tweet-155281_640Engaging with your supporters in real-time can be problematic when you are solely focused on traditional channels such as email and the comments section of your NFP’s blog. Twitter chats are a great way to start conversations and exchange ideas around a central topic. The following tips will help you to make the most of your chat sessions on Twitter.

Use Hashtags to Make it Easier for Supporters to Participate

The easiest way for you and your supporters to keep track of all the threads in your twitter chat is to use a hashtag specifically created for the event.

Use Images to Promote Your Event

While you could just send out a text-containing tweet to let your supporters know about an upcoming chat, using an image to create your own graphic to publicise the event encourages greater sharing on social media. When creating your graphic, its always a good idea to include headshots of your guest speakers, along with your NFP’s logo, the event hashtag, as well as the date and time. Share your event on your Twitter page, along with your other social media accounts to increase the reach of your message. It will boost the chance that you will attract new supporters to the chat.

Customise Prepard Remarks to Reduce Lags in the Chat

Many interviewers provide a list of potential questions to their guests to help them prepare for the event. Even if you haven’t been given an official set, try to anticipate at least some of the topics you might be asked about during the chat, and come up with some prepared responses to help keep the conversation going.

Never send any of these “canned” responses out automatically. Instead, take the time to personalise them, using a participant’s name, or responding to a direct message to increase the sense of connection and community between you and the other participants in the chat. Don’t forget to use your event hashtag in every response.

Use GIFS, Infographics and Other Images Throughout the Chat

Inject some fun and keep your Twitter followers interested in what you have to say by tweeting some GIFs and infographics during the chat that relate back to the main topic.

Use Best Practices to Encourage Others in the NFP Sector to Share and Retweet

In addition to preparing for specific events, don’t forget to use the following tips to encourage other professionals in the nonprofit sphere to share your events and retweet your most engaging comments to increase the reach of your messaging.

To help you out, it’s a good idea to follow other Twitter users in the not-for-profit community, especially those organisations that are similar to yours. Encourage engagement with these NFPs by retweeting their posts, sharing their events and participating in their Twitter chats! This way, you can help other NFPs build their audience while increasing yours at the same time!

While the text limit has been increased, it still pays to be concise. Choose your words carefully. Include links in your tweets so that followers can easily click to learn more about specific topics. Take the time to make sure that the content that you are sharing via your chats is relevant to your audience, including material that is created by others.

Does your nonprofit host Twitter chats?