Using Twitter to Network, Inspire and Create Change


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A training session provided for International Broadcasting Trust members - including representatives from Oxfam, UNICEF and other key UK charities.

The session looked at different ways for charities and nonprofits to engage with Twitter to network, inspire and create change with case studies from the sector.

Published in: Social Media, Technology, Business
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  • Thanks for coming – check you all have a copy of the hand out – covers what’s on the slides but with extra links and sources for some of the content.Also make sure you have access to a device with the internet – phone, ipad whatever – wireless password on the front of handout.
  • TWO QUESTIONS I HOPE TODAY WILL ANSWER.Hope that we can learn together what a powerful tool Twitter is – and practical ways to use it to its full potential.First why me, why am I interested in Twitter?I divide my time three ways – I am Communications Manager for a charity in the refugee sector, Digital Resources Manager for a charity website design agency, and I also consult on digital communications for the charity sector. Social Media is a large part of all of these roles – one of the most exciting things about it is its ability to create networks between sectors and across geographical boundaries based on interest and issues, and to influence and be influenced by new voices.
  • Break before engaging in conversation Aware that we have different levels of experience and that you all have lots of questions – there will be something for everyone. We have a lot of content to get through, though welcome to ask short questions throughout but bear in mind that there will be a Q&A at the end
  • For an exercise at the end, please tweet or instagram photos and thoughts from today’s training using the hashtag #IBTtwitterHashtag is also on the front of the handout – good habit to get into to tweet during events – helps you record your thoughts and responses, and connect with others present and even non-present.
  • Everyone here will have different answers to this question, and you’ve all chosen to come today because you think it’s a platform worth investing in- so not going to take too long on this, but in case there are any lurking sceptics thought I’d give two examples from my own experience
  • Y Combinator provides seed funding to start ups (Dropbox, Airbnb)
  • Doesanyone know whothisis?Gulnarais the daughter of the President of Uzbekistan, whoseregime has been accused of numeroushumanrightsabuses. DaughterisUzbekistan’sAmbassador to UN, ‘pop star’ and an avidTwitter user.Andrew StroehleinEuropean Media Director at Human Rights Watch also loves Twitter. Here’s what happened when he decided to try and talk to her on Twitter.LINK TO STORIFY has potential to hodl people to account, and forces people to engage in democracy because by very nature it’s a democratic tool. Nothing concrete has changed but many more are aware of Uzb regime & Gulnara not able to live in bubble any longer.
  • There’s no other place where you can easily and quickly access news stories from around the world, by reporters and citizens, in real-time.Particularly useful if you follow regions of the world that are under-reported – use it a lot for Central Asia news.Here the recent clashes in Lebanon from several different perspectives using the hashtag #Sidon when many news outlets hadnt got round to reporting it yet.
  • Ali is a Somali animal health worker based in the NE province of Kenya. He’s recently started using Twitter as part of a research project, by SMS, to communicate with other animal health workers.He doesn’t have access to the internet.He is able to share his opinion and information much more widely and cheaply, and can also receive information much more cheaply and easily.Twitter enables everyone to be on an equal footing.
  • Hashtags mark key words or phrases in a tweet.Hashtags great way to follow a place, issue, or campaignGood way to filter and gather tweets for doing online Q&AsHashtags are becoming more prominent offline too – pushing people onto twitter to join a conversationPULL UP UNICEF – CHILDREN OF SYRIA
  • Lists are a way of seeing information in a focused way without actually following them – curate or find lists on ‘Middle East’ ‘Charity Technology’ and then look at them regularly rather than necessarily following everyone on the list.Pull up some lists on Twitter so people can see >
  • Again, there’s no clear answers, different for everyone. This section we will try and identify possible different priorities and how to go about implementing them.
  • If tweeting organisationally, every org. will have key messages to do with work & vision that they want others to know. Twitter is a good place to share this messaging, but works best when it informs the tone of content and sets priorities for content rather than as tweets. Charity Water have 1.4 million followers on Twitter – 6th most followed charity on Twitter.90% of what they tweet is strong messaging – about their priorities, vision, and work.Messaging tweets – follow us/ sponsor us/ donate to us/ look at us/ etc. etc. OUT OF INTEREST - Put up your hands if over 60% of what you tweet would come under this category?
