Twitter lessons from Ashton Kutcher and Malaria No More

The mainstreaming of Twitter

It’s official — Twitter is mainstream. While the microblogging service has been around since 2006, it’s just now reaching mass appeal. Case in point — last week saw a well-publicized “battle” between Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) and television network CNN (@cnnbrk) to see who would be the first to one millionMalaria No More. In fact, he turned around and challenged other celebrities to join him in making donations, including Oprah (@oprah ), who has now joined the Twitterverse. You can read more about the story here. Spoiler alert………………Ashton won the race to 1,000,000 followers.

followers on Twitter. Ashton spiced up the deal by offering to donate $100,000 dollars to a charity he supports called

Twitter fundraising lesson of the day

So what can we learn from this story about fundraising using Twitter?

  • Multi-channel integration is key. It was Twitter that got all the attention, but donating via Twitter is still dicey at best (see our recent webinar for more details). Immediately following the conclusion of the contest, the Malaria No More homepage had a huge ad on the homepage thanking Ashton, and challenging the visitor to join him in helping to eradicate malaria.

  • Twitter is PRIMARILY about ENGAGEMENT, not fundraising. Although fundraising on Twitter is growing, the service is a far cry from being a tried-and-true ROI and net income generator. In fact, short of Oprah or Ashton Kutcher personally pushing your cause via Twitter, you aren’t going to be generating big dollars anytime soon. But what you can be generating is engagement — engagement with the mainstream media (PR style), engagement with donors, engagement with constituents, and so on.

Don’t know what Twitter is?

Don’t fear if you’re only now exploring what all this hubbub about Twitter is. What you need to do is check out our recently recorded webinar on Twitter. By the way, I’m at @daveraley.