Twitter has evolved as the go-to communication tool for industry leaders because your message lives in real-time. Followers can respond to messages on anyone’s public tweet without having a connection. It’s one of my favorite tools to connect with people in the SEO community in real-time. I also gain a ton of knowledge and insight from the people I follow. Let’s cover how to use Twitter for nonprofits.

Twitter has the possibility of changing hands soon. Who knows what changes are in store for the social media platform. Choose whether adding Twitter to your social media strategy is viable for your nonprofit.

They are worldwide, but I can chat and discuss concepts that would not be possible face to face. It’s the number one reason I love Twitter. Nonprofits can harness the power of Twitter to engage their stakeholders in meaningful conversations. The ability to reach people who want to hear and see your nonprofit’s content. 

8 Twitter Best Practices For Nonprofits  

  1. Experiment with different content formats – video, Tweets, hashtags, Twitter Spaces, and Videos. 
  2. Content formats that work for Facebook and Instagram may not work on Twitter. 
  3. Use Twitter’s Analytics to learn how people engage with content. Develop a list of metrics that matter to your organization and don’t measure reach as the single factor of a successful Twitter campaign. Reach is a vanity metric that does not give you a complete picture of the nonprofit’s Twitter account. Reach does not coordinate success on Twitter. Engagement rates -likes, shares, retweets – are engagement metrics.
  4.  If you’re going to measure how well content resonates – you need advanced tools such as sentiment analysis.
  5. Tweet often. Tweets are short-lived micro-posts. It’s okay to post 3-5 times per day. However, don’t post the same content repeatedly. People will begin to ignore and unfollow the account for spammy behavior. 
  6. Every social media has an algorithm. Beyond Twitter feeds, tweets can show in categories and topics if you use the right hashtags and gain enough traction. For example, I follow several marketing-related categories. People I don’t follow often surface in my Twitter feed. Showing up in these topics and categories can drive additional eyeballs and comments to Tweets. 
  7. Use Twitter’s native tool TweetDeck to schedule Tweets. Twitter also has an asset management tool to mass upload videos and images for Tweets later. Use an image tool like Canva to produce bulk images and videos that speak to your audience. 
  8. Find a developer to help your nonprofit take advantage of the Twitter API. It’s genuinely a fantastic API. 

How Nonprofits Can Engage Twitter Users To Build Support 

Build Awareness To Key Initiatives On Twitter

Nonprofits can drive awareness to laws that affect the organization. If you only drive awareness on Twitter for GivingTuesday, you are not taking advantage of the open audience available to the nonprofit.

Nonprofits can ask people to share content about a non-monetary initiative. Nonprofits can get others to spread the word about issues that matter to their audience. I have seen many nonprofits with petition signing request successful gain enough signatures and align prominent figures to their cause. Don’t stop at alignment – you must cultivate people to become activist for your cause, which could lead to increases in volunteers and donations. Cultivation is a process – Twitter can be the door opener.

How Nonprofits Can Crowd Source Solutions to Problem Though Twitter

Nonprofits can use Twitter to drive crowdsourced solutions to problems [think beyond fundraising]. Tweet questions and have people give you answers to the problem. 

Your cause is more than fundraising. You are trying to solve a problem. Showcase the problem. You only have so many characters in a tweet. However, as a multi-media platform, you can add videos, images, and GIFs to target your messages to your audience. 

Twitter Users Come For The Community

Craft the right message for Twitter users and the communities they are part join. Don’t try to engage everybody. Follow humans -not bots and brand accounts. Usually people on Twitter filter their feeds have a higher regard for content moderation. Engage beyond your own post. Re-tweet and like people’s post, that’s what a community is about – knowledge sharing and dissemination. Conversations are happening about trending topics. If the nonprofit has a unique perspective, it’ okay to share it. The Twitter community can be understanding -sometimes.

Learn about your audience from what they post. People share information about their daily life on Twitter. Social media listening skills allow nonprofits to tap into the inner personal life of users. 

People flock to Twitter for different reasons. Some people are seeking a voice in an online community. Others want to show their expertise—Leverage Twitter to connect with influencers related to your industry. Create and share content based on people’s pain points. 

Analyze what content people respond to better on Twitter. Nonprofits organizations may feel like they operate in a silo, however, that not the truth. A community exists on Twitter for a nonprofit – you have to find it or create it. Don’t change the organization’s core message, but you need to research how people respond.

About Mobile Devices

Remember, Twitter users are more than likely mobile device users – so the size of content matters. 

Nonprofits Can Use Twitter To Find Information

Find opportunities for unconventional RFPs and grants. People often post information they find on Twitter. Use TweetDeck to monitor hashtags, people, and topics related to the organization. Twitter can be an inbound and outbound marketing strategy (push-pull marketing). Test messages to determine if they resonate with the nonprofit’s audience.

Reasons Why Users May Not Follow Your Nonprofit On Twitter

The organization does not align with the person’s values or interests. How can nonprofits overcome these types of objections? Should you take the time even to change a person’s mind? No. 

Message delivery does not align with the audience’s perception. You can overcome marketing message challenges. It requires learning the audience’s perspective and wording of marketing messages that speak to the target audience.

Nonprofit brand accounts don’t engage with users. One direction messaging is not how Twitter works. Nonprofits expect people to like their Twitter accounts without engaging the audience.  

Don’t make shit complicated. Use calls to action that are simple and entry-level. Donations are a high-level action for users. It requires going to the organization’s website, finding the donate button, pulling out a credit card, and making a donation. People who connect with your nonprofit for the first time on Twitter won’t take action to donate. 

Uninspiring content like everybody else.  Nonprofits who focus 100% on the there own needs don’t understand their audience well. Take a look at the type of content your produce for social media. How much authentic engagement does that content gain? Do you get shares, likes, or comments? If you get engagement, are the comments positive or negative? 

Very rarely do people actively seek out a nonprofit’s Twitter account. Analyze your current followers. Are they all business accounts, other nonprofits, bots, or other irrelevant users? Expend energy into connecting with real people. 

You cannot sustain the person’s attention long enough for them to read or get the message. People have short attention spans. Grab the person’s attention within the first 5 seconds on Twitter, or they will scroll past your Tweet. I do it all the time. I purposely stopped following brand accounts and nonprofits. Instead, I add them to a list, which I read maybe once per month. 

Time. People on Twitter pop in to find the latest breaking information in real-time. They want to know what is going on right or what other thought leaders are thinking at this current moment. Unlike other social media platforms, Tweets have a max shelf life.

Don’t sleep on Twitter marketing tools to gain exposure for your nonprofit. Explore the platform—social media changes on a day-to-day basis. You need to build your audience on Twitter and drive traffic to the nonprofit’s website to collect email addresses and first-party data. 


Jodie provides auditing, restructuring and building PPC campaigns for nonprofits. She focuses on driving awareness to content, events, and important areas of your nonprofit organization's website. In her spare time, she loves baking awesome cookies, reading, and learning new tech topics! What question is she pondering at the moment: Are Hexa- chocolate (5 types of chocolate) chip chunk cookies, too decadent?