Posted in Blog News, I'm an IO doing this!

Things to think about when planning to tweet

This guest post is from Marie Faulkner, the Online Engagement Officer for the NCVO BIG Assist programme.Marie will be attending VCSSCamp.

At Big Assist we hear from infrastructure organisations every day, grappling with how to better market themselves and communicate their impact. 72 organisations have received vouchers from us for everything from getting support in writing a new communication strategy to constructing a new brand identity. To date we’ve awarded £228,000 to these organisations in marketing, social media becoming a big part in their plans.

I went to VCSSCamp last year, and I really enjoyed talking to the infrastructure organisations I met specifically about social media. I am always totally inspired by the work being done by front line organisations but in many ways infrastructure have other things to consider. So I thought i’d share the things I’ve considered myself and with colleagues about Tweeting in the hope that others have too and we can talk about them at this year’s event.

Things I ask myself when I tweet

  1. Is this for my target audience?
  2. Why and what is most useful? Mostly advice and support stuff? We are membership organisations – what do members want from us? Do they want to hear about things on the ground or are they more interested in organisational development.
  3. It’s OK that I don’t get the same amount of retweets as @38degrees or @savethechildren because our primary audience is busy people at work, doing their 9-5 jobs. Posting during commuting times and after work has shown some improvements in clicks.
  4. I wish my content was more fluffy and emotive sometimes but should I be writing about issues that aren’t in our organisational strategy? Lots of people are talking about this stuff – will I be invisible if I do anyway?
  5. It’s harder to talk about our own impact.

So, how do you all do it?

People I’ve spoken to who are doing it well…

Our customer consultant Julie has seen many infrastructure organisations working towards being able to demonstrate their impact through social media and use the networks to connect with other organisations and sectors.

For inspiration, there are some good case studies from infrastructure organisations using social media well – West Norfolk Voluntary and Community Action, Dudley Volunteer Centre and Voice 4 Change England.

And some how-to guides that have helped me along the way
These are worth a read if you want further guidance.

I look forward to seeing you all!

If anyone coming to VCSSCamp wants to talk to me about applying for vouchers from BIG Assist, or if there’s interest in a session about help for infrastructure, I’m always happy to chat about it – I’m @BIGAssist on Twitter.


I've worked in the voluntary sector listening to people and helping them use technology for 17 years and believe strongly that people come first and technology second. I'm always learning from people I talk to at meet-ups and bring experience of running the NetSquared Midlands Meet-up, VCSSCamp unconferences and many social media surgeries. I'm also the UK & Europe contact for the NetSquared Tech for Social Good meet ups. I connect people and communities to get the most from technology and the web. I like listening, linking and real beer & hate seeing the wheel being reinvented and sweetcorn.

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