The 11 Twitter Tools and Apps I Use Every Day

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The secret to success in utilizing Twitter for social media marketing in 2011 is in taking advantage of all of the 3rd party apps that exist for the platform. If you go to a Twitter application directory site you will literally find hundreds if not thousands of these apps available for you to use for free. The problem in 2011 is that many of these applications are old or just plain old don’t work as advertised.

I’ve already blogged about the most popular Twitter applications that exist according to their Alexa rank, and some of the apps on this list I have already mentioned as well. But I wanted to give you a comprehensive look at the many different applications that exist in hopes that it may help you discover some new apps that you can use or maybe you can add to the comments by providing details on an app that you feel is superior than to what I recommend.

1.) Twitter Clients

I’ll be honest with you when I say that I use multiple Twitter clients, and I do so for a variety of reasons. My favorite client by far is CoTweet, but to get access to their iPhone version it will cost $500+ a year. This means that I need a separate Twitter client for mobile, for which I have been a happy and loyal HootSuite user from 2009 to the present 2011. Between the two of these clients, I have access to all of the functionality I need, but sometimes I do fall back on Twitter.com if I have any issues.

To give you a sense of what CoTweet and its killer archiving functionality look like, check out the video below:

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2.) Scheduling Tools

Scheduling tools are a necessity because I don’t want to bombard my Twitter timeline with a bunch of tweets when I can schedule them throughout the day in hopes of increased engagement. While both CoTweet and HootSuite provide tweet scheduling capabilities, the eloquent solution here is clearly Buffer. Create a schedule of when you want to send out tweets and then merely “buffer” the tweet so you don’t need to decide on specific times for each tweet. A serious time-saver and, without doubt, leads to increased engagement over time.

Here’s a great Buffer tutorial video for you newbies:

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3.) Following/Follower Management

I like to monitor who follows me to judge whether or not I should follow them back. I also like to look for people that are tweeting about the things that I am interested in and follow them in hopes of engaging with them. The problem, though, is that you can’t scale unless you use a tool to help you manage this process. I want to spend time engaging, not following.

The tool that I have used and evangelized to help in this effort has been Tweetspinner, which I am still a fan of because of its very user-friendly interface. That being said, I have recently been turned on to Tweepi, a very powerful tool which returns a lot of data that allows me to make informed decisions on who (or who not) to follow in an Excel-like spreadsheet format. Definitely an app to check out if you haven’t done so.

Here’s a great introductory video of the main Tweepi functionality:

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4.) Content Curation

Content curation is an essential part of social media marketing, especially from a B2B perspective. There are many ways of finding content to curate that I and my good friend Aaron Lee have blogged about in the past. There are some convenient applications, however, that we can use to help us quickly find relevant content and either immediately post or schedule for posting later in the day.

Triberr is one of them, and I have already written a detailed review of Triberr. I will say, from a bloggers perspective, if I’m going to curate content, why not curate it from other bloggers who will also help promote my content to their followers? Now it doesn’t necessarily happen this way, but no one can doubt the advantages from a Twitter reach perspective of utilizing this perspective. That being said, I curate Triberr posts manually and am definitely not publishing blog posts from my tribe that my followers would consider inappopriate. This undoubtedly defeats the purpose of a tribe, and is bound to irritate some bloggers. But let’s face it: If I tweet off-topic (or off-brand), it’s not going to get any clicks for that blogger, and it will turn off my followers so that they’ll be less likely to click on any link I send them in the future. Finding the right tribe is the right challenge, but I do believe I have found a comfortable medium – for now.

For those of you unfamiliar with Triberr, check out this tour of its user interface with it’s founder!

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I had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn Rose, founder of the Social Buzz Club, for the first time in Baltimore last week when I spoke a the Small Business Survival Summit. Kathryn is a true social media rockstar who has developed her own content curation platform which may be one of the best kept secrets out there: Social Buzz Club. Comparing it to Triberr, it is a 100% manual approach that is not blogger-specific but topic-specific. If you are a Triberr user looking for supplemental content, or you are merely looking for alternative solutions for content curation, you owe it yourself to become a user and try it out.

StumbleUpon is not a Twitter app per se, but it does allow me to easily share content to Twitter when I am on the go from their awesome iPhone app. To be honest with you StumbleUpon is the only app that I can honestly say I have tweeted from the bathroom using ;-) Now, if only they would automatically add “via @StumbleUpon” at the end of each tweet sent over they would get a lot more eyeballs and the respect they deserve…

Finally, I prefer to stay away from automated Twitter schemes, but if you are looking for an automation tool that has so many filters that it can help you make sure you don’t miss the breaking news on only the topics and news sources that you are interested in, I highly recommend you take a look at Dlvr.it, especially if you are a TwitterFeed user.

5.) URL Shortener

I have a custom domain to brand the shortened links that I often share (wind.mn), so I used bit.ly to set it up as well as to monitor the analytics of how my tweets do. Since I recently moved over to Chrome, the bit.ly extension is pretty cool, even popping up when I have a “trending link.” Before a bit.ly user I was a heavy ow.ly user on the Hootsuite platform, which also provides robust analytics.

6.) Twitter SEO

Of course you know that I am already seeing SEO benefits from using Twylah, a truly unique product that can still be your special weapon. I aim at sending out one power tweet a day to bring new visitors to my Twylah page to further extend the benefits to my branding.

Making method in the madness of using the above tools sounds crazy, but I believe that those that are active on Twitter use a variety of tools similar to how I do.

What Twitter tools do you use in 2011? Are there any tools that you recommend that are superior to the ones that I mention? Please share with us! Thank you!

