Calling all non profits and public sector marketers… check out Twitter

If you not heard about Twitter , YOU HAVE PROBABLY HIDING IN A CAVE OR WORK FOR A GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION DOES NOT ALLOW THEIR EMPLOYEES ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA. So let me help you with some information.  Twitter is one of the fast growing online platforms that is being used for marketing and communications.  It can be used as a marketing tool, but you must do it right by following the Twitter etiquette in order to be effective.

Like much of social media… it’s another ear to the ground, another touch point, another “opportunity to build relationships,”. It’s a new and emerging platform that’s only now finding its footing: there’s a lot of garbage you have to wade through, at times, and it’s sometimes unreliable but you have to be there or miss the proverbial boat.

According to Douglas McIntyre at Time Magazine  micro blogging platform Twitter has 32 million users, an increase from about 2 million a year ago, according to research mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. Some Internet measurement services show that figure increasing 50% to 100% month over month. While it is not clear that Twitter will become as large as social networks MySpace and Facebook or video-sharing site YouTube, the company could certainly have 50 million visitors by the end of the year.Twitter can be used with ease on both PCs and mobile devices, and limits users to very short messages of 140 characters or fewer ( which for me is a real challenge), it has become one of the largest platforms in the world for sharing real-time data.

As Twitter grows, it will increasingly become a place where organizations  build brands, do research, send information to their target audiences , and most important for public sector and non profit marketers community engagement. There is a possibility that Twitter like the whole field of social media will transform your organization. But I fear that public sector  and non profit marketers will be slow off the mark. It really bugs me that these 2 sectors are always the last ones to get on board with  new marketing vehicles. Can you believe that there are public sector organizations that have banned the access of social media . HOW SHORTSIGHTED!

For Twitter to be a part of an organizations communication efforts they need to allow their clients and stakeholders to "follow" them on Twitter. That allows them to choose which organization they are willing to get messages directly from.

McIntyre makes some very good points, he states while Twitter may be great value  for using Twitter to communicate with its audiences, the danger is that the Twitter community could turn against a marketer viewed as being too crass by being relentlessly self-promoting. Twitter users have set up their own rules of conduct when using the service, not unlike those with MySpace and Facebook. These rules were not put together by Twitter itself, which mandates only rules of use. Like many social-network sites, Twitter is self-governed by its members, and organizations must take that into account .

Twitter is  in the early stages of development, but if I was a betting man I predict that many organizations will use it as  a marketing tool. Twitter will probably evolve into both a community of individuals and a community of organizations who want to have ongoing communications with their audiences. 

Finally like all social media tools , you need a strategy before you use tactics like twitter. Too often at the Centre for Public Sector Marketing we see organizations trying to apply social media tactics with out a marketing strategy. Big Mistake!!! My colleague Mike Kujawski runs a great blog and gives workshops and courses on how to use social media as a marketing tool for public sector and non profit organizations. Check out his blog. 

Oh yes! if you want to follow me on twitter go to

Happy twittering or should I sat tweeting



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