Twitter is one of the top social networking platforms. Individuals and businesses can both benefit from using Twitter for sharing updates, news, and marketing. Here are the top ten tools and resources to help Twitter users find followers, manage multiple accounts, and get the most out of their Twitter experience:
Bit.ly is a popular URL shortening service. If you register for Bit.ly, you can add multiple Twitter accounts to your Bit.ly profile. Anytime you shorten a URL through Bit.ly, either by going directly to their website or using their bookmarklet, you have the option to send that URL in a tweet using a specified Twitter account without having to login to Twitter.
9. Twitter Advanced Search
Twitter Advanced Search allows you to search for keywords and trends that have been mentioned in tweets. You can specify exact phrases, exclude certain words, language, to or from certain members, from users in specific locations, the date range of the tweets, whether they are asking a question, if the tweet contains links, and include or exclude retweets. On a personal level, you could search for local people who share a common hobby, or on a business level, you could find a potential customer based on their interests. There are lots of great uses for advanced searches.
8. Twitter Lists
Following too many people, and missing out on tweets from some of your favorites? Instead of having to purge your Twitter following, now you can simply create lists and add the people that you want to follow more intently. So if you want to catch up on your friends’ tweets, celebrity tweets, or tweets on a particular subject, you can create a custom list which can be shared with the public or private to only you. If you’re not sure who to add to lists on a particular topic, you can check out sites like Listorious that keeps track of the best Twitter lists on almost every topic.
7. Social Oomph
Social Oomph (formerly TweetLater) is a free service that lets you set up auto following of anyone who follows you, auto Direct Messages (DM?s) to anyone who follows you, and scheduled tweets. In terms of auto DM’s, keep in mind that many people consider them spam. So if you choose to send them, don’t just blatantly promote your website. One idea is to throw out a question. If you go with that, be sure to check your messages so you can respond to anyone that answers. That response could be the opportunity to share a link, product, or service, assuming it is valuable.
6. Twitter Karma
If you choose to auto follow those that follow you, you will want to periodically prune the list of Twitter members that you are following. Who do you want to stop following? How about the Twitter members who use automated following software to boost their numbers – they will follow you, anticipating you to follow back, then they will unfollow you. Twitter Karma will show everyone you are connected to on Twitter, and whether it is a mutual following, you are following them only, or they are following you only.
Looking for people to follow who are interested in the same things that you are? Twellow is one of the easiest to navigate Twitter directories. You can browse through specific categories or search for specific keywords in Twitter bios. I would also recommend adding yourself to these directories with an extended bio including more information about yourself, your websites (if applicable) and other social network profiles where people can find you.
TwitterCounter is a great tool to see how many people are following you over time, so you will be able to tell if your numbers are going up or going down. You can see the top 100 Twitter members in a particular region as well as search for members with particular keywords in their Twitter bio. As an added bonus, you can view the stats for each member in the search results. If you are trying to build followers, follow members that have an even ratio of following vs. followers, as these are members that auto follow everyone back.
Tweepi allows you to enter the username of a Twitter member and see statistics about that members’ followers such as their number of followers vs. following, how many times they retweet others, how many times they are retweeted, when they last updated, how many times they reply to others, and where they are located. This can come in handy if you find a Twitter member whose followers would also be interested in your tweets.
TwitterFeed is a service that allows you to automatically tweet new RSS items to one or more Twitter accounts. For example, if there is a blog that you find you always want to tweet their latest articles, you could put the RSS feed URL into TwitterFeed, and it would publish a tweet every time a new article has been added. This is a great way to always have interesting content for your Twitter followers automagically flowing through your Twitter feed.
HootSuite is one of the top Twitter management tools. It allows you to manage multiple accounts in a tabbed interface, and under each account you can have multiple columns to keep track of mentions, direct messages, lists, keyword searches, and more. You can also shorten URLs in the HootSuite dashboard, and keep track of the statistics for tweets with Ow.ly URLs.
There are many other great Twitter tools out there that can help in management, follower building, and other aspects of getting the most out of Twitter. What are some of your favorite tools and resources?
By Kristi Hines. Visit Kristi’s blog for blogging tips and social networking information.