It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, it’s a hashtag.

A little birdie told me that you’re thinking about using Twitter to further promote your health organization. Aren’t you ambitious? Twitter happens to be one of my favorite social media platforms. It offers quick information for those who can’t keep their attention, like me. It’s also a great way to generate discussion.

A lot like Facebook, Twitter begs for interaction. The difference is that you have a character limit with Twitter. You’re limited to 140 characters, which is a blessing and a curse. The good thing is people won’t become exhausted by a long post, because that’s not possible. The bad thing is you need to learn how to make every word count and tweet more than once a day.

Setting up your account

  • Think creatively while setting up your account. Choose a profile picture that suites your organization best and a Twitter handle that is easily recognizable. Pick a good header picture to capture people’s attention as well.
  • Add a description that includes your mission. This reminds me of all those relatives that relentlessly asked you what you’re going to do with your life when you graduated college. Beat them to the punch and tell them why you’re on Twitter and what you’re going to do!
  • Follow who you want to follow, as long as it makes sense. I love Beyoncé just as much as everyone else, but maybe follow her on your personal page. Also, try to keep your followers and following numbers about the same. If your followers are higher, it looks like you’re only interested in spitting out facts. If the number of people you follow is higher, people might think you’re a spam account.

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Stand Up to Cancer does a great job of setting up it’s account. They use their logo as their profile picture so that they’re easily recognizable, their header picture is bold, and uses the biography space to promote themselves further. No shame in sending people to your donation website! Their followers to following ratio is off, but when you’re that big of a health organization, you’re forgiven. Also, 21K is a lot of people to follow if you think about it.


If you don’t know why there’s a # in front of “Best Practices,” I would highly suggest doing some extensive research before being in charge of your organization’s Twitter account. There’s no shame in letting someone else handle the account! Actually, that’s usually how it’s done for organizations. Figure out who will do it best. Here are some other tips.

  • Twitter is 20% promotion and 80% conversation. Do not just spit facts! I’ll be so mad at you! Be a person, not a robot. Talk to people and your personality will be what gains your organization attention.
  • #Do #Not #Hashtag #Everything. Seriously. That’s extremely annoying, and no one can read that. Use trending hashtags or hashtag key words to get noticed, just don’t overdo it.
  • You should feel like a rockstar if you get retweeted. That means your information just went to new webs of followers who will see it and may retweet it and so on and so on. So, tweet retweetable information! Be unique and interesting rather than constantly asking for donations or sending out advertisements.
  • I know the young, hip kids are using abbreviations and whatnot, but stick to clear, concise language with proper punctuation.
  • Retweet stuff yourself. If it goes with your mission, don’t be afraid to share it. It gets your name out to other organizations as well.
  • Tweet and retweet about 2-8 times a day at a steady pace. Too many times is annoying and not enough won’t gain you any attention. Also, tweeting a bunch in 10 minutes is not helpful. Even it out through the day. Be sure to tweet on weekends too.
  • Include cool links and pictures.
  • There is an analytics dashboard that you’ll want to learn how to use so that you can note patterns in the types of tweets that receive a lot of engagement.

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CMHA National does a very good job with its content. Pulling in a Prime Minister? I’m all about it. They don’t abuse the hashtags either and tweet out informative articles. You’ll find something missing if you go to their Twitter page, however. No interaction! While trying to find an account that does a good job of this, I was shocked at how many are breaking the cardinal rule. Interact. With. Your. Followers. I’m going to tweet at all of you just to make sure you’re listening to me.

One more thing

Twitter has this cool thing called Periscope. You can share and view live broadcasts from your cellphone, which would be great to use for one of your fundraising or awareness events! Offering that real-time access builds a more personal relationship with people, which happens to be exactly what you want. Don’t write a script or anything for these. People can relate to real people.


And once again, I confidently send you on your way. Share with me your Twitter handles so that I can make sure you’re listening to me. Just kidding. (Not really.)


Best of Luck,

Bekki C.




Read something you agree or harshly disagree with? Let me know! The cool thing about opinions is that they aren’t facts and can change at any time, including mine. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

2 thoughts on “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, it’s a hashtag.

  1. Rebecca,
    The first thing that caught my attention was your title. In my opinion, it was catchy. After your very first sentence, I could tell your personality was going to shine in this blog….and it did! Your visual aids stood out to me because of the colors. Stand Up to Cancer is a really good organization, and I love how you used a picture of their Twitter account. Even at the end of your blog, you let your readers know that their opinion matters. Engaging your audience is a big plus!
    Overall, your blog was really great!



  2. Rebecca,
    You definitely have a very unique voice in your writing and it’s an awesome thing! You relay all your information very well, but you also do it in an informal and easy to understand way. Your visual with the different Twitter pages were very helpful and showed great examples of how to utilize Twitter to the fullest. It even had me going back to look at my own Twitter! Overall, great job.

    Allysha Romero


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