Sometimes the most intimidating thing in your day is a blank space.
Social media marketing best practices say to post, tweet and engage with your audience consistently (we’d recommend tweeting at least twice a day to gain traction), but when you run out of things to talk about, that can be a challenge! Never fear, your copywriter is here—and I am rarely at a loss for words.
First, let’s touch on a few important things to know about Twitter. One, tweets don’t last. I mean, they do in the sense that “everything online lasts forever,” so you do want to make sure everything you put out there reflects your brand and voice. Always. But according to Wiselytics, a tweet has a half-life of just 24 minutes and reaches 75% of its potential engagement in less than three hours. So, you want to tweet often and be compelling. There are millions of other voices vying for attention.
Two, research shows that the best posting times are at 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday if you want to engage businesses, and before 9:00 a.m. at noon and after 5:00 p.m. if you want to engage consumers. Consider these times when you think about your Twitter strategy, then flex your schedule as you learn more about what times get the best results with your followers. Twitter Analytics will help you figure that all out.
Now on to the good stuff: what to tweet about. Here are 20 suggestions for when you get stuck and don’t know what to say. And remember, just because the character limit is 280, it doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. Sometimes brevity is best.
1. Inspirational quotes. People love them, retweet them, and if you add an inspirational image, all the better.
2. Campaign updates. Let donors know how your latest initiative is doing and how close you are to goal.
3. Thank-yous. Seriously, you can’t tell your supporters that enough.
4. Other people’s content. It’s downright tough to create enough original content to always tweet out your own. Don’t be afraid to share other people’s blog posts, videos or articles, especially if they’re relevant to your mission.
5. Schedule an account takeover. That means get one of your most passionate brand evangelists or influencers to tweet for 24 hours for you. Ideally, you’d ask them to manage your account for a day, so they can promote to their network too.
6. Organize a live chat. Live chats are a great way to engage with your audience. They usually last an hour and are promoted about a week in advance. Twitter users interact by following and using the same hashtag. You can invite several guests (ideally experts or influencers), prepare a couple of questions and share them in advance with your guests.
7. Comment on breaking news or a current event from your nonprofit’s distinct perspective.
8. Use no more than two hashtags per tweet. I know—this isn’t a “something,” it’s a tip. But it’s worth mentioning here because lots of people feel like they should add every relevant hashtag to each tweet, but research has shown a 17% decrease in engagement with tweets that have more than two hashtags. #bejudicious
9. Links to your website. A blog post, your resources section, a new fundraising initiative, a campaign update—you choose. Just remember that your website is your main communication hub, more than any social media platform. Drive traffic to it.
10. A glimpse into your work in the community. A photo, a video, a statistic—let people know what you’re doing since they can’t be there to see all the time.
11. Questions. Who’s going to our upcoming event? What are you doing for the holidays? Where are you vacationing this summer? What topics would you like us to cover on our blog? What one change would you like to see on our website? Questions are always a great way to inspire engagement.
12. Other organizations and the great work they’re doing. Share the Twitter love, it’s okay—it won’t send your donors away. If anything, they’ll love you more for being unselfish.
13. Stories about individuals or families you’re helping in the community. Bonus points if they allow you to use a photo.
14. Specific shout-outs. Have a volunteer who went above and beyond? Tweet it. An employee who came up with a money-saving idea? Tweet it. A donor who matched funds for a particular campaign? Tweet it. Not only will those people love that you recognized them, the rest of your followers will take note of how you treat people.
15. Hashtag holidays. Did you know there’s a National Cheese Day? Talk Like a Pirate Day? Best Friends Day? Google “hashtag holidays,” and you’ll find several resources that will show you what the world is celebrating on any particular day. If you can find a funny meme to go along with it, great! It’s not a wasted tweet to simply just make your followers laugh once in a while.
16. Share interesting or practical tips from an event, workshop or presentation that you just attended.
17. Thank-yous to corporate sponsors and businesses you partner with along with a link to their website.
18. A link to a podcast or YouTube channel that shares the same values, goals, interests, etc. as your organization.
19. Tips for local discounts, fun things to do, a grand opening, a community event—anything that shows you’re engaged in your city or town.
20. Retweets! From your followers, other nonprofits, influencers, volunteers or anyone who tweets something you deem as retweet-worthy. You might want to be original, somewhat creative and compelling most times, but once in a while, a retweet is the best way to go.
If you’ve made it this far, great—you now have 20 ideas for tweets to get you by for a bit! But don’t stop here. We have even more great ideas, tips and social media marketing wisdom to pass on for nonprofits just like yours. We’ve been doing this for a while now, and we’d love to help your organization pump up its social media efforts, if that’s what you’re looking for. Give us a holler at 877.447.8941 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.