Gaining the upper hand with Twitter retweets for nonprofit fundraising marketing | Miratel Solutions

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Gaining retweets for nonprofit fundraising marketing

Last week we looked at some of the changes to Twitter that are in the pipeline and how they may impact your use of the tool in your social media strategy for nonprofit fundraising. What I feel is very good news is that Twitter do not sit still, but instead refine how they can become more effective and popular for networking, branding and building an audience which in the case of donor acquisition is vital to our business sector.

A very important topic when it comes to finding new followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook is the ability for an update to ‘go viral’ and thus be exposed to a new audience for the first time, in the case of Twitter this can be most effectively achieved via a retweet (someone sharing your tweet – imagine the possibilities if they have 56,000 followers and you have 560 for example). It is that sort of exposure that can accelerate the growth of your audience more rapidly than the steady addition of a handful of followers each week.

So how can you achieve more retweets? There is no easy solution to this of course, but it all begins with the value of your content and the interest in it. If you provide information or a viewpoint that is unique to your organization then that potential is already higher, but how and when you tweet also plays a part.

Twitter activity, day of the week – A study by Trackmaven shows that Twitter is significantly more active Monday through Friday with Wednesday, Tuesday and Thursday being the busiest days. The weekend decline is far more  pronounced than on other social media channels which reinforces the fact Twitter remains a business-centric tool.

Twitter activity, time of day – The most active hours (North America) on Twitter are between 11am-4pm EST which show a sharp increase in Twitter activity. After 4pm the decline in activity is rapid, but of course this is a less of a concern if your existing or potential audience is global. The peak hour for Twitter use is 12pm-1pm EST – a quick glance during lunch for many I would assume.

Retweets, day of the week – This is where it gets interesting. Although the overall use of Twitter peaks during the days and times explained above the highest days for retweet rates are Thursday and Sunday, with Saturday and Wednesday being the slowest days of the week. People will retweet when they have extended time to really review their feeds, not automatically during the most active days on Twitter.

The data on the chart below demonstrates this, retweets show the number of retweets per 1,000 follower per day (red line) – versus the overall percentage of weekly Twitter per day (blue line).

data courtesy trackmaven (

data courtesy trackmaven (

Retweets, time of day – Again in contrast to the busiest times for Twitter use, the peak for retweets comes much later in the day from 8pm until 1am – peaking between 10 and 11 at night. I mention this because you may be tempted to tweet when activity is highest however your tweet will show as ‘most recent’ if you post in the evening – exposing itself better to the retweet audience.

Importance of #hashtags – Tweets with zero hashtags rarely get retweets which makes sense as they are initially harder to find. In fact overall the more hashtags used (keep them relevant) the better. Posts that include three to seven hashtags receiving the most retweets.

Importance of images – Tweets that include images are a remarkable three-times more likely to receive retweets than a post without. While it’s not always possible or natural to include an image on a tweet, if you’re sharing an article, blog post or link you should try to include the image. It is safe to say that this key difference will remain or even grow when Twitter changes the homepage platform (see last weeks post to learn why).

twitter4As with all social media tips I recommend creating a reporting structure that allows you to benchmark the before and after impact of changing your technique. If Twitter is a major tool for you in donor acquisition try modifying when you tweet and what you tweet plus give deep consideration to your hashtags and measure your new and improved results.

I welcome other suggestions and your experiences concerning Twitter in general or specifically building your retweets.

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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