Recently I had the opportunity to meet and later interview Claire Diaz-Ortiz. Claire leads social innovation at Twitter, where she has worked since 2009. She wrote Twitter for Good: Change the World one Tweet at a Time and is a frequent international speaker on social media, leadership, and social change. Claire began using Twitter in 2006 while living in a Christian orphanage in Kenya.
Claire holds an MBA and other degrees from Stanford and Oxford, and is the co-founder of Hope Runs, a non-profit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in Kenya. She also owns Interwebs Publishing and Saving Money Media, a blog network that has been helping families live better on less since 2008.
Here’s an interview with Claire Diaz-Ortiz:
Claire, tell me what it is you do for Twitter. What’s your role?
I lead social innovation and run the Twitter for Nonprofits program. I spend my days working with non-profit organizations, foundations, and philanthropic leaders — including religious organizations and religious leaders. I love chatting with anyone who wants to use Twitter to make a difference in the world around them.
Can you give an example of how you’ve seen Twitter being used for good?
One of my favorite latest stories is about @NickKristof live-tweeting a brothel raid. Information is power, and when we become educated about the realities around us we are more likely to get involved in making a positive difference. Twitter is all about open information, so it’s a great tool to use for this purpose.
Do you have any advice for the Twitter newbies or even for those of us who have been doing this a while? How can we make our experience even better?
I teach the T.W.E.E.T. framework in my book, Twitter for Good, and I really believe it works. Newbies and old hats alike can benefit hugely from creating a Twitter strategy, which is something I talk about a lot. Why are you on Twitter? Are you trying to meet new folks? Are you trying to build a movement? Are you just here because your boss made you sign up? Figuring our why you’re on Twitter is the first to figuring out what you aim to achieve on the platform.
What is the number one thing you see Twitter users doing wrong, that keeps them from being effective on Twitter?
Social media is not press release media. Don’t think of Twitter as one more way to tell people about your cool stuff. Twitter is about relationships, and you’ll win by building them.
I’m just curious, for someone who works at Twitter, do you still use other forms of social media? Do you recommend this? If so, which ones?
Absolutely! I’m a social media nut and my latest obsession happens to be a little thing I like to call Pinterest.
How have you seen Twitter used for good?