Twitter – Bonfils has had a good presence on Twitter for a while, but I am highlighting them now because I love the action-oriented tweets they send out. I also really like the fact that they always know when someone is tweeting about them and they seize every opportunity to promote blood donation.
Challenge Aspen - @ChallengeAspen on Twitter – The use of lists is really important on Twitter and Challenge Aspen uses them well. I also really like the variety of their tweets and the fact that they tweet using links that are not to Facebook. Although they use Constant Contact to tweet, they also pay attention to their Twitter account.
There are many organizations that were not highlighted in this article that have great followings on Twitter and are tweeting really interesting things. They are not mentioned here because they are not using lists at all. As I said several times, the use of lists is really important. Lists get you more followers and help to engage the followers you do have.