Twitter tools are an essential part of managing your presence on the microblogging social network so therefore, I am going to list a number of tools that I personally use and recommend. This is by no means a comprehensive list as there are literally hundreds of tools out there. I will be adding to this list on an ongoing basis so make sure you bookmark this page and/or keep checking back for further recommendations.
If you have any tools you would like added to this list please send me a message and I will take a look at it.
I use Tweetdeck and Hootsuite for managing my use of Twitter and they are both excellent tools which also happen to be free. You can manage more than one account and other networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) if you need to and all the information is displayed as columns. When you first get started on Tweetdeck for example there are various columns which come as standard such as your feed of messages (All Friends), Mentions and Direct Messages. You can add new columns if you like for displaying lists and monitoring terms/hashtags. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are both very easy to use but, there is a learning curve. My advice is to spend some time using one or the other getting to know how they work and it will come pretty naturally after a short while.
Buffer is a great tool for scheduling tweets and there is a free and paid version. To get started you need to specify the times you’d like to tweet (up to 10 per day for free version) and all you need to do is add content which is lined up in order. You can change the tweets around and edit them before they go out if you want. Adding tweets is very easy as you can do it direct from a webpage or mobile after installing an app. Click the Buffer icon on a webpage and it displays the tweet title, source and link. Once you are happy with it and have made any amendments such as adding hashtags, you simply add it to your buffer for tweeting or you can tweet it straight away if you prefer. Buffer is a great app which I would highly recommend. Automating some of your activity is certainly very handy but don’t forget… Twitter is about conversations!
For further information on using Buffer check out this excellent video:
Follower Wonk is a great little tool for finding people to follow. You can search for people via their bios which is the 160 character description in someone’s profile. You can use the word AND to specify words that must be included (e.g. charity AND children) and the use of speechmarks for phrases (e.g. “sales manager”) is pretty handy. You can specify a location as well as the number of friends/followers you want the results to have, in case you only want to look at people with a specific number of followers.
I use Twitcleaner to go through the people I follow to see if there any which I need to unfollow. They categorise people in some interesting ways such as “Nothing But Links”, “Repeating The Same Links”, “App Spam” and “No Activity In Over A Month”. Go through the various categories and decide which ones to unfollow.
Friend or Follow is another tool which I use from time to time and is useful to get an overall view of your network. This tool shows you 3 pieces of information:
- Twitter users who you follow but they don’t follow you back
- Twitter users who follow you but you don’t follow them
- Friends (they follow you and vice versa)
Crowdbooster is a great tool for analysing your tweets and activity. It provides recommendations on the most effective time(s) to tweet and it will also tell you which of your sources are the most popular. It provides recommendations on influential people within your network to engage with and it also has other useful stats.
I came across Socialbro recently and it looks very interesting. I haven’t had a chance to check out all its features but it seems to have lots of stats, analysis and so on. I’d recommend this tool from the little I’ve seen of it. Like Tweetdeck it is a standalone program rather than accessed through a web browser.
Twilert is pretty useful for keeping up to date on terms which you would like to monitor. Log in with your gmail or Twitter account to get started. Thereafter, it’s very easy to set up a search. It also can be identify people to follow. Check out this video from the people over a Twilert which provides guidance on how to use it:
Mon.ki is slightly different to the standard tools that are used for monitoring. It is a Chrome browser extension that lets you see tweets for webpages as you are browse. This is useful for finding up to date conversations for websites. It tells you if anyone from your Twitter network has tweeted about a website when you visit it. You can also see which articles and websites are trending in your network. Recommended!
Hashtags are important for indexing content and to allow people to follow conversations. The Hashtags website lets you check the popularity of hashtags for any given subject. Simply enter the hashtag and see how many conversations there are. It can also help to identify any others that may be relevant.
Nutshell Mail is a free service and can be used to track and monitor a number of social networks including Twitter. What it essentially does is provide a list of activity relating to your Twitter profile like mentions, new followers, old followers and the activity from your lists. I like the way it provides a summary of your feed and related activity which is useful to get a feel for what’s going on. You can tweak the settings if you only want to receive certain pieces of information.
Bioischanged is useful if you want to track changes made to the profiles of your friends. This may be useful if you monitor a certain number of individuals/brands and you can keep up to date on any changes. It may create an opportunity and/or the chance to spark a conversation.
Jose Jimenez is a social media consultant who specialises in helping small to medium sized businesses. Please sign up to receive regular email updates on the latest trends, tips and news on social media.
Photo credit: Coletivo Mambembe