Lauren Bejot is a guest contributor for Nonprofit Hub. She is a social media strategist at Firespring, providing custom analyses and recommendations to clients and developing social media marketing strategies for the Firespring brand.
There’s no doubt that Twitter can be an effective way to engage with your constituents and spread the word about your cause. If you commit to tweeting (and/or retweeting) at least twice a day and really learn to enjoy it, then your efforts will likely pay off in increased brand recognition, referral traffic, new donors, volunteers and event attendees.
But before you compose that next message, know this: Not all tweets are created equally. There’s actually a right and wrong way to use Twitter. You may unknowingly be making a handful of easily correctable mistakes that could limit your influence and reach as well as hurt your brand.
No need to worry. Most Twitter faux pas are easy to fix. Here are five common Twitter missteps and what to do differently.
1. You Aren’t Using Hashtags Properly
You can fill any tweet with hashtags for any topics, but don’t tag just any old thing—be strategic. Pay attention to what’s trending on Twitter and use hashtags to get in on those conversations in a natural, authentic way. This gives you great exposure to new people and communities. But be warned: Using more than two hashtags in a tweet will decrease your retweet rate.
2. You Aren’t Tweeting on the Weekends
The vast majority of brands do not tweet on the weekends, which is why it’s much easier to stand out if you do. Using a tool like Buffer, you can schedule tweets in advance without actually having to work on Saturday and Sunday. Schedule at least one tweet each weekend day to increase your reach and exposure. Buffer also enables nonprofits that want to build an international network to tweet on 24-hour schedule.
3. You Aren’t Posting Pictures
Pictures are one of the most important ways to send tweets today. Why? Images are engaging. A picture is like a sneak peek and it’s far more compelling than just a URL link to your blog or other content. The ideal image size for uploaded images on Twitter is 525 x 262 pixels. This size ensures that there is no cropping of your uploaded images on both the desktop and mobile versions of Twitter. Cropped images receive significantly fewer retweets.
For the rest of Lauren’s Twitter tips, check out the full article on Firespring.org.