Tip of the Day: Timing Your Communications

Editor’s note: All this month we’re publishing tech tips for nonprofits. Keep a look out for a new tip each day and let us know what you think in the comments. -Dan 

Different communications tools work in different timeframes. For example, it’s not practical to send out more than a few direct mail pieces over the course of a year, while email is more of a monthly or weekly communication stream. Facebook or blogs are weekly, or a couple of times a week, but you can easily post to Twitter several times a day. Photo and video sites, on the other hand, are not particularly timing-specific—if you wanted to, you could post weekly or more frequently, but you could also simply post photos or videos when you have them.

Depending on your campaign, you might want to choose a mix of channels that are relatively similar in timing, or one that uses channels with completely different time frames. On the other hand, if you’re looking to encourage people to attend your conference in two months, channels with different timing could reinforce each other—for example, you could send out an introductory direct mail, follow it up with several emails spaced out over that time period, create a blog focusing on all the great content and speakers, and use Twitter to try to get the word out to folks in the topic area (and potentially get some press).

Remember, however, that the channels that allow you to post frequently generally come with the expectation that you will post frequently—it’s not enough to post to Twitter several times a day in the heat of a campaign, abandon it for months, and then pick it up again the next time you need it. That’s not how people use Twitter, and they may well stop following you. The same is true of Facebook or blogs—it’s important to establish a baseline frequency (close to what people would expect) and stick with it.

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