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Why You Should Be Tweeting for Your Cause


Thursday, 10th December 2015 at 11:14 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
Charity and Not for Profit CEOs are doing their cause a disservice if they are not on Twitter, according to an executive from the social media giant.

Thursday, 10th December 2015
at 11:14 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


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Why You Should Be Tweeting for Your Cause
Thursday, 10th December 2015 at 11:14 am

Charity and Not for Profit CEOs are doing their cause a disservice if they are not on Twitter, according to an executive from the social media giant.

Head of Executive Management at Twitter, Nola Weinstein, was in Melbourne last week to hold an exclusive class with eight Not for Profit CEOs on how best to utilise the media platform.

Weinstein told Pro Bono Australia News that NFPs risked distancing their target audience from their cause if their CEO was not using Twitter effectively.

“People connect with people, we know this,” Weinstein said.

“Twitter is a way for executives and leaders of organisations to humanise their organisation, to humanise the cause, to put a face behind it and to be the embodiment of the values they espouse and best articulate their mission in a way that only actual people can.

“So whether you are someone who is selling consumer goods or you’re organisationally trying to attract donors, humans crave a human connection.

“It’s really important that you have a strong presence on behalf of the organisation, [via the] organisation’s Twitter username and profile, but also that the leadership is accessible and transparent so that you know if you are thinking about supporting someone or going to support them… you know what the leadership stands for and you’re proud to align with that.”

Nola Weinstein. Picture: Xavier Smerdon

Weinstein said it was a “missed opportunity” if an organisation’s CEO was not on Twitter.

“Twitter offers another opportunity to connect and create meaningful messaging. It’s a channel to attract interest, to connect with people, to connect with potential donors, to spread ideas,” she said.

“One of the things I’m proudest of about working at Twitter is how moments turn into movements. You see things happening all over the world where issues start to spiral and people can collectively support and rally behind a cause or idea in a way that was otherwise much harder.

“The world can unify, people can collectively unite with others who share their passion or commitment to a cause in a way that we haven’t seen before. Twitter offers an opportunity for organisations, for leaders, for individuals to connect and really grow their own mission.”

Weinstein said it was important for CEOs and executives to also understand how they were portraying themselves on Twitter.

She said one of the biggest mistakes a leader of an organisation could make when using Twitter was being too contrived.

“I think being authentic is hugely important and letting your passion, personality and point of view shine. When you use things that feel too staged or contrived you lose value,” she said.

“Be authentic. Authenticity is key. Craft your bio and your strategy in a way that’s reflective of the themes that align with your key mission.

“When you follow someone, when you retweet someone, when you reply to someone, one of the first things they’ll look at is who is this person. So you should take some time to craft your bio in a way that’s meaningful but also humanising.

“Your passion and personality should shine. Just having your job title is all well and good, but offering a bit more creates a richer perspective into who you are as a person and why people should take the time to interact with you.”

Looking forward, Weinstein said Twitter would become more video-centric, and charities and NFPs should take advantage of that.

She said some of the best performing videos shared on Twitter were produced by commercial brands.

“I think what we’re seeing more and more of is Twitter is becoming increasingly media forward,” she said.  

“Eighty-two per cent of Twitter users are watching video on Twitter. Ninety per cent of those video views are happening on mobile.

“The same way when you look at a newspaper and your eye gravitates towards the full bleed top image, in a twitter feed you will automatically focus on compelling imagery.

“Using visual assets and visual storytelling will play an important part in Twitter. It started that you were limited to 140 characters and then links to images were included, now images are part of the twitter experience, native video is part of the core twitter experience.

“I think we’ll see more and more ways to take 140 characters further with really rich visual storytelling.”

Media reports this week claimed that Twitter had been testing the way in which tweets were displayed, showing them in order of relevance, rather than in reverse chronological order.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the test, telling the Wall Street Journal that the company was “continuing to explore ways to surface the best content for people using Twitter”.

Weinstein was in Melbourne to talk at a free event organised by Think HQ, a for-profit company that offers public relations and social media strategies for NFPs.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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