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Three Strategies for Using the “Favorite” Function on Twitter

October 9, 2009
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This morning I randomly selected 10 nonprofits on Twitter and viewed their “Favorites”. Eight of those had never Favorited a Tweet, and the other two had Favorited a couple of Tweets, but more than three months ago. At @NonprofitOrgs, I started using “Favorites” regularly a few months ago and it is has made managing the chaos of Twitter (which I love) a little more organized and strategic. Here’s three ways to use the Favorite function on Twitter:

1) Favorite Tweets you want to ReTweet in the future.

Twitter is a best practice is Karma. The more you RT others, the more you will get RT’d. Spreading your Tweets throughout the day, rather that posting numerous Tweets in a row, is also a best practice. Using the Favorites function allows you to easily manage and implement this strategy. At @NonprofitOrgs I Favorite Tweets for future RTing. Once RT’d, I unFavorite the Tweet. Using the Favorite function allows you to RT more strategically, not randomly based on whatever Tweets are showing up in your “Home” view at that particular time you are logged in and looking to RT. Following me? [No pun intended!]

2) Favorite your best Tweets for future RePosting.

Tweets that you have posted in that past that received a lot of traffic and were RT’d many times may be worthy of posting again. [TIP: Create an account on Bit.ly to monitor your Tweet traffic.] People are on Twitter at all times of the day all over the world, so a Tweet you posted on Monday at 10am, for example, that was well-received could be posted again 10 days later on Thursday at 3pm. I use the Favorites function to bookmark, if you will, my most well-received Tweets for future re-posting. In general, I have found the best Tweets can be be reposted 3-4 times over a period of 6-8 weeks without losing their initial appeal.

Favoriting your best Tweets also allows you to have a page on Twitter that highlights and organizes the Tweets that speak best about your organization and it’s mission. Your “Profile” view may have a 10-15 Tweets that are conversational [like “Me too! Iagree!] that do not clearly, at first glance, convey to a new viewer what your organization does. In this respect, think of your “Favorites” page as “Our Mission” or “About Us” page, except with Tweets.

3) Favorite Tweets to build partnerships.

FavStar.fm is a tool that allows you to see if any of your Tweets have been Favorited by others on Twitter. In time, as more nonprofits and individuals advance in their Twitter skills, Favorites could become more important to the Twitterverse than they currently are [if they aren’t dropped when Twitter launches the new Lists]. If you work in close partnership with other nonprofits, then Favorite one of their Tweets. Favorite your funders or donors if they are in Twitter. The Favorites function is also a great way to organize Twitter profiles that you want to list on #FollowFriday!

Favorites is seemingly one of the most underutilized components of Twitter. Experiment with Favorites and let me know how it goes. Any other ways that your nonprofit is using Twitter that I have not mentioned?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2009 5:44 am

    Thanks for the article. I’ve been trying to figure out how to use twitter to spread the word in my area about my group, but most instructional articles either talk about how great twitter is, how to set up an account or assume that I already know a lot and use twitter jargon.

    I will try to figure out what “favorites” and “retweeting” are and let you know how it works out. I think a major stumbling block for me is trying to read the “tweets” of others and “It’s all Greek to me.”

  2. October 9, 2009 4:29 pm

    Thank you for some of the most timely information I have read about Twitter in ages. Great ideas, and a truly useful article. Well done!

  3. Dan Gilmore permalink
    October 11, 2009 6:37 pm

    Great article with excellent insights! Will be sure to implement some of these ideas in our organisation.

  4. October 12, 2009 6:12 am

    Thanks for the info! It was relevant, helpful, and well-presented. I’ll use your advice on our cancer support nonprofit’s Twitter account, @twcvv.

  5. October 13, 2009 3:57 am

    Great ideas! I’ll admit that I’d never used it before, but I will now! Thank you, as always.

  6. October 19, 2009 7:35 am

    Very helpful! I’ve only used the favorites feature a little. Will definitely be doing more now.

    For those wanting to schedule their tweets to go out throughout the day, or even days or weeks in advance, I recommend HootSuite. CoTweet works fine too and can be used my multiple people in the same organization.

    For those struggling to learn Twitter, keyword search YouTube for tutorials. A lot of people post helpful tutorials for all sorts of programs and show you what to do step by step.

  7. October 24, 2009 5:46 am

    Thank you for the timely information. I am updating a conference workshop on social networking for managers of volunteers and as the sector embraces these tools more and more, they are looking for how-to answers such as this.

  8. October 24, 2009 10:08 am

    For me the major advantage of Favorites is that it’s really slow and awkward to browse the web on an iPhone. So when reading Twitter with an iPhone (Tweetie) I frequently “favorite” tweets that have URLs I want to check out. Later, when I’m back on a proper computer, I’ll go back and read the URLs in those favorites on a real browser, with real internet speed. So basically they’re a huge workflow smoother.

  9. October 29, 2009 8:14 am

    As an admitted non-favoriter, this is really helpful (as were some of the comments). Twitter is sometimes overwhelming to me (OK, often), and I think this will help me to focus and be more efficient and effective. As always, Heather, thank you!

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