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

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Comments

  1. says

    I am using most of these tools as well and I agree with all of your recommendations.  I’d add a few niche one for creating lists and curating content, but everything list is first rate.

  2. says

    Great selection and recommendation of Twitter Tools. I use many of them, i do use managefilters to track followers and i am testing out SocialBro fot digging into potential new users to follow. But one button i miss on your selection of share tools on your blog is bufferapp button :) Neal Put it on is great tool coz them i can buffer you more often :) LOL
     

    • says

      Thanks for the confirmation Jure ;-) I don’t like to overdo it with tools but work them into my daily routine where it counts.  I have no problem of finding new followers with Tweepi and Tweetspinner, and I can track followers using the same.  As for the BufferApp button, well, technically that’s not a Twitter app, is it? ;-P

  3. says

    Mark Schaeffer shared this really helpful list Neil.

    It also has me thinking about my 85/15 rule…kind of my Moores Law for social that I am sharing with clients and prospects. 85% of activity is done by 15% of the network (similar to Digital ad Click rates). When I see Triberr, Scheduled Tweets, the fact Businesses are Tweeting maybe I am wrong and underestimating the 4 tweets per account rule. I did a study in late 2009 and I got 4 tweets in my stream per account i followed. But now these tools and more businesses are tweeting. I used to take number of tweets per day divide by 4 to estimate active users of Twitter. I might have to rethink this. I am estimating 50 million world wide each day but could be only 40 million since there are accounts doing heavy tweeting. And many are not people (technically) when relaying to clients realistically how many people they can reach. Same for Facebook only 15% of Facebook is heavily active. The stats prove it. So while 67mil in the US will log in today only 25-27mil are actually active (updating status, sharing, commenting etc).

    Considering there will only be about 15mil active Twitter users in the US today it has exponentially more impact than Facebook on your business. And some of these tools are excellent (I use them) others I never knew existed and I thank you for them.

    • says

      Hey Howie,

      Appreciate the detailed comment. It is true that a small minority make up for the vast majority of tweets, but for businesses and tweeting it really comes down to what their objective is in tweeting as well as their content strategy.  It might be natural for some businesses to tweet a lot because they have a lot of content to share that their target audience might be interested in.  It all comes down to their social media strategy.

      Looking forward to continuing the conversation!

  4. says

    I have been fairly impressed by the new Crowdbooster platform, spanning categories 2-3. On the one hand, it helps schedule tweets by analyzing your network for optimal times to share content. On the other, it recommends people to follow and engage with (based on your activity) that may improve your visibility and impressions. It even integrates your bit.ly account for in-line URL shortening that gets rounded up in your bit.ly or j.mp stats.

  5. says

    Thank you very much for these useful social media tools. I’m searching weeks to find useful tools like this.The mention map i like the most. Like this you can see what people like in your network. Very handy for marketing reasons.

  6. says

    Thanks Chris – I have played around with Crowdbooster as well, and although it does some of the things that you mention and merits further investigation (I haven’t used it in several weeks), I felt that it lacked some of the hardcore data that other apps seem to have. That being said, thanks for bringing them up, and if anyone is reading this, you should at least check them out and keep an eye on them as they develop.

  7. says

    I’m just now getting a little more excited about Twitter. I’ve seen it as a tool useful for those who have a product or event that a url will lead people to. I am a VA so am service oriented.  Most of the people following me on Twitter are trying to interest me in their stuff, but it is a quick way to find interesting content to repurpose.  I love hootsuite for all-purpose scheduling and monitoring of social media accounts and using for clients also.  Thanks for the great post with lots of good info – it’s always appreciated!

  8. says

    That’s all and well, Neal, but for someone who is trying to wrap her hands around the benefits of using Twitter in the first place, a third-party tool is going to cause more confusion than necessary. In the classes I teach, I vaguely allude to tools out there, e.g. Hootsuite, etc; but I focus on the twitter.com interface.

    • says

      Hey Ari, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I have a load of blog posts for beginners as well, and when I teach beginner classes I also concentrate on only using the Twitter.com platform. Maybe the last module of a beginner class I would introduce HootSuite/TweetDeck, et. al., but I agree that education should begin WITHOUT the tools. This post was obviously for those who already proficient with Twitter.com and want to see what tools are out there.

  9. says

    These are awesome tools Neal!

    I have been using Twitter, but never knew there were so many great tools you could use with their added benefits! Thanks so much for sharing them with all of us :)

  10. Foxvalleycatdoc says

    This discussion was very helpful and interesting.  Can you define “curate” to a newbie to twitter management?

  11. says

    Think of curating similar to a museum curator – selecting works of art for a gallery or a room with a specific purpose. You should be “curating” content that represents your brand and Twitter objective in a similar way and sharing it with your followers. Does that make sense?

  12. says

    That Tweepi looks cute but I have to say I’m quite alarmed when I see that they want to be able to post tweets for me when I use their authentication. Also, it requires that I sign up with the registration form. Surely all that can be taken from the authentication!

    I’ve developed a silly but useful little app called: Too Cool For Me
    http://toocoolfor.me which is very simple. It shows people people you follow follows you back and who’s too cool for you. Have a look. See if you like it.

  13. sambredl says

    Great Stuff Neal!! Do you know Social Bro? I use it a lot because it is just very clean and simple and lets you do all the stuff you can do with tweepi and even more. If you don’t know it you should give it a try: 

  14. says

    Yup – I know Social Bro, and I think that is an app that has gained popularity since I wrote that blog post. I actually don’t use it that much personally but I see the potential value of being able to really narrow in on target people or conversations.

    How do YOU use it Samuel?

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