To Twitter or Not to Twitter….That is the Question

twitter_icons_256Like many people, I have been more than a bit ambivalent about the value of Twitter. While I have a Twitter presence, I have not yet felt compelled to use it. Most of the tweets I read are so uninteresting that I keep asking myself: Why is this channel so popular and why is it growing so fast? Because I believe there must be something going on here that I am just missing, I have been spending a lot more time looking at Twitter to identify its value, especially to nonprofits. I think I am starting to “get it.” For those of you rolling your eyes at my “slowness” at least give me an “E” for effort.

Here are ten reasons (from the bottom up) that your organization should tweet. (With apologies to David Letterman).

10. It’s free and easy to use. Even luddites can handle Twitter.

9. Everyone is using it – or so it seems. Your organization needs to be understood as one that is part of the social media environment. Twitter is the fastest growing social network – you need to be part of it.

8. Young people are on Twitter. If you want to engage them, you have to be where they are.

7. You can post jobs and reach your target audience quickly. You can link to job descriptions. You can also be where your employees are and listen to their tweets and thoughts.

6. You gain exposure for your blogs, website, and your brand. Just offer links to both.

5. You can engage more users with your brand – if you follow the right people. As more people, especially younger adults, make Twitter an important texting stop throughout their day, you will want to be part of their routine.

4. You have an instant feedback mechanism – but you have to monitor and follow your presence. Carefully nurtured, you can build a ready-resource of experts/informants to enhance your knowledge and build your brand as a source of valuable information.

3. You can instantly provide news updates and information to key targets – changes in a program; emergency information, a new and important initiative.

2. It offers a great connection point to all your other channels – the web site, blog, e-newsletters and more.

1. You can get more attention from more people; build your network of followers and become a source for them.

What are your reasons to tweet?

Gail Hyman is a marketing and communications professional, with deep experience in both the public and private sectors. She currently focuses her practice, Gail Hyman Consulting, on assisting Jewish nonprofit organizations increase their ranks of supporters and better leverage their communications in the Web 2.0 environment. Gail is a regular contributor to eJewish Philanthropy.