Another cross-channel strategy to (maybe) add to the list

A lot of donor activity these days is cross-channel. A typical cross-channel matchup is direct mail and website. Another is direct mail and email. Now we can add one more to the list — TV and twitter.

Well, maybe. This is very new — actually still in beta — and as you’ll see, it ideally does involve a third channel as well. Twitter is testing a service that brings TV viewers and Twitter users together in an interactive way. This is no small thing, since about 32 million people in the U.S. tweet about the programs they watch. The potential is there.

This service lets advertisers send targeted tweets to people watching the programs in which the ad has appeared. Of course this blending of TV advertising and Twitter is ideal for packaged goods — products like chewing gum and shampoo. You can just see American Idol viewers being thrilled to receive a tweet with an offer for Dentyne after watching the commercial about kissable breath.

But it could work for fundraising too. Let’s say you’re an animal-welfare charity, and you’re running a fundraising spot on TV. With Twitter’s TV ad targeting, you can send tweets to people on Twitter as they watch the program in which your TV spot runs. The tweet reminds viewers about the ad they just saw, reinforces the need to save animals, and offers a link that takes viewers to your website to give.

Or let’s say you’re a disaster-relief charity. When a major disaster occurs, the news coverage is usually wall-to-wall. You could send tweets about your relief and recovery work (with a link to your donation page) to people on Twitter who are viewing that coverage.

This is a way to reach out to potential donors with a second medium that they’re already using as they watch TV, and it makes your TV spot suddenly interactive.

Granted, Twitter isn’t the donor-relationship hotspot that Facebook is right now. But that will likely change as Twitter continues to evolve. Depending on your cause, your offer, and your audience, this Twitter-TV connection might be something to keep an eye on.


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