I’ve heard similar lines over the last few years…
- Our volunteers aren’t really on Twitter.
- Social media isn’t my thing.
- I don’t see how Tweets matter?
- Our volunteers want to tweet but don’t know how.
You might know it has been an evolution of reasons why the supporters of your organizations or campaigns aren’t using twitter to support the cause. Four years ago when I first started talking to volunteers about getting on Twitter it looked like I was speaking a foreign language. Yet, here we are four years on and most people know it could or should matter if they tweet. But I still hear, “Our volunteers aren’t really on Twitter” or “Our volunteers want to tweet but don’t know how.”
In 2010 after the midterms I was with the Democratic National Committee and we hosted our first professional development Twitter training with @sara_ela and @SaraLang. The purpose of that training was to give people an introductory walk through of Twitter and a solid connection to how it was applicable to their work. Creating a connection between the tool and the goals of the organization is key.
As sophistication grew so did the trainings. Eventually I worked with others to create Twitter 201 for advanced users to give them tips and introduce them to apps, photo best practices, and more. But we continued to offer the introductory trainings as well. The truth is we never got all of our most dedicated volunteers tweeting, quite frankly far from it. But what we did was move enough people that critical inch forward. A story never told from the media or campaign was the ability to drive trends in cities and source truly local content from volunteers and supporters, because of these trainings.
Here’s how it’s applicable to every organization, they all want to do one or more of these things:
- Get your message heard.
- Influence the conversation around your issues or campaign.
- Earn media coverage.
- Source local content and images.
A real barrier is supporters not on Twitter or not feeling comfortable with the tool. Let’s be honest Twitter does a pretty great job of walking new people through the process and has a great system of support. But for what ever the reason they aren’t on Twitter yet or aren’t talking about your organization yet, that’s on you. You need to make the investment in your supporters in time and possibly other resources to get them to take that next step.
The next steps for you should look something like this…
- Identify who your core supporters are.
- Decide what level or levels of training they need.
- Determine who you have to train them.
- Schedule and execute trainings.
- Check goals, evaluate, reshape, train again.
- Train, Tweet, Win!
If you’re lost and don’t know how to get started don’t worry there is a growing list of talented people looking to help others Train, Tweet, Win! And I’m happy to connect you.