Tweet Me….Please?

Picture via Twitter.com

How can nonprofits, or anyone in that matter, gather more Twitter followers when there are literally millions of people who are Tweeting everyday about everything under the sun? When pondering over this question I simply asked my teenage daughter how she gains followers on Twitter. Her simplistic answer, “just ask them to follow you in your bio and they will”, made me realize I was making this challenge harder than it really is.  It is extremely competitive within the social media aspects but I am going to take a different way of looking at how we can get new Tweets and not get overwhelmed.

I went searching on the internet for great advice and found sites and blogs that offered ideas such as the site by James Blute featuring 7 Twitter Marketing Tips. His insight was helpful and for a newcomer to the social media world I really appreciated his easy to follow tips.

Basically I had to start really thinking about the audience I want to attract to my cause. In my case, I am extremely new to Twitter but since I am a passionate cancer awareness advocate and want to get the word out to as many people I can in a very short period of time, I needed to learn how to Tweet and wanted to gain as many followers as possible to start. So to get followers you must follow others that are in the same field/cause you are in.

Start by doing a search in Twitter using target words that are in your cause that you feel your audience will be following. Do your homework and really read over their bios, look at what others are Tweeting about and if you like what you see then start following them.  Sometimes if you Retweet something you have the chance of gaining them as a follower in the future. Some view it as a form of flattery and will appreciate the Retweet.  It’s kind of like an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” scenario and we really need to tap into it especially in the nonprofit realm.

Another way to gain followers is to use the pound symbol (#) Twitter calls the hash tag. This will tag the word you pair it with and when others (like yourself in the beginning) are searching for target words they will find your Tweets and could possibly start following you. It’s really that simple. There are many ways to gather new followers such as noted in this great blog I found at 20 Social Media Resources For Nonprofits posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly.  It not only helped me find more resources, but it gave me great ideas on how to gain more followers on Twitter, gave me a list of people/groups that I should be following as well and helpful hints on using more social media that I have never thought about using before.

The world is out there waiting for you to grab it, you just have to ask yourself if you are going to be the first to hook or cast. Get to Tweeting my friends!

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Social Media Within the Non-Profit World

Photo is from Reach to Recovery site for American Cancer Society

It truly is a jungle out there in the world of social media. A mass of information can be found with a click of your TV remote, car radio, cellular phone, computer, and with the millions of sites that can be viewed can be overwhelming at times. How does social media impact public relations for non-profits organizations?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) uses media and social networking to advocate cancer awareness to reach millions of worldwide cancer survivors, newly diagnosed cancer patients, researchers, doctors, media, and the general public. The ACS utilizes social media to educate the general public on exercise, health, cancer research, assist with funding and much more. On any given day the ACS utilizes and maintains 7 Facebook pages, 9 separate Twitter accounts, a YouTube channel, an ACS app for iPhones, My Space page, and of course their main website at www.cancer.org.  Social media has allowed non-profits to reach a broad audience enabling them to educate themselves on the warnings signs and detect certain cancers before diagnosed to prevent this deadly disease.  This has the potential to save millions of lives.

The ACS also uses social media outlets as a way to fundraise to help in the assistance of cancer research expenses. Personally I have used this method time and again to raise funds within my network of friends and family via emails, texting, Facebook page, and the use of the YouTube videos on the ACS YouTube Channel to share with others to gain interest for potential volunteers and donors as well. Without social media in the non-profit realm, fundraising would be drastically different.  There is nothing like a good old fashioned face-to-face meeting to supplement that personal touch, but by use of social media I can reach 30 people in 5 minutes, share my passion in a quick personal message and link a video to add that extra touch to reel in my audience hoping they will be hooked and donate to the cause. This method has actually worked for me in the past as I gained $75 in 5 minutes by only sending a personal email out to 5 friends. Social media made it easy using the ACS account info to link their payment options all within a click of a few buttons. Who knows maybe those few dollars I raised are the ones that will find a cure cancer one day.

Resources:  http://pressroom.cancer.org/index.php?s=63 ACS Press Room Social Media page

Goodbye to my “little bro” Pooky!

I was blessed yesterday to have the opportunity to say goodbye to my little “bro” Pooky before he went to doggie Heaven. My parents got him after years of having that empty nest feeling when me and my sis moved out of their house.  He was an awesome little guy for sure.  Pooky provided love, companionship and comfort to them while they both fought their cancer battles throughout the years. He loved to camp and go for his evening stroll through the neighboorhood which was very therapeutic for my dad as well as they were two peas in a pod. Pooky was the son my dad never had.
Pooky, you will be missed but will absolutely never be forgotten. The unconditional love you gave mom and dad for the past 14 years was very special. Thanks for being the best little bro a big sis could ever ask for.  I love you!

It’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to!

I love modern technology!  Having just over 160 birthday well wishes on Facebook just floors me.  I am still very new in the social media world other than FB so this is all so overwhelming but wonderful at the same time.  In my blogs you will learn that I love to advocate cancer awareness so hear it goes:  Did you know that Sept is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, Thyroid Cancer Awareness month, Prostate Cancer Awareness month and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness month???  Well you do now.  Please go to www.cancer.org to learn of these types of cancer and how you can avoid them!  Take care of yourselves!