Twitter recently celebrated its 6th Birthday and now has over 500 million registered users. In fact, the number of active users (log in monthly) grew from 100 million in Sept. 2011 to 140 million in March 2012. Those numbers are impressive and staggering. For a network whose foundation is a 140 character text message there are a bevy of tools to help users work efficiently. Below are five Twitter tools that will assist in running a solid Twitter account.
HootSuite – This is the Granddaddy of them all. Hootsuite is arguably the best free tool available in all of Social Media. The first thing you should do after creating your Twitter account is immediately setup your Hootsuite account. Yes, it’s that good. Hootsuite allows you to manage, monitor, and schedule activity not only for Twitter, but platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare. Hootsuite allows you see multiple streams on one screen. For example, you can see your Twitter Home Feed (stream), sent tweets, mentions, and your tweets (retweeted) all on one screen. While the interface on Twitter isn’t that bad, you need to jump around in order to see all of this information. Hootsuite brings this efficiency right to your fingertips.
Tweepi – The free version of Tweepi allows you to flush followers that aren’t following you back. So let’s say after a month you are following 100 users. Tweepi will show you how many of those 100 are not following you. If there are 40 not following you and you want to unfollow, you can do so by using the “Flush” button. Tweepi provides a check box system where you can unfollow these people. This must be done individually because of the Twitter TOS (terms of service). For this example, that would be 40 checks. Tweepi also shows you people that are following you that you are not following back. You can follow them if you wish, using the same process. Tweepi offers a premium service for $7.49 and $14.99 per month that provides many bells and whistles that might be of interest as your Twitter account grows.
Topsy – So you’ve created a Twitter account, now what do you Tweet? Topsy is great source to uncover content that is trending on Twitter. I think Topsy flies under radar to most twitter veterans as I don’t see it mentioned often, but it really is a powerful resource. This real time search engine indexes and ranks search results based on the most influential conversations. While you can see most of your tweets that are retweeted through Hootsuite or Twitter itself, sometimes your tweet will lose the @name and thus not be tracked. Topsy solves that issue. You simply put the tweet in the search field and the number of retweets and who retweeted becomes transparent. Another value to Topsy is the ability to reply and retweet within Topsy. You can also follow people on Twitter through Topsy. Topsy easily connects to twitter making this painless.
SocialBro – This is one of the better Twitter Tools that I’ve seen. SocialBro is full of graphics and filters. It really drills down your Twitter universe. One recent feature is Real-time analytics. This shows you how many of your Twitter connections have tweeted in the last five minutes. It updates every ten seconds. SocialBro also suggests your best time to tweet during the course of the week with specific times. SocialBro has a lot of nuggets. For more detail check out, How many of your 100K+ Twitter Followers are Real?
TweetSpinner – While the four twitter tools above all have free versions, TweetSpinner has a monthly fee ($15 or $22). It allows you to easily de-clutter your account based on filters you setup. It will generate a group of users you want to unfollow due to inactivity. You confirm these users will be unfollowed on twitter through the TweetSpinner site. The other value it provides is keyword following and mimic following. So let’s say you want to follow someone that tweets about Social Media. You enter “Social Media” and it will find users that have tweeted about social media with a level follower to friend ratio, since these people are most apt to follow you back. You then use a check box system (similar to Tweepi) to choose the users you want to follow. It will automatically follow those users over the course the day. This is not a mass follow program. It’s a tool to find and follow people using keywords of your interest that have a balanced friend: follower ratio. I would only use this tool if you are serious about your Twitter account(s) and intend on being highly active.
There are hundreds of Twitter Tools out there. While there are others that are noteworthy, I have no doubt you’ll find these 6 very useful in managing your accounts. Twitter veterans, “What twitter tools do you swear by?”