May 12, 2009

Tweeting on Tuesday Yet?

twitter-logo.jpgSay whatever you like about social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter -- and the overabundance of information they generate -- but for cash-strapped nonprofits, they offer enticing ways of putting your message in front of more people's eyeballs, for free.

If you're the time-stressed person in charge of creating material for such online forays, you'll appreciate that Twitter is (at least for today), the most time-efficient of them all, with its mandate that you restrict your update messages to 140 characters. And now there's a new twist (or is that "tweest"?): Charity Tuesdays.

Through some grassroots organic process, Tweeters have started a nonprofit-themed meme and have been posting updates about their favorite charities on Tuesday. They tag the message with "#charitytuesday" so that others can easily search for these entries, and the phrase will appear in the right column of the site under the top 10 "trending topics" if enough people use it (as has been the case today).

There's nothing to stop you, as a nonprofit, from posting your own Charity Tuesday messages about your work. Just encouraging people to support your cause may be enough, though the catchier you can make your entry, the better. Hint: It's better to say something pointing directly to the cause, like, "Help hungry kids or animals," than to say "Support our group." And if other individuals like your phrasing or your cause enough, they'll even retweet your message!

Here are some sample tweets that show a couple of ways the #charitytuesday tag has been used: