Tag Archives: non-profit

Evaluating Mr. (Good)Tweet for Non-Profits

What do we want out of Twitter? Can the Mr. Tweet help non-profits Twitter better?

I recently signed up for Mr. Tweet, a personal assistant of the robot sorts, who facilitates my search for Twitter connections. A day after signing up, I received a personal email: “Hi there! Mr Tweet, your personal Twitter assistant is ready for work” with a hyperlink for me to follow. After clicking the link, I viewed this screen:

My Twitteristics

My Twitteristics

Mr. Tweet analyzed my Twitter profiles according to a few key measurements:

  • number of links tweeted
  • number of conversation tweets
  • if I usually reply to non-followers, and
  • if I usually follow someone back

In addition, Mr. Tweet also recommends people that I should follow based upon who I am already following.  Recommendations include the “Twitteristics” of each person, and a list of who I also follow that follows the recommended person.

It made me think a bit about what the non-profits I work with want out of Twitter. It’s engagement.

For a non-profit organization, there are a few key reasons to use Twitter:

  • to connect with key donors, foundations and their influencers
  • to deepen stakeholder commitment
  • to publicize your organization and bring in new stakeholders
  • to listen for key words and respond
  • to meet and connect with potential collaborators
  • to converse with colleagues in the same field, and cross-pollinate ideas through Twitter

The National Wildlife Federation’s Danielle Brigida recently elaborated on its Twitter strategy and successes here. It is a fascinating, well-thought out interview with Social Ch@nge. The NWF uses Twitter to listen to conversations, repair reputation issues, publicize articles and events, nudge people towards their social media hubpage, and increased online activism. That’s quite impressive, and shows the potential of Twitter for non-profits.

How can Mr. Tweet help your non-profit? Mr. Tweet can help non-profits find people to follow who might become collaborators, who are colleagues, or possibly donors/investors. Mr. Tweet can help you find key influencers as well. What Mr. Tweet does best is recommend people based upon who you follow — its algorithms are set to analyze the types of people on Twitter that you already follow.  If you mostly follow social media thought leaders, then Mr. Tweet will recommend more of the same. Likewise, if you mostly follow people in your industry. If you want to publicize your organization and bring in new stakeholders, Mr. Tweet’s suggested “influencers relevant to you” could re-tweet, make introductions for you or provide relevant connections.

However, If you are looking for non-profits Twitterers, in general, then you might want to check out Chris Brogan’s creation, Twitter Packs to find others with your specific industry interests or in your specific location. The non-profit Twitter Pack list is here. Or, quite simply, look at the people you consider important colleagues/stakeholders/collaborators and with whom they converse regularly.

Mr. Tweet is a fine robot assistant, but not perfect. If you use it after you’ve been on Twitter a while, then the application will have more information to draw upon. However, it can’t do it all. It can’t find those quality influencers and connectors that everyone you know mentions, but Mr. Tweet may not know. It can’t recommend people outside of your areas of interest, and it doesn’t make introductions.

What would I love Mr. Tweet to do? Add a section showing the websites people in my network most often recommend or link. Show me conversation circles: what are conversational clusters and who usually participates?  Lastly, who (not in my network) most often tweets about others in my network? This information would be valuable to me for finding new connections, new websites and information about my industry, and enhancing my ability to participate in relevant industry conversation.

You have to do all that work yourself. What Mr. Tweet is, is  your general research assistant. And that’s a good beginning. I look forward to hearing if non-profits are finding Mr. Tweet useful, and other suggestions for finding non-profit Twitterers.

And…I look forward to making connections!

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Tagging in Real Time


photo courtesy of Richard Moross

About two weeks ago, I had the privilege and pure luck of attending a “Breakfast with Jeff Pulver” in Jerusalem. What is it? It’s a networking event (note: no actual breakfast, just coffee) similar in feel to speed dating. Every attendee gets a “toolkit” with a name badge, tiny rectangular stickers for tagging (you can fit about one or two words on them), a pen, and some postage stamp sized post-it notes. On your name badge, you are supposed to write a tagline, and this is your introduction to people when you meet them. After no more than 5 minutes of conversation, you are to “tag” their body with the tiny stickers, and move on. If you’re naturally reserved, the name taglines break the ice. Additionally, once you’ve been “tagged,” those tags offer more discussion topics.

