Once you have all of the basics down when it comes to getting started with Twitter, building an audience and engaging with them, your next task will be making your Twitter management as effective as possible. This is where Twitter management tools come into play.
There are a lot of great tools that will make managing your Twitter account a less time-consuming process. The following are some of the top Twitter tools to help you improve your Twitter account, schedule updates, monitor your brand, find influential members of your community, present your tweets in a whole new way, and analyze the results of your Twitter activity.
HootSuite is a popular Twitter management tool that allows you to update multiple social accounts (Twitter profiles, Facebook profiles and pages, Google+ pages, LinkedIn profiles, and others) from one dashboard. You can organize and view activity such as your Twitter newsfeed, @username mentions, keyword searches and much more in tabs with ten columns each.
Other features in HootSuite include a publisher to schedule future updates individually or in bulk, RSS feeds to automatically update your social accounts, integration with Google Analytics, customized analytics reporting features and team members to help manage social accounts. You can use most of the basic HootSuite features for free for up to five social accounts or upgrade to the $9.99USD per month plan which allow you to have unlimited social profiles, access to advanced analytics and more features.
Buffer is an easy to use tool that allows you to create a schedule for your social media updates on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Then you can add updates to your social accounts using various tools including a bookmarklet, browser extensions and mobile apps. Your updates will be added to the next time slot in your Buffer scheduler and will be sent at that time.
Another great feature Buffer offers is uncomplicated analytics. Once you have sent out some updates with Buffer, you can look at each social account’s analytics to see which updates received the most retweets, mentions, favorites and exposure.
This can help you determine which status updates your audience responds to the most and at what times your followers are most likely to be online. You can even expand each tweet in your analytics and reply or follow users who have interacted with that particular update. It makes thanking people who have retweeted your posts super simple!
You can use Buffer for free with a total of 10 updates in your Buffer for one Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn account. Or you can sign up for the $10 per month plan that allows you to have unlimited updates for up to 12 social profiles.
Commun.it is a relationship management and lead discovery tool that lets you learn more about your Twitter community. You can quickly see the most engaged members, supporters and influencers connected with you on Twitter along with suggestions of who you should be following (or potentially unfollowing). But unlike other Twitter tools out there, you don’t have to worry about Commun.it automating your following/unfollowing in a way that could get your account suspended. You can also discover new leads on Twitter using keywords that fit your target client base.
You can use Commun.it for two Twitter profiles for $9.99 per month or upgrade to the $29.99 per month business plan for unlimited Twitter profiles. They also offer a corporate account plan that includes even more advanced features, making it a perfect Twitter tool for any size of business.
Twitter chats are group chats about specific topics on Twitter organized by the use of a particular #chathashtag. Participating in Twitter chats for your industry is a great way to connect with more people on Twitter and build your audience.
TweetChat allows you to easily follow Twitter chats by hashtag in a customized dashboard. You can participate in the chat with the hashtag automatically added to your tweets, pause the discussion to read through the latest updates (some chats are very popular and move quickly), reply to other members in the chat, retweet specific updates and follow other participants in the chat. TweetChat is free to use - just enter a hashtag, sign in with your Twitter account, and start chatting!
If you find yourself always tweeting every post from a particular industry authority blog, then you might want to consider using Twitterfeed. This free tool automatically updates your Twitter account with the latest posts from a particular blog’s RSS feed.
While this tool can come in handy to keep your Twitter profile active, you will not want to go overboard with it and annoy your followers with too many updates. For example, blogs like Mashable publish dozens of times a day, even if you only pick an RSS from a specific topic. I would suggest not using this tool for blogs that update more than once a day, and only use it with blogs that you know you can trust to always have 100% valuable content for your audience.
Want to keep track of follower growth for your account and others on Twitter? Twitter Counter is a tool that lets you look at your stats for up to the last three months for free. You can also look at your last six months of stats by tweeting a message of support for Twitter Counter to your followers. If you want more statistics, you can sign up for their pro accounts starting at $15 per month that allows you to see more about your retweets, mentions, export your stats to Excel, and much more.
If you have a Twitter account, chances are you have a profile on Klout. Klout is an influence measurement application that looks at every Twitter user's activity, following, engagement, etc, and rates them on a scale of 0 to 100.
While people debate about the truth behind their scoring, Klout still provides a lot of useful information. For example, if you go to your own profile (or someone else’s) at http://klout.com/#/username, you will see a section for Topics under Score Analysis. Here, you can see what Klout and other users think you are most influential about. These are likely topics you tweet about often. If you mean for your account to be influential about SEO, but you notice other topics are ranking above that, it means you should consider tweeting more about SEO and just a pinch less about the others. You can also use topic pages to find new people to connect with on Twitter and other social networks.
These are just a few of my favorite Twitter tools. Now it's your turn - what Twitter tools do you find the most helpful in managing and analyzing your Twitter account?
This is the third in our Twitter series. Also read:
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