Twitter to the Top: A Pictorial Guide

By Tarah DeSousa

Visual note-taking has never been more virtual. Thanks to Sketchnotes on the Ipad Brushes app, you can upload your sketches for all the world to see.  Check out a few of these simple sketches on social media in general and Twitter specifically, created live during the Social Media Marketing World 2015 conference.


So you’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but are you leveraging their power correctly?  Facebook is the platform for engagement, where you can create a conversation with your constituents.  Don’t try to sell your brand on Facebook, or market your events and programs too heavily, this is what Twitter is for. Create a dialogue on your current happenings and get as much feedback as you can, to strengthen your relationships with donors, volunteers and beneficiaries in order to gain credibility. Informing is a two-way street too, so don’t forget to reply and re-tweet other people and organizations on Twitter, to show followers you are bigger than your brand. Tweet pictures occasionally, but leave the good ones for Instagram, where you can inspire donors and volunteers to act through bright visuals.

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Your lone social media staffer made a boo-boo.  How should you go about damage control?  First, have a system of checks and balances so that you know right when the mistake hits the virtual world. Next, don’t hide under silence and wait for the storm to subside.  Acknowledge your mistake directly, and bring in the people who can handle negative publicity with honesty and class.  You’d be surprised what a truthful public apology can do to smooth over troubled minds.

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Writing is hard, especially when you’re supposed to create distinct messages every single day, in 140 characters or less.  Use your followers as content-creators.  Ask them to tweet their favorite thing about your organization, or an interesting anecdote that relates to your mission.  Leverage the power of the Twittersphere to produce messages for you.  And remember, you can’t do it all, so don’t.  Be true to your organization’s mission and values, and your reputation will grow by word of mouth (and tweet).

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Twitter is one of the fastest social media platforms out there.  Your tweet – no matter how dazzling – will no doubt die in an hour or less, depending on the news that day.  You can’t win them all, but if you consistently put out engaging content, people will remember you, and look forward to finding your icon on their feed.

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And finally, the takeaway.  You can say a lot, without saying anything, but what your followers will remember is how you made them feel. Every tweet you send out should be a part to the whole, meaning it should contribute to your overall mission and values in as many ways as possible.  The brand isn’t important, it’s the feelings associated with it that people will remember.  So give them something they can feel, and you will surely be talked about.

About the Author:  Tarah DeSousa is a junior studying Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa.  She is also pursuing a minor in English and a Certificate in Writing. When Tarah isn’t reading or writing for class, she is working at the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center as a communications intern.  In her free time she enjoys rowing, running, shopping and spending time with friends.


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