  • Someorganisations, perhaps more network/service orientated, focus on being a good source for reliable information about a sector or issue. This is also a more natural approach for personal Twitter feeds – focus on one issue, gain followers and have interactions based on that issue- will enable you to build up a following. Diversifying at an early stage means its difficult for people to find you or ‘box’ you – but depends on your goals.An eg of an organisation providing news & information is Conflict Voices – have nearly 1000 followers despite following less than 50.Tweet news & info related to the South Caucuses.
  • Disadvantages – if your role or interests don’t mean you’re naturally doing some of the things above then quite a commitment. If something big happens and you miss it risk losing your reputation.Best things about Twitter is that its flexible. Best accounts mix both – there are no rules.Content decision should be shaped by personal vsorganisational - Personal account, goal might not be to get lots of RTs, or to grow rapidly, but to engage in deeper conversations/debates.
  • Add on handouts other RSS reader namesGo to: Feedly - viewKeyboard shortcuts and tagsCustomise designFoldersiPhone, iPad and Android Apps- Strong social integration – including Buffer.
  • 7) 10% of tweets have at least one hashtag, 20% of RTs have at least one hashtag8) Leaves room for user name, comment, and RTPoint to infographic in handout.
  • Guess in teams – 3 mins – what are the most tweeted words & phrases- Handout – Twordsie – will tell you your most tweeted words and phrases..
  •   1. Saying “Please” increases your chances of getting retweeted by 60%. So your mother was right.  2. Telling people to retweet your Tweet increases your chances of getting retweeted by 90%.  3. Doing both increases your chances of getting retweeted by 150%.
  • Many options available – the in-house Twitter service, or Twit Pic, Photo Bucket, Flikr – depends on the size and platform that you’re comfortable with.Photos now come on the left of your profile, and videos, so good to have a few there – possible people would scroll through like a gallery.Think outside the box – different App (Instagram) – but still relevant as images could also be tweeted and same principleBARACK OBAMA – most retweeted tweet in history (with image) – 660,000 times and increasing…Water Aid’ s Big Dig Campaign last June- September – during which they wanted to show the community what impacts clean water and sanitation could have on the lives of 134,000 people in Malawi (bore holes, shallow wells, training hygiene educators, brought Latrine to schools and homes)They launched an Instagram campaign – in September, for one week two members of the charity's in-country staff shadowed 17-year-old Howard from the village of Bokola, whose life will be significantly impacted by a new well in the village. Howard currently collects water from a nearby river twice daily, before and after school, consuming his energy for his academic studies.Images are easily shareable – easily accessible – and tell a different story to text – best used across platforms – Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Facebook – use images that fit together – reason 1-100 etc…
  • It’s ok to share the same content multiple times – use a piece of conten (blog post etc.) t to the max – should use each piece of content minimum 6 times – spread over different days – there are 10 different ways you can tweet about the same blog post.Different angles – different asks – different days – have you seen – round up from last week etc. etc.Exercise in groups – choose a typical blog post, write 10 ways you could tweet it out.. (between you – one piece of content, one org.)
  • Dual Screening – BSkyB commissionedYouGov for research on how technology & social media are changing TV viewing habits, based on 4,465 responses. 75% of Brits watch TV with a second device to hand. 65% are surfing the web, 60% are emailing, and 48% are using social networks. (Sept 2012) / TV Programmes – natural times when people will look for hashtags – even when you’re not at events can still tweet about it – find TV programme relevant to your work/research and tweet about it when its broadcast.
  • Add Pros/Cons to HandoutAll have Pro and Free versions with different features, multiple accounts etc.Buffer came from the UKBuffer enables you to set your schedules in advance in a much simpler wayHoot Suite has Google Pages IntegrationChoose based on price, team members, how many accounts, design?POSITIVE THING IS YOU CAN ALSO ANALYSE – HOW MANY RTS, HOW MANY FAVOURITES, POTENTIAL REACH ETC.Important to remember that while its great to be pushing out content, engaging and networking with others are what you should be measuring your presence by.. After the break…
  • Already discussed how Twitter opens doors for communities cut-off from technology, and is by very nature democratic.Useful to get inspiration from some initiatives that use Twitter to get voices and stories of marginalised groups heard, and maximise ‘participation’.Oxfam GB – through February & March – three takeovers from Syrain refugees living in Zaatari camp in Jordan. member of our PR team who had been in touch with a group of refugees who expressed an interest in doing a takeover. 13.6 million people were reached 1,333 tweets in total. This was helped by influential people such as Stephen Fry tweeting about the takeover. In terms of best practice, the pictures that he sent through got people most engaged, and people responded well to his quotes about his family. NO MONEY ASKED FOR – There wasn't a direct link to donations in any of the tweets. This was because Hasan, the refugee, expressed that he didn't want his message to be associated with donations.Handout – for more
  • Multiple options for Q&As that involve Twitter.Two case studies here, one using standard Twitter interface, the other involving a Google Hangout.Poverty Porn – hosted by Kurante (ICT4D consultancy) Participants could watch online, and tweet in questions – those in the discussion also tweeting. Shortly afterwards, a Storify story was created – summarising and sharing the conversation. (over 700 views for a very low cost, easy to manage, replicable event)First Hour – MyleeneKlass travelled to the Philippines – Other ideas – having a set time per week for conversations/RTs on certain topics – Like #FF or #CT
  • March 2012 Text 100 interviewed 72 different media professionals about their use of social media.
