Solving today’s complex problems with technology

According to Twitter for Good author Claire Diaz-Ortiz, we live in a world where more individuals have access to mobile phones than clean water. “This truth shapes the greatest challenge of our age: How can technology solve today’s most complex problems? The answer lies in the individual,” says Diaz-Ortiz. She and her Twitter camp say their open real-time information network allows individuals to share minute-by-minute information about what is happening in their lives, their communities and the world. Not only does Twitter allow one to share from anywhere, but it also allows one to share with anyone. Technology is changing us, and we now have the unique opportunity to find innovative ways to use technology to help change the world. Twitter cofounder Biz Stone has said the real triumph of Twitter is one of humanity, not technology.

Because Diaz-Ortiz’s position at Twitter is focused on helping nonprofits use Twitter effectively, she has spent thousands of hours and conducted hundreds of presentations on just that. This framework is the result of her research and work in the field alongside nonprofits like American Red Cross, Room to Read, the Skoll Foundation, Kiva and many more. The author explores each of the goals within the acronym T.W.E.E.T.

T (Target): Why Tweet?
W (Write): Why you should Tweet like Kanye
E (Engage): Tools to win
E (Explore): Finding everybody and bringing everybody to you
T (Track): Making sure you’ve hit your mark

It’s no surprise why social media has become the strategy du jour among nonprofit organizations. It’s relationship building, it’s inexpensive, and it works. With more than 200 million users worldwide, nonprofits cannot afford to overlook Twitter as an option for informing their constituencies and running fundraising campaigns.

In 60 seconds, or the time it took you to read this section, more than 98,000 Tweets were sent, and 320 new user accounts were created. More importantly, Diaz-Ortiz cites examples of large and small organizations and local and global causes that are making phenomenal use of Twitter to advance their causes and raise millions of dollars. Nonprofits can’t hide behind the excuse that they can’t afford to make time for social media. In this case, they can’t afford not to.

Diaz-Ortiz’s book also includes the most common questions she’s asked by users and novices. We’ll leave you with one of them:

CausePlanet: How long should it take each day to tweet?

Diaz-Ortiz: With a streamlined system, you can easily manage the Twitter accounts for your organization in two twenty-minute blocks each day. You can certainly spend more time, but two twenty-minute periods are enough for you to adequately respond to @replies and direct messages, craft engaging Tweets, retweet and favorite others’ Tweets, and complete the bulk of your other tasks on Twitter. Even if you have lots of followers, this is enough time. Keep in mind that this does not include the time needed to develop your “Target” in the beginning, find your particular voice in your writing, or find the initial list of influencers you want to follow and engage with. This also does not include extensive Twitter tangents—like reading every Tweet written by someone you may or may not have gone to high school with twenty years ago. For those journeys, the sky is the limit.

See also:

The Networked Nonprofit

Up and Out of Poverty: The Social Marketing Solution

Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission

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