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6. Tweet about it

April 6, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday, and reported in a blog post that it currently has 140 million active users. That’s a pretty big number! Even if we retain some scepticism about Twitter’s own definition of “active”, we can be sure that there are a lot of people who use it.

It’s a charity’s dream to be able to spread its message to this many people. Twestival’s a great example; if you aren’t familiar with the idea, it’s about using the power of social media on one day in a year to connect cities and groups, collaborating for the same purpose. Here’s some info about the first one:

Over one billion people on the planet do not have access to clean and safe drinking water. That is one in six of us. The inaugural Twestival Global on February 12, 2009 highlighted this important cause in 202 cities that hosted events and carried the message of charity: water. The events, which were organized under very short timescales raised $264k, resulting in 55 wells for over 18,000 people in Ethiopia, Uganda and India.


That just goes to show how powerful Twitter can be, as an aid to raising awareness and sparking action. Charities would love it if they could reach more people, but obviously, they’re tweeting to people who are following them, and are therefore probably already aware of the issues and interested in helping. It’s great when one of these followers re-tweets, because that means that other people are exposed to the charity’s message. And do you know what’s great about that? Well, a message coming from somebody you know is five times more likely to trigger an action than a charity approaching you directly.

Just Coz has this figured out. This is a platform that allows people to donate their tweets, so a charity or non-profit can send up to one tweet a day on their behalf. Most charities won’t use it that often, but when they do, they’ll reach so many more people then usual. Just Coz provides this handy illustration:

As you can see, when the charity uses Just Coz, everybody who’s indicated that they would like to donate tweets for that charity will send out a tweet on their behalf, automatically.

In my opinion, it would be far better for people to write their own, personalised tweets, but then far fewer would be sent out. I think that Just Coz is a good balance, and if people with a fair number of followers sign up, then it could make a big difference, particularly to smaller charities that struggle to get their name out there.

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