5 Ways to Avoid Annoying Your Nonprofit’s Twitter Followers

Avoid Annoying Nonprofit Twitter Followers

Twitter can be tough.  Maybe you’ve been there before, crafting what you knew would be the perfect Tweet sure to throw your followers into a retweeting frenzy, only to have it go seemingly unnoticed.  Keep your head up – it’s happened to us all.

Getting followers can be just as illusive.  There are a wide variety of things you can do to promote follower growth.  But that’s not what this post is all about.  This post is about keeping those followers you already have.

The last thing you want to do is woo new followers only to annoy them into quickly leaving you behind.  Here are five ways you can avoid doing just that.

1.  Focus on Offering Value to Your Followers

It’s important to remember your Twitter followers are tracking you in order to gain some value from the content you share.  Sure, they’re likely interested in your mission and organization as a whole.  But if you bug them with pure self-promotion, there’s a good chance they’re going to stop following you.

Instead, focus on sharing mostly information they’re going to find interesting.  Make sure it relates to your cause in some way, but it need not be about your organization.  Share relevant news or interesting blog posts related to your mission.

If you do so, you can still sprinkle in a healthy dose of info about yourself without being annoying.

A couple of great examples:

2.  Reframe Your Self-Promotional Tweets

Sometimes you’ll want to promote yourself.  Whether it’s the good you’re doing in the community, an upcoming event or a fundraising campaign, social media can be a great way to spread the word.

But mix up the way you promote yourself.  Don’t always tell your followers “Hey, we have something for you to do!  Please do it!!”  Change it up a little.

An example will help illustrate this point.  Here are a few ways you could promote an upcoming event:

  • Talk about how excited you are for the event
  • Share what people can expect if they attend the event
  • Tell your followers how much it means to you and your community that so many people are signing up for the event
  • Discuss the impact the event will have
  • Thank individual people for signing up
  • Thank individual people for helping to promote the event or spreading the word via social media

By reframing some of your self-promotion you can avoid seeming as if you’re always asking your followers for things.  And that can go a long way.

A couple of great examples:

3.  Remind Followers Why They Support You

Twitter can be a great tool to remind your followers why they love your organization.  Instead of just plugging how they can help, remind them of the amazing things you’re doing in the world.

Share quotes and photos from the communities you serve.  Share short videos using Twitter’s Vine app.  Link to posts on your blog that highlight stories of success.  Simply put, share some of the things that make you awesome.

A couple of great examples:

4.  Share Content From Others

I used to teach Kindergarten, so I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had conversations about sharing as an indication you care about others.  But it’s just as true on Twitter as it is on the playground.

Retweet content that others share.  And not only the content that talks directly about your nonprofit.  Share content from others that’s related to your mission but doesn’t mention your organization.  Share content from your partner organizations.  Share relevant news from a variety of sources.

After all, sharing should be a priority long after you graduate to the first grade.

A great example:

5.  Space Out Your Tweets

Most of your followers like you.  But I’d wager most of them don’t like you enough to be repeatedly bombarded by strings of your Tweets.  Instead of blasting a ton of Tweets at your followers, space them out over the course of the day.

You can use a variety of applications like TweetDeck, HootSuite or Buffer to schedule posts.  That way you can avoid annoying your followers by clogging their streams with your content.  But, as a quick aside, don’t simply blast the same messages to all of your social accounts.  If people follow your various accounts (such as Facebook and Twitter) getting the exact same content in multiple places is pretty annoying too.

What annoys you on Twitter?  Any tips you’d like to add to help nonprofits avoid annoying their followers?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Related Reads

Figuring Out Who to Follow on Twitter

Nonprofit Social Media: Defining “Success” For Your Nonprofit

How to Maintain Relationships with Donors Using the Internet

Overcoming the Fear of Feedback

Effectively Using Twitter Lists to Get More Out of Twitter

Image courtesy of Rosaura Ochoa, Flickr