Four tips for marketing on Twitter from @charitywater

Friday, 29 March 2013

charity: water (@charitywater) is a non-profit organization that works to bring clean and safe drinking water to the 800 million people around the world who live without it. March 22 marks World Water Day (#WorldWaterDay) – and the biggest awareness opportunity of the year for @charitywater.

Last Friday, the non-profit turned to Twitter to create real-time buzz and drive birthday pledge support. The campaign, which used a combination of organic and Promoted Tweets, resulted in the highest traffic day for @charitywater’s website.

Based on @charitywater’s success, here are four lessons learned for non-profits, small businesses and brands alike:

1. Build excitement.

Leading up to a big launch, a countdown on Twitter is a simple way to build awareness and momentum. As March 22 approached, @charitywater shared engaging photos from supporters around the world and included the #WorldWaterDay hashtag. Behind-the-scenes Tweets also helped set the stage for the birthday pledge theme at the center of the campaign.

On the morning of #WorldWaterDay, the non-profit specifically highlighted some of the countries most in need of support. This tactic not only helped rally supporters on Twitter in these countries or with affiliations to these countries but also helped educate @charitywater followers.

2. Partner with influencers.

@charitywater has a wide range of supporters who are active on Twitter. On #WorldWaterDay, the non-profit partnered with a variety of celebrities, athletes, thought leaders and brands to spread the message, spark conversations and drive earned media through Retweets.

@charitywater also got permission from a few famous supporters like Matthew Hasselbeck (@hasselbeck) to feature their messages as Promoted Tweets and extend reach. This Promoted Tweet received a 4% engagement rate.

3. Show personality.

On Twitter, it’s important to show personality and vary your tone. It helps convey authenticity and creates a personal, more human connection with followers. Despite the serious subject matter behind their non-profit, @charitywatter knows that showing a light, humorous side can help establish rapport and get more people to share their messages.

On #WorldWaterDay, the non-profit worked with Florida Senator Marco Rubio (@marcorubio), who infamously took a sip of water during his State of the Union remarks. The Senator poked fun at himself while pledging to support @charitywater.

@chartiywater created a Promoted Tweet with a link to a blog post about his support to surface the story to a wider audience and get them tweeting about it. The result? Hundreds of Retweets of the original Tweet.

4. Share a clear call to action.

A successful marketing campaign on Twitter – just like any marketing campaign – starts with your goal. On #WorldWaterDay, @charitywater wanted to drive pledges and created Promoted Tweets with a link for people to take action immediately. The birthday pledge landing page even included the ability to tweet about your pledge and share an image with your followers. This helped further amplify awareness on Twitter.

The overall campaign resulted in the highest traffic day of 2013 for the

“Twitter is at the core of all the campaigns we do. Partly, because our leadership team is very hands on with tweeting. They understand the power of the platform. The #WorldWaterDay campaign helped us achieve our key goals for awareness and traffic,” says Sarah Salisbury, Digital Marketing Manager at @charitywater.

For more non-profit success stories, visit the new