twitter followers

3 Ways to Grow Twitter Followers Without Spending Money

It’s no secret: Nonprofits face unique challenges when it comes to social media marketing. With limited budget and time allocation, it can be exceptionally challenging to effectively market your cause, raise money, and build loyal and engaged audiences, including Twitter followers. To make matters worse, it has become increasingly difficult to reach the right audiences on many social media platforms today without spending a significant chunk of money.

The good news is that with the right strategy, building an engaged following on Twitter organically can be done. Here are three ways you can effectively grow Twitter followers without spending any money.

Host a Twitter chat. 

It’s far less intimidating than it sounds. A Twitter chat is a great way to encourage conversations around your cause, share valuable information with followers, and build relationships with relevant organizations and thought leaders.

Not totally comfortable hosting your own Twitter chat? Start by participating in one! You can still have meaningful conversations and promote your cause–while getting your hands dirty and getting the sense of how Twitter chats work.

twitter followers

Pro tip: Make sure that you do most of your legwork in advance. Prepare promotional graphics and/or messaging, line up participating individuals/organizations, and share your questions with participants. You’ll have a much smoother experience, and so will everyone you invite to participate. Trust me.

Share visual content.

In March of 2014, Twitter found that photos average a 35% boost in Retweets, and videos get a 28% boost. This isn’t news to anyone who works in social media marketing, but it’s certainly good reinforcement: visual content simply performs better, no matter the platform.

Does your nonprofit provide clean water to impoverished communities? Share a photo! Did your staff recently get together for a holiday party? Share a short video! Just edit out the coworker who’s had a bit too much eggnog and thank me later. Get creative! The opportunities are truly endless and are well worth the .000004 seconds it takes to upload a visual. Especially now, with this brilliant way to schedule native Twitter videos.

twitter followers

Pro tip: Twitter recently announced expanded images, which means that users don’t need to click a link to see an attached image. If this isn’t added reinforcement to start adding visual content, I don’t know what is. Maybe puppies. I’ll work on that. In the meantime, learn more about the announcement from Buffer.

Cultivate meaningful relationships.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news for some of you, but to effectively market on social media, you have to be social. You have to share your passion with others, and you have to have conversations. Not only is relationship-building an opportunity to build an engaged community, but it can also help you curate valuable content to share with your following. And, you never know what opportunities lie in simple relationship-building, and how it can help amplify the work of your nonprofit–whether it’s a partnership opportunity, a way to leverage brand ambassadors who will loyally share your work with their followings, or otherwise.

Have a follower who regularly tweets about things that fall under your issue area? Follow them. Is there a thought leader in your industry whose content is inspiring, informative, and engaging? Reach out to her.

twitter followers

Pro tip: Get organized. As you aggressively seek out valuable individuals or organizations to engage with on the space, make a Google spreadsheet where all members of your team can make additions and note any valuable interactions. Build Twitter lists based on whichever organizational value you’d like. Here’s how.

Finally, experiment, experiment, experiment.

Don’t get stuck. Use smart analytics to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. If something isn’t working, shift gears. If something is working, duplicate your success. Stay creative and keep trying different ways to market your content, whether your goal is driving engagement or building traffic to your website.

For more best practices for nonprofits on Twitter, check out this infographic.

Want to stay ahead of social media news and trends for your nonprofit? Follow Media Cause on Twitter and Facebook.

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