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?
- ask your network for help
- if you’re lucky, they’ll ask their networks to help you too
- promote campaign actions or other work
- get a dog a new home (or whatever your core activity is)
- get instant feedback
- engage with MPs, councillors etc
- learn from your peers
- add quick updates to your website or blog (you should see our twitter updates on this blog)
- even 'silly' Twitter actions can have a big impact - see Amnesty's snowmen for human rights!
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!