Every End has a Start

This is the start of Still Malcolm – a chance for me to share my Social Media knowledge and experience to help nonprofit and charity organisations build their online presence.

Having spent over ten years creating content for businesses, government agencies and NGOs I’ve just been offered a dream job as the Director of Social Media for a new nonprofit. There will be plenty of time for me to get into the details of my new role, but suffice to say I am looking forward to promoting a cause I believe in, rather than ghostwriting tweets for Venture Capitalists and energy drink salesmen.

Social Bro - analyze your audience

How to Grow on Twitter – Social Bro: Part 1, Targeted Following

There are more than 200 million active users on Twitter every month. A fair few of them may be interested in your charity or nonprofit, but sending out Tweets in the hope that they will stumble upon you is a bit like flying over New York and dropping a single flyer for your next event.

Rocking Twitter Logo

Instead of broadcasting to an empty room, start engaging with the people on Twitter who might actually want to hear what you have to say. By following people who are already tweeting about your niche, who have your interests in their bio, or are in your area there’s a good chance that some of them are going to follow you back.

While you are growing your account you are only allowed to follow 2,000 people. You want to make sure that those 2,000 people are interested in you and your ideas, that they tweet regularly, that they have an audience… and that they follow back. Sure, Barack Obama has millions of followers – but it’s unlikely he is going to ever follow you, let alone interact with your posts.

Who should you follow?

1. Follow people who already have a decent amount of followers so you get value from their retweets

2. Follow people who follow back – check their ratio to see that they actually follow back their followers.

3. Follow people who have tweeted recently so you know they are active

4. Follow people who speak your language

But most importantly..

5. Follow people who are likely to engage with you, and will share your content

How do I find them?

Now that you have these people in mind – how on earth (or how on Twitter) are you going to find them? You could search for hashtags, and conversations, then click through to each user and see their followers and when they last tweeted – but every nonprofit and charity I know doesn’t have the time for that.

A great tool to do the hard work for you is SocialBro. It lets you filter through all the millions of users on Twitter. With a minimum of effort you can find your first 2,000 to follow. Once you start interacting with them, sharing their stories, answering their questions, then you will gain more followers yourself – and you’ll soon be able to follow even more people who might be interested in your organisation.

Get a free trial for SocialBro, free webinar and access to private SocialBro groups

Download a Free 15 day trial of SocialBro here. Ind you will be invited to a free webinar  by Twitter expert Jorgen Poulsen and be invited into his private groups with people only using SocialBro.

He likes to say that your first day with SocialBro is like sitting in the front of a 747 cockpit surrounded by dials that you don’t know how to work. Don’t let that be your SocialBro experience. I for one have already benefited from the webinar, and the constant flow of information and good ideas from the group members.

If you want to add me to your first 2000 – follow me @stillmalcolm If you sign up through Jorgen – I will see you in the group.

Start Sharing – with Triberr: Not another first blog post

Photo Credit: Jake and Lindsay

Instead of spending the whole of this post justifying this new blog I shall start as I mean to go on. Helping you get the most for your nonprofit in social media:

Let me introduce you to Triberr

Triberr.com is an essential starting place for anyone looking to grow their blog. You join Tribes who will share your content in their Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook feeds.

You might think that I’m trying to get you to sign up to yet another social media network that you don’t have time for – but actually it’s a site that can save you time. Not only is there a good chance that each of your blog posts will get shared to a new audience, you can pick and choose from interesting stories from your new tribe mates and post those to your own stream.

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’ The Talmud

You join Triberr by authorising the site to access your Twitter account. It’s fine, as long as you choose the right Tribes – avoid the ones with automatic posting – you are going to have full control over what gets tweeted on your behalf. The more reach that you have – you can add Facebook and Linkedin too – the more invites you are going to get to join different Tribes.

So you join the site, then you need to start joining Tribes. It’s pretty simple, you can search by category, or look in the forums for people advertising for members. When you first join a tribe people won’t be able to share your posts. You need to be promoted within the tribe – which can be a bit hit and miss – before your blog will show up for everyone else.

Which Tribes Should you Join?

You can either join Tribes whose tribe members have a combined reach in the millions, with a chance that you’ll never get promoted, or join smaller tribes who will promote you a lot more quickly. The main thing to do is to join up with groups that are actually relevant to what you blog is all about. Find Tribes dedicated to good causes and it’s much more likely that once you start being active within the group the tribe leader will see you have something shareworthy, and you’ll be invited to share your blog.

If you get promoted it’s up to you to make sure you have great titles to each and every one of your blog posts. This is what your tribe mates are going to be judging you on. It’s a quick and easy system, your posts will be in their stream alongside every other blogger who has been promoted in their Tribe, and if they like the look of what you have to say, they can choose to Approve your post. It will go out in their feed alongside your Twitter handle. Once people know they can rely on your for high quality stories you may find they forward each and every one of your posts.