Picking Twitter Tools for Your Business
Social media is not yet a science and it’s even sometimes difficult to find the logic in it all, so proven theories on Twitter tools, unfortunately, do not exist. But, you can do research, apply deductive reasoning, test and form hypotheses about which tools will work best for your business.
There are hundreds of “top Twitter” this and “top Twitter” that lists roaming around, and it can be a little overwhelming. So, here are a couple tips on how you can whittle those lists down into something manageable to experiment with.
Internet marketers: You can also brush up on your knowledge of Twitter tools so you can best advise clients on what will work for them.
Understand the Genres of Twitter Tools
New Twitter tools come and go so quickly these days, it’s sometