For an organization relying on donations for their operations, visibility through social media channels like Twitter is essential. Similar to celebrity status, twitter followers indicate fame and influence. Besides, it won’t be too easy reaching out without individuals and various organizations hitting the follow button.
For your NGO to get recognized, try to fit in with the crowd. Research for trending hashtags and join in. Such examples of this would be the #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday hashtags who have both gained much popularity during their peak. Although ThrowbackThursday hashtag has gained its peak back in 2014, it still remains to be one of the top hashtags for Twitter today (Wylie, 2017).
Alongside joining the crowd, NGOs should never forget that they are required to act professional even in the digital world. Some hashtags could be too informal and could confuse followers on what type of business you are running. Examples of informal hashtags could be using hashtags for almost an entire sentence or having really long hashtags, ones that are difficult for your followers to read and understand.
But avoiding informal hashtags and joining in with the crowd will not be enough to gain a huge following. The most important thing is to be creative as well. Create your own hashtags and make sure it is creative enough for people to notice but simple and easy to understand too. One of the most successful examples to follow would be the ALS Association’s #IceBucketChallenge which was able to reach out more than 7 million participants (Trejos, 2017). The #IceBucketChallenge going viral did not happen by accident. It was a well thought of plan who exceeded the expectations of the organizers. Through this hasgtag, the organization was able to raise over USD 115 million (Rogers, 2016) which has helped a vast amount of people suffering from the disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Follow the right organizations
As an NGO, research on organizations within the development sector and media networks to follow on your Twitter account. This way, you will be connected to the right people. Another way of gaining followers on social media sites will be to first and foremost follow others. Tendency is, they might follow you back. In a study conducted by Workmacro, it has been noticed that about 30% of people you follow on social media will follow you back. As much as you’d want your organization to be labelled as one with many “fans” as they call it on Twitter, nobody starts Twitter with more followers to begin with. As everyone starts somewhere, keep following relevant organizations.
For Twitter users, it has been a common thing to like gaining followers. Apart from celebrities or influencers, people have the tendency to like following those who follow them back to gain followers themselves. Word can spread that your organization follows back which will, in turn, help you gain more followers as well.
Retweet relevant content
If there happens to be trending content from other NGOs, possibly NGO funding ideas, try retweeting their content. At current, Twitter has come up with this new feature where you can comment on the retweets you make. This way, it will give you the opportunity to get recognized by more organizations. You never know, philanthropists giving away money or donor agencies for NGOs could be looking into your organization.
Come up with interesting content
This could essentially be the most important and obvious tip for NGOs in gaining followers. In order to be recognized for all your efforts as an organization, constantly update your followers on the happenings inside your organization or about your organization. Apart from the current happenings, show followers the latest developments to your website. More often than not, people won’t be checking your website every single day. Thus, if there are developments or new posts, it’s important that they know of the right times to visit your page.