Stuart Glen, Director of Fundraising at OneKind, has written an exclusive guest blog post on using Twitter to broadcast rather than connect with your supporters…
This #CharityTuesday, I tried something different. I asked followers on Twitter not to give.
I remembered the Oakwood School Don’t Give video from the US (see below) and wondered could the messaging be repeated in the UK? Could it be replicated on Twitter? No strategy. No masterplan. Just curious.
Well, after 28 tweets later [great name for a film], what did I learn? Was it successful? Ultimately, no. I didn’t receive one additional donation in support of my fundraising efforts. I lost three followers on the day; goodness knows how many others I annoyed and/or muted my stream.
Reverse psychology is nothing new, so why didn’t it work? Other than the obvious fact I’m not Steve Carell or J.K. Simmons. My view is that somewhere between the medium and the execution it fell down.
Twitter succeeds when users establish relationships and enter into two-way conversations. This exercise highlighted for me the failings of users (many of them charities) that do nothing but broadcast. Throughout the day I didn’t engage with loyal followers that commented on my different approach to Twitter that morning. Even when the negative bombardment abated, the inevitable switch to a more positive ask felt clumsy, cold and corporate – preachy even. Someone with a lot more finesse than I may make this work, and I’d love to know if any UK charities have tried this approach already.
My Don’t Give #CharityTuesday has passed and normal service has resumed. Oh look, dancing cartoon badgers.