  • March 2012 Text 100 interviewed 72 different media professionals about their use of social media. BUTTraditiional Press releases still rated as most significant and best way of obtaining useful information – 72%- (
  • Follow journalists who cover your issue – build relationshipsLink to current affairs – offer ‘exclusive’ stories
  • Original tweet to 02 shared 1,105 times, but 02’s reply now been shared or favourited over 3,000 times.Flexibility always a good thing  Social media ever evolving.
  • - Paris Brown – teenager forced to step down from her role as youth police and crime comissioner due to tweets posted between the ages of 14 & 16… tweets can be deleted but better to start afresh!
  • Useful way of galvanising supporters – less clear how much impact it actually has – but an example of how things evolve – depends largely on the ask and how well it’s written, reach of the organisation etc.Could be useful if organising an event with live streaming to get people to watch online, or sharing a campaign videoThunderclap only a powerful tool if the tweet has a clear ask
  • Gather tweets from the hashtag - IBTtwitter
  • Using Twitter to Network, Inspire and Create Change

    1. 1. 1) Why is Twitter significant and what‟s it‟s potential? 2) How can I use Twitter better?
    2. 2. • • • • • Why Twitter? Policy Functionality • Personal vs Organisational What to Tweet? account When to Tweet? • Using Twitter Engaging in with other Apps. Conversation • Q&A • Social Media
    3. 3. #IBTTWITTER
    4. 4. Twitter is a big deal because “it’s a new messaging protocol where you don’t specify the recipients. New protocols are rare. Or more precisely, new protocols that take off are. There are only a handful of commonly used ones: TCP/IP (the Internet), SMTP (email), HTTP (the web), and so on. So any new protocol is a big deal. But Twitter is a protocol owned by a private company. That’s even rarer.”
    5. 5. WHY TWITTER? Networking/Activism @gulnarakarimova VS @astroehlein
    6. 6. WHY TWITTER? News sharing/gathering, Democracy #Sidon
    7. 7. WHY TWITTER? Democratic @sidai11 "On Twitter, you get 140 characters to be worth paying attention to, no matter who (or what) you are." – @graemem
    8. 8. FUNCTIONALITY Hashtags • Hashtags start conversations • No more than 2 in a tweet • Consolidate – centralise your usage around one key hashtag • Be obvious and listen to your followers/fans • Start Hashtags for events – allows others to join in • Use them to gain information • Use them to gain more followers #childrenofsyria
    9. 9. FUNCTIONALITY Lists Why use them? • Allows you to avoid the clutter on your news feed and cut straight to the issue • Easy way to discover new people • Curate Twitter users • Hierarchy of following. Why try to be featured? • Improves your credibility and visibility • Makes it easier for you to be found • Increases social media influence
    10. 10. LANGUAGE & PROTOCOL Interactions • • • • • • Replies Favouriting Direct Messages RT – if you are directly copying a tweet MT –if you have edited the tweet in some way HT – if you „hijak‟ someone else‟s tweet and add new information • Via – if you find something out from someone and want to credit them.
