Social media is a great way for your non-profit or association to help your community network with different people from around the world. Twitter is an especially great platform for your community to connect with colleagues or those who share your passion for a cause.
With these constant, real-time connections that erase the distance between people, it can seem like your followers know each other, even if they live and work across the country from one another. Collaboration, networking and sharing information can happen without sitting down at a table together.
Yes, social media has made connecting with people incredibly easy, but there is still something to be said for meeting someone face-to-face. In fact, having a chance to network is one of the most common reasons people attend events or conferences.
So, how can you take the community you have built online and give them a face-to-face networking opportunity at an event? Organize a tweetup.
A tweetup is when people from a Twitter community (or any online community) arrange to meet in person to put a face to the Twitter handle, make new friends, build career connections and just have a good time.
The great thing about the non-profit industry is that it gives you plenty of opportunities, through conferences, fundraisers, meetings, etc., to organize a tweetup for your community. Here are five tips to help you organize a successful first tweetup at your next event.
1. Make Sure People Know About It
Plaster the details for the tweetup on your social media platforms beforehand. Be specific about those details. Let your online community know the where, when and even why of the tweetup. In addition to social media, put the details of the tweetup on your organization’s website, event schedule, in the pre-conference emails and even mention it as part of the general announcements at the beginning of your event. All this will ensure you get a healthy response at your tweetup.
2. Be Inclusive
Let people know that anyone is welcome to come to the tweetup, not only those who are on social media. Encourage people to come, network and learn how to get involved in your online community. This is how your online network improves and how your non-profit community grows.
3. Know Your Space
That means having the details about the location where you’re going to meet and the space in the schedule you’re planning on using. Don’t arrange your tweetup at a time when people will want to do something else, like attending an education session. Plan on meeting somewhere relaxed, open, big and not very noisy, so people can talk, enjoy themselves and stay a while.
4. Make Sure You Are Prepared
Be there early so you can meet people as they get there. Know some of your more active followers’ handles, faces and interests. This helps people feel comfortable and encourages interaction between attendees. Have some topics ready to talk about to break the ice or encourage discussion if things are quiet at first.
5. Follow Up
Thank people in person and on social media for coming to the tweetup. Make a list of attendee’s contact information so others can follow up on connections they made at the tweetup. Recap any interesting conversations with a blog, on Twitter or Facebook. Plan another tweetup for the future.
Tweetups can be a great tool to grow your non-profit’s network and help benefit both your organization and its community. Being organized, friendly and engaging can go a long way to making a tweetup a success and raising your organization even higher.
Have you had a great experience with tweetups? Let us know in the comments!