Getting started on Twitter

I’ve been having a lot of fun learning to use Twitter for nonprofits and fundraising.

And I’m pleased that some folks from my local Rotary Club are getting into the game! Well this morning, one of those guys tweeted “I need a Twitter tutor!” I passed that on to some twitter stream. Here are some of the responses I got:

SCATJ @marcapitman for your friend @chrisgaunce: follow others for a while and jump in when you see something that strikes a chord with you

Bobbiec @marcapitman for your friend, Don’t judge, whole site not done yet

seanbohan @marcapitman start w/ tweetdeck – dashboard view of all/replies/directs & has search, can make groups, etc. .. and write 1 tweet/day minimum

Great advice!

Over a year ago, Chris Brogan wrote Newbies Guide to Twitter.

One of the most important things I learned from Chris Brogan is to use the same “identity” across platforms. For me, that meant I started using “marcapitman” for

…well you get the picture. 🙂

I even use “marcapitman” for fun sites like: Wordle and!

Personally, I think one of the best ways to get started on Twitter is to follow alot of people and see how they’re using it. Twitter user Mark Hayward has a great list of 97 suggestions in his blog post 97 Remarkable Ways to Diversify Your Network in a Down Economy.

And you can use tools like and Twellow. They’ll let you see who’s tweeting on topics of interest to you. Or find people in particular careers or in specific of the world.

I’m finding Twitter is

  • helping me as a development professional at the Inland Foundation
    • it’s much less expensive than actually going to some of the conferences people tweet from!
    • I get real-time feedback from people just like my hospital’s donors
    • I get alerted to the latest fundraising blogs and podcasts
    • I’m getting to meet hundreds of folks doing the same thing I’m doing and get real-time help
    • I’ve even received help doing database work and cost-to-raise-a-dollar analysis!
  • helping me sell my fundraising book
    • I’m getting to connect with readers one-to-one
    • and tools like TweetLater help me automate some Twitter actions so I can focus on those in the evening. (I also write my blog posts in the evening but publish them so they get tweeted during the day.)
  • helping me connect with really cool people in the media and other professions, and
  • even helped me do goofy things like name my beers.

Twitter is really helping me expand my network from right here in Waterville, Maine USA. I now am in regular communication with people all over the world. I was already talking to people around the world with my fundraising ezine. But now they get to talk back to me. During the Olympics I was even tweeting with the NBC folks in China! Sure made the games seem a lot closer?

I’m going to pass this on to Chris. I’m not exactly sure it’s the “Twitter tutor” he was hoping for, but it’s a start!

What would you recommend he do if you were his Twitter tutor?

Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman helps leaders lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. The author of "Ask Without Fear!®," he is the founder of The Concord Leadership Group and He's also the executive director of and an Advisory Panel member of Rogare, a prestigious international fundraising think tank. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook. To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Chad

    Great post Marc! I like that you included the theory of keeping the same username/brand across networks – so important! That also helps your network pages rank high in Google search results, which is basically our digital business card.

  2. Marc

    Wow. I’m embarassed to say, “I didn’t know that!”

    How is it that it helps? Do the spiders recognize that it’s the same person?

  3. Brandon Allen

    This is a great post for all the people who want to use Twitter but don’t know how to use it effectively. I wish I would have seen this a couple of months ago!


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