    11. 11. MESSAGING We‟re a non profit bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. @charitywater
    12. 12. NEWS & INFORMATION @caucasusproject
    13. 13. NEWS & INFORMATION How? • RSS Feeds • Google Alerts • Sign up to newsletters – (different account) • Schedule • Be alert and responsive to trends & events Disadvantages • Commitment • Always on the ball
    14. 14. NEWS & INFORMATION RSS Readers Think about: • Mac / Windows • Where do you want to share/save the information? Instapaper, Evernote, Buffer, Twitter etc. • Languages – some offer translation • Format & Design – newspaper, traditional vs modern • Devices
    15. 15. WRITE TWEETS WORTH RETWEETING 1) Statistics that relate to your work and mission 2) Fill the gaps – how unique is your content? 3) Write fast, edit slow 4) Avoid errors 5) Position Statements 6) Tap into the #breakingnews cycle 7) Use hashtags 8) Leave room for a RT (Between 71-100 characters) 9) Vary your content (photos, videos etc.) 10) Include a link
    16. 16. 20 MOST RETWEETED WORDS & PHRASES • You • Free • 10 • Twitter • Media • Follow • Please • Help • How to • Retweet • Top • Post • Please ReTweet • Blog • Great • Check Out • Social • Social Media • New Blog Post • Blog Post
    17. 17. IMAGERY • Different options for different purposes • Think outside of the box • Group images together • Cross- platform is best CASE STUDY: Water Aid >
    18. 18. REGULARITY • • • • Set yourself achievable goals Don‟t tweet in batches – space them out Be consistent It‟s ok to share the same content multiple times
    19. 19. TIMING Things to consider: • Regularity • Time Zones • Times of day in relation to target group • Working Hours / Down Time • Dual Screening • Events, TV Programmes
    20. 20. #ukrainesforgottenchildren
    22. 22. PARTICIPATION Hasan – “I am most afraid of what is coming ahead… I am afraid we will go through a harder time than we are facing now” Zakaria and Ohoud – “We want to go back to Syria”
    23. 23. Q&A FACILITATION #firsthour #povertyporn Hangout hosted by Kurante. Five experts discussing media representations of the developing world. Storify story created > Myleene Klass on breastfeeding. At set time people tweeted qs using the hashtag.
    24. 24. ENGAGING WITH JOURNALISTS “85% of media professionals welcomed contact via their Twitter profiles” (Linked In 84%, Facebook 42%)
    25. 25. ENGAGING WITH JOURNALISTS “On average a journalist will use 2.6 different social media channels to research a story”
    26. 26. ENGAGING WITH JOURNALISTS • Follow journalists who cover your issue • Offer „exclusive‟ stories • Tweet carefully (key words) • #journorequest • Don‟t be afraid to ask
    27. 27. SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES Overall message should be one of empowerment, not control and restriction. Should contain info on content, overview of privacy and legal issues, general rules about social media in office hours. • • • • • • • High standards of professionalism Respectful & polite Link to source material often Acknowledge mistakes quickly Be honest and authentic Engage in conversation Only share content meant for public consumption
    28. 28. HOWEVER…
    29. 29. WHEN TO USE • Contacting journalists • Personality • Networking
    30. 30. HOW TO USE • Don‟t use an old profile (if you have any questionable content) • Follow selectively • Don‟t forget your team • Help others out
    31. 31. USING TWITTER WITH OTHER APPS. • RSS Readers – Feedly • Schedulers & Managers – Buffer App, Hoot Suite, Tweet Deck • Thunderclap • Storify
    32. 32. USING TWITTER WITH OTHER APPS. Thunderclap
    33. 33. USING TWITTER WITH OTHER APPS. Thunderclap • Linking to a campaign video • Details of an event, with link to online streaming • Just Text Giving Code • Campaign ask to #DavidCameron
    34. 34. USING TWITTER WITH OTHER APPS. • Gathers content from all around the web • Current Affairs • Events • Weekly News • Different formats
    35. 35. TWITTER (& SOCIAL MEDIA) FOR CHARITIES W H AT TO R E A D WHO TO FOLLOW • Social Media for Social Good (Mansfield, 2012) • Beth Kanter (@kanter) • Twitter for Good (DiazOrtiz, 2011) • Platform (Hyatt, 2012) • Measuring the Networked Nonprofit (Kanter & Paine, 2012) • @socialmedia4D
    36. 36. TAKEAWAYS IN TWEETS It‟s not the number of followers, but the quality of engagement that counts. Facilitating #Conversation is more valuable than organisational messaging A good personal twitter account will be a hub for an issue or cause Tap into the #breakingnews cycle to be found more easily Saying please and asking people to RT increases your chance by 150% Use applications that will make your Twitter life easier, not to make it more complicated List, and get listed