How Nonprofits can use Twitter: To Listen!
When reading the invite from Britt for this Net2ThinkTank, I was reminded of a recent comment that I made on Beth's Blog about Twitter. Many people don't realize that Twitter isn't just for broadcasting little bits of information, it's also great for finding new stuff too. A nonprofit organization may not be ready to Twitter their latest news and events, but they can still use Twitter to find individuals who have an interest in their own cause or mission. My favorite Twitter search tool is Terraminds Twitter Search because it's responsive and allows you to subscribe to search results with RSS. I use it to search for people who have mentioned the word: "nonprofit" and I'm constantly finding new interesting people to introduce myself to. But there are plenty of other ways that this search tool can be used. By putting in the name of your town or city, you can search regionally for comments about that area. A search for "Environment" can help find other eco-friends, a search for "health food" can help find people who have made some interesting comments for an agency focused on eating habits, etc. Terraminds is also cool because it will use some "fuzy seach" with the words you use; you have to be a little careful about this too. "Disability" returns both "disability" and "disable" Combinations of words can bring back the most effective results.
Above all, Nonprofits need to remember that Twitter is a conversation. Don't just blast your messages and butt in on conversations by Friending everyone you can find. Stop and listen once and awhile and use the @UserName to reply to other interesting posts. That's where the true value can kick in.