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!