HOW TO: Tweet for an International Audience
At about the time I quit working for the day (6pm in Missouri, USA), nonprofits in New Zealand, Australia, and Asia are coming online for another work day. Then, over the next 12 hours, on comes nonprofits in India, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. It’s amazing what happens on Twitter during our off hours and while we are sleeping – no matter where you tweet from in the world.
Obviously nonprofits that work internationally would be wise to tweet around the clock, but even nonprofits that limit their mission and services to their own country, province, state, city, or village should experiment with being a global twitizen. There are ex-pats in every corner of the globe, media outlets of every nationality, and allies from other countries that your nonprofit does know exist yet. The world is getting smaller with each passing day, and nonprofits as the agents of social good, should try to think bigger and stretch their Twitter wings beyond their own time zones. Here’s how to begin:
1) Learn your time zones.
The World Clock at timeanddate.com provides numerous time and date tools that make time zone conversion easy and timely (pun intended). Additionally, 24timezones.com features a world map with current times plotted and displayed worldwide.
2) Download Google Chrome for easy translation.
Google Chrome has a built-in applet that can translate Web pages into numerous languages with one click. It’s also an incredibly fast Web browser, particularly on social sites and now accounts for 20% global market share. That said, it’s hard to tweet, mention, or retweet what you can’t understand, and of course, you’ll want to tweet your own Tweets translated in other languages. Google Chrome makes it very easy!
@AmnistiaEspana translated from Spanish:
3) Schedule Tweets using HootSuite.
I do not believe in using HootSuite to broadcast the same message to multiple social networking sites with one click (worst practice alert!), but it is a great tool for scheduling Tweets (and Facebook Status Updates and Foursquare Shouts) in advance to reach an international audience (or while you are on vacation or unable to tweet in real-time). Simply sign up, add your Twitter account to your Dashboard, and then use their Publisher tool to schedule tweets around the clock.
Scheduling a Tweet to be sent at 1:30am CDT:
Social Media Webinars for Nonprofits in New Zealand, Australia, and East Asia
Social Media Webinars for Nonprofits in the United States, Canada, and Latin America
Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits