Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A brief guide to Twitter for women's organisations

There’s been a lot of noise in the media about Twitter recently and you could get the impression that it’s just for self-promoting celebrities. But what is less reported is how useful it can be for charities and campaigns. WRC has been using Twitter since October 2008 and we (well, I) love it and think it could be a great tool for other women’s organisations.

From a very personal perspective, I like Twitter because people only get your updates if they’re actually interested in hearing from you. If they don’t find you interesting, they won’t follow you (or not for long). You can send out quick notices, let people know about interesting news, events or comments – all without cluttering up people’s inboxes. And you make contact with (and build relationships with) people you didn’t even know existed. It breaks down institutional barriers and opens up your organisation to supporters, potential supporters, peers and even policymakers.

What else can you do?

How to get started
Have a look at this ‘Twitter in plain English’ video (although it mostly explains Twitter’s benefits to individuals rather than organisations) and then this presentation. Then sign up to Twitter and find some people to follow (i.e. receive their updates). One way is to follow me, then see who I follow and if you’re interested in them, follow them too. There’s a list of charities on Twitter here, or try some US women’s organisations to see what they’re doing.

One last thing... I asked my 'followers' if they had any tips for women's organisations new to Twitter and here are some I received...
There’s so much more to say, but I hope this gives you a taste. As Christine Burns pointed out to me, Twitter encourages brevity, but if you want to know more, tweet me!

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