Twitter Nest header

Even if you’re just a casual Twitter user, you’ve probably seen a tweet or two that made you wince, cringe or even hit the unfollow button.

Don’t let your nonprofit cause the same reaction. Here are seven kinds of tweets that your organization should avoid posting:

1) Generic appeals

generic-tweets

Why? Donate how much? Who benefits?

Asking for donations on Twitter is fine. But how you do it can mean all the difference.

A direct Twitter appeal needs at least two of these three things: urgency, specificity and impact.

good-twitter-appeal

See how much more compelling that appeal is?

2) Anything from a private account

protected-tweets

Why are your tweets private? What are you trying to hide?

Sometimes upper management or board members will object to a nonprofit creating a social media account, based on concerns that someone might “talk bad” about them.

Having your tweets set as private is a bad compromise, mainly because it doesn’t address the concern. If a community wants to talk about your brand, they’re going to do it whether or not you’re on that network. So, you can either be part of that conversation or not.

3) Personal tweets from the brand account

bad-personal-tweet

There are two possible reasons for this:

  1. an employee (usually a founder or CEO) will use the brand account as their personal account
  2. an employee will accidentally post something from the brand account instead of their own (separate) personal account

Both are bad, obviously, but #1 should really be avoided.

If you have someone on staff who is really “married” to the brand (like a founder), they should have a separate personal account. It’s just weird to see personal messaging come from a logo, especially if you don’t know who is truly administering the account.

Plus, having a human ambassador (or multiple ambassadors!) can amplify the efforts of the corporate brand account by allowing you to post strategically more often and to different group of followers.

4) Follower milestone requests

more-followers-please

Whyyyyyyyy. Only people already following you will see this!

If you want more followers, try this:

  • follow more people
  • jump in on conversations and interact with people (@ tweet them directly)
  • ask for followers in places like email newsletters, donation confirmation pages and email receipts

Remember: your tweets are for your current followers. Your content should be for them.

5) Hashtag overload

Two things here:

  • hashtagging #random words in the #body of your tweet #content
  • senselessly adding a ton of hashtags after the body of your tweet content #nonprofit #help #donate #fundraising #impact #changetheworld #alldaybreakfast

According to Buddy Media, you shouldn’t use more than one or two hashtags. Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags, which show a drop in engagement by an average of 17%.

Also it’s annoying.

6) Tweets without a photo

You should include a photo with every tweet you send. Period.

According to one study, tweets with a photo are 64%-94% more likely to be retweeted.

But, more importantly, they just make your tweet more visible. Just look how the tweet with an image stands out from the crowd:

tweet-with-image

Be sure to include text with any uploaded image, rather than an image by itself. Not including text is bad for accessibility (a blind person with a screen reader won’t be able to see your images). Also some Twitter clients don’t show images by default, so some followers won’t see the picture unless they click a link.

Also, not including relevant text makes it impossible to search for the Tweet. That means you won’t show up in search results, and it’s harder for users to find the tweet they remembered if they want to show it to anyone else!

7) Facebook updates

Syncing your Twitter and Facebook feeds can save time. If you can post something once and have it go both places, that’s a win, right?

Wrong.

Your Facebook fans and Twitter followers represent two very different audiences, both with different expectations.

In addition, both networks have different styles and cadences. For example, you can get away with posting much more often on Twitter than on Facebook.

The same study from above shows that tweets including a Facebook image link are 47% less likely to be retweeted, while tweets with Instagram links are 42% less likely to be retweeted.

What kinds of tweets annoy you? Disagree with anything on my list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Steven Shattuck

Steven Shattuck

Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang
Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang. A prolific writer and speaker, Steven is a contributor to "Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition" and volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, is an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member, and sits on the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving. He is the author of Robots Make Bad Fundraisers - How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, published by Bold and Bright Media.
Steven Shattuck