I was struck by how seamlessly we incorporated social media tools (tagging, blog bylines, favorites) into our real life meeting. I was also struck by the utility of these tools in “real time,” if also the total geekiness I felt using them! But let me say, I loved it. I met the people behind intriguing websites (The Big Felafel, Israel Innovation, Green Any Site) and others that offer interesting collaborative possibilities.

I left there wondering what other social networking tools or habits we can use that can bring us together in real time and pondering the implications for the non-profit sector.

What about gathering donors/foundations/funders and non-profits together in a room with some small blank “tags,” asking them to network with real-time tagging? After a while, people could form tag clusters which might open up interesting collaborative possibilities and funders could easily identify target markets.

What if we found people whose blogs or sites we want to link to and put “real time links” on them? Wouldn’t that open up interesting possibilities for NGOs and others? The local organic farming association might link to an environmental cause, a website developer, a PPC guru and the export representative from the local government.

What if we mapped out a social network influence chart at the meetup? Everyone would group or “link” to others that already link to in our on or offline networks. Looking at the influencers and links might offer more social media networking possibilities after the meetup. Would we find out more about our donors, members or collaborators that could help non-profits to do their work more effectively?

By the way, can you guess my tagline? “Good questions lead to profitable answers.” What’s yours?

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Understanding How Organizations Communicate Socially, Virtually, or Not At All

Two-way communication, photo by Jacob Botter

Two-way communication, photo by Jacob Botter

In my last post, I spoke about assessing your current communications strategy before you begin your social media strategy. I’d like to expand on that by sharing with you my own questionnaire that I use at the initial client meeting. I use this questionnaire to consider how the organization currently engages, listens and respects its stakeholders. I also look at the overall communications strategy that the organization uses (or lack thereof). My initial questionnaire is as follows:

1. Who are your stakeholders? Please describe each stakeholder group including their relationship to the organization, total numbers, demographics and activities with your organization.

2. What is your current communication strategy with each group? How do you communicate with them (by email, newsletters, reports, general meetings, proprietary closed online network discussion, surveys, etc)? How often?

3. What are the methods/tools that your stakeholders can use to easily communicate with you?

4. How do you integrate feedback from your stakeholder groups?

What I am looking for are the answers to these specific considerations:

  • does the organization communicate regularly with its stakeholders groups (all of them!)?
  • does the organization make it easy for the stakeholders to communicate with it?
  • does the organization invite critique and ideas?
  • does the organization integrate stakeholder feedback?
  • does the organization have a communication strategy for each stakeholder group?

I then divide each organization into the following categories:

  • Limited Communicators: those who do not engage in routine stakeholder communications and do not have an existing communication strategy.
  • Hyper-focused Communicators: those who communicate regularly with just one or two stakeholder groups, but not all of them. This is usually the case of an organization that prioritizes communicating with funders or a membership base, but ignores regular communication with other stakeholder groups.
  • Passive Communicators: those who create rote, one-way, regular, informative communications. Examples of these would include an annual report, announcements in the newspaper of the general meeting, email alerts in times of need, or publicity events.
  • Tactical Communicators: these organizations have implementing many dynamic communication tools (blogs, yahoo member groups, facebook groups, etc) but have not elaborated their goals for the communication strategy.

Often, organizations are a combination of two types.  Categorizing organizations helps me to understand how they currently view their stakeholders and currently communicate, and whether or not they have a communication strategy.

Once I’ve assessed an organization, I work with them to elaborate specific strategic goals they they want to achieve with each stakeholder group. Once these realistic goals are set, then we create a cohesive communication strategy that integrates improving current communications and defining what (if any) social media strategies would meaningfully move the organization towards achieving its benchmarking goals for each stakeholder group.

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