I’m intrigued by my friend Rachel’s suggestion to blog about Twitter. I know her background is primarily serving nonprofits — and that’s where the “non-traditional” viewpoint comes from. It’s true that contests and customer service have far less applicability when the Twitter account is connected to an association, a charity or a service organization.
Twitter, as in blogging or any online presence representative of ANY organization (corporate, for profit, non profit), should share the stories of the organization.
Those stories can be shared in 140 characters (pro tip: limit to 120 for re-sharing ease) or can link to web content (i.e. blog posts). Ideally, the organization is using Twitter to drive followers to content on the organization’s home base — it’s website — where the engagement and interaction can be measured and managed.
If Twitter followers are inclined to follow organizations only because they’re providing special offers, coupons, contests, etc. then this approach is not going to attract that kind of user. With genuine, regular engagement the interaction will be real and meaningful (contest interaction rarely is).
Remember, with nonprofits, the endgame typically involves fundraising and donations that keep the organization acting on its mission. It’s relationship development, and all interaction, no matter the vehicle, should keep that in mind.