Evaluating Mr. (Good)Tweet for Non-Profits

0 Comments 09 February 2009

What do we want out of Twitter? Can the Mr. Tweet help non-profits Twitter better?

I recently signed up for Mr. Tweet, a personal assistant of the robot sorts, who facilitates my search for Twitter connections. A day after signing up, I received a personal email: “Hi there! Mr Tweet, your personal Twitter assistant is ready for work” with a hyperlink for me to follow. After clicking the link, I viewed this screen:

My Twitteristics

My Twitteristics

Mr. Tweet analyzed my Twitter profiles according to a few key measurements:

  • number of links tweeted
  • number of conversation tweets
  • if I usually reply to non-followers, and
  • if I usually follow someone back

In addition, Mr. Tweet also recommends people that I should follow based upon who I am already following.  Recommendations include the “Twitteristics” of each person, and a list of who I also follow that follows the recommended person.

It made me think a bit about what the non-profits I work with want out of Twitter. It’s engagement.

For a non-profit organization, there are a few key reasons to use Twitter:

  • to connect with key donors, foundations and their influencers
  • to deepen stakeholder commitment
  • to publicize your organization and bring in new stakeholders
  • to listen for key words and respond
  • to meet and connect with potential collaborators
  • to converse with colleagues in the same field, and cross-pollinate ideas through Twitter

The National Wildlife Federation’s Danielle Brigida recently elaborated on its Twitter strategy and successes here. It is a fascinating, well-thought out interview with Social Ch@nge. The NWF uses Twitter to listen to conversations, repair reputation issues, publicize articles and events, nudge people towards their social media hubpage, and increased online activism. That’s quite impressive, and shows the potential of Twitter for non-profits.

How can Mr. Tweet help your non-profit? Mr. Tweet can help non-profits find people to follow who might become collaborators, who are colleagues, or possibly donors/investors. Mr. Tweet can help you find key influencers as well. What Mr. Tweet does best is recommend people based upon who you follow — its algorithms are set to analyze the types of people on Twitter that you already follow.  If you mostly follow social media thought leaders, then Mr. Tweet will recommend more of the same. Likewise, if you mostly follow people in your industry. If you want to publicize your organization and bring in new stakeholders, Mr. Tweet’s suggested “influencers relevant to you” could re-tweet, make introductions for you or provide relevant connections.

However, If you are looking for non-profits Twitterers, in general, then you might want to check out Chris Brogan’s creation, Twitter Packs to find others with your specific industry interests or in your specific location. The non-profit Twitter Pack list is here. Or, quite simply, look at the people you consider important colleagues/stakeholders/collaborators and with whom they converse regularly.

Mr. Tweet is a fine robot assistant, but not perfect. If you use it after you’ve been on Twitter a while, then the application will have more information to draw upon. However, it can’t do it all. It can’t find those quality influencers and connectors that everyone you know mentions, but Mr. Tweet may not know. It can’t recommend people outside of your areas of interest, and it doesn’t make introductions.

What would I love Mr. Tweet to do? Add a section showing the websites people in my network most often recommend or link. Show me conversation circles: what are conversational clusters and who usually participates?  Lastly, who (not in my network) most often tweets about others in my network? This information would be valuable to me for finding new connections, new websites and information about my industry, and enhancing my ability to participate in relevant industry conversation.

You have to do all that work yourself. What Mr. Tweet is, is  your general research assistant. And that’s a good beginning. I look forward to hearing if non-profits are finding Mr. Tweet useful, and other suggestions for finding non-profit Twitterers.

And…I look forward to making connections!

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Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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