If you’re new to Twitter you’ll quickly find that after following just a hundred or so active accounts your home feed becomes almost impossible to filter, follow, make sense of, or take in as all that information streams past your screen. Who should I engage with? When should I engage? If I want to know more about xyz where do I look?, what accounts or #hashtags should I be following? are just a sampling of the litany of questions any newcomer (and seasoned pros) will ask.
The best answer I’ve found is to use some of the great Twitter tools that are out there. The problem many often run into is knowing which ones to use, when to use them and why you should be using them.
With Twitter being such a popular platform – you’ll find that there are a ridiculous amount of tools available, and it can be both incredibly hard and overwhelming to know which ones to pick. If you have the time – try as many as you can and choose the ones that work best for your work style and workflow.
If you don’t have time to try out a bunch of tools – Here are 5 tools that I love that you can use to help transform your Twitter experience into something a lot more fun, powerful, and most importantly valuable… They’ll also help you reduce the amount of time you have to spend “trying to figure it all out”:
1. HootSuite: With HootSuite’s Twitter integration, you have all the basic tools needed to grow, nurture, engage and effectively manage your twitter account(s). You can use HootSuite to do things like send and schedule Tweets, listen using search, follow lists and track keywords in seperate streams, as well as monitor your Mentions, Direct Messages, Sent Tweets, Favorited Tweets. You can also get great feedback with their powerful analytics tools and customizable reports giving you a complete and comprehensive picture of your participation. (note HootSuite also works with many other Social Networks) While there are many other similar social “dashboards” out there, I’ve found HootSuite to be one of, if not the best one out there. HootSuite is free, if you opt for the pro version (I do) you’ll get more features, deeper analytic tools and have some other great options like turning off promoted tweets.
2. SocialBro: “Create powerful insights to build the most effective communication strategy with the most relevant content.” -EXACTLY. With SocialBro you can gain an in-depth understanding of your Twitter Followers by allowing you to search for specific criteria within them – Find out where your followers are from, what industries they work in, what languages they speak, when they tweet, when they are online. Wondering what is the best time for you to tweet? SocialBro makes it easy. Need to monitor a certain #hashtag? No problem, all of these things are incredibly simple to do throgh SocialBro’s intuitive dashboard.
3. Followerwonk This tool was so good it’s SEOmoz bought it. Followerwonk gives you the ability to search Twitter in a way that wasn’t possible before. If you’re need to target your content to a certain audience but don’t know who they are, or are looking for account to follow that focus on a specific topic, then this is the tool for you.
You can use it to search for keywords like “food blogger” – Followerwonk will hunt through twitter and generate a list of profiles which contain those keywords within the authors bio – allowing you to find and reach out to whomever/whatever you’re looking for. The tool also allows you to “compare users”, enabling you to search through and compare your audience to that of your competitors, friends, or industry leaders.
4. Twilert: Don’t have a lot of time to spend in a social dashboard all day? Need to know when someone is mentioning you, your brand, or a specific topic? Twilert is for you. Think of it as Google Alerts meets Twitter. Twilert is a free monitoring tool that can alert you to all mentions of your chosen keywords across the Twitter. The great thing about the service is that it doesn’t simply monitor hashtags or @mentions, but it also monitors all words within a tweet.
5. Twitter Counter: Simply put Twitter Counter provides statistics of Twitter usage. Simple and free if you need to know some basic stats about your account (or someone else’s) hop on over to the site and just drop in your username. Twitter Counter also offers Pro Twitter Stats for more in depth statistics and sells featured spots on its website to people who want to gain more followers.
Have a twitter or other social media tool you love? Share it in the comments!