Twitter Fundraising: Lessons I Learned

One of the reasons I remain bullish on social media and the read/write web is my continued hope is that it will lead to an increasing diversity of voices as well as a renewed sense of personal ownership of the First Amendment. So when UNC’s celebration of First Amendment Day rolled around last week, it was a good opportunity for me to play around with Twitter’s capacity to raise money for fun and/or profit.


With a tweet early in the morning on Sept. 30, I promised to donate $1 to the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy for everyone who re-tweeted: “I use(d) the First Amendment at #uncjomc. https://ow.ly/2Fymp”

Here’s what happened:
* The experiment only set me back 30 bucks.
* Most re-tweets came within the first hour of my original post.
* I started the day with just under 900 followers on Twitter. Probably the biggest benefit to me was that I saw about a 1-percent increase in followers over the course of the day, which is an unusual increase for me — an infrequent and somewhat lackluster tweeter when I’m on deadline for various projects as I am now.

Thanks to …
@KristenELong
@alyssastep
@caseywelch
@amydobrzynski
@chris_coletta
@MECahoon
@julian_march
@kelly_poe
@EricaPerel
@RobbieCrowell
@whypickl
@amybugno
@kristennicole86
@dltowns
@KellyMcHugh
@jbhester
@staceface711
@JOMCParkLib
@hartzog
@mffawcett
@sarde
@uncstorylab
@highheeledmama
@michelekjones
@derigansilver
@bassman7625
@inongimke
@morgan_ellis
@CallMeMrKent
@danielbyrnes

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1 thought on “Twitter Fundraising: Lessons I Learned”

  1. The one-hour tweet window has been seen in other studies as well: https://mashable.com/2010/09/29/twitter-replies-retweets/

    I’ve been trying an experiment lately to try to increase the value of our retweets of others’ posts: using HootSuite’s scheduling feature to send out a retweet two hours or more after the original tweet to try to capture different eyeballs the second time around. The assumption is that at UNC, there is a lot of overlap between followers, so if someone missed an important tweet, it’s more likely that they just weren’t looking at Twitter rather than not being a follower of the person who sent the important tweet.

    The problem is, to measure that theory, I’d basically have to ask people, “Did our 3-hour-later retweet add any additional hits for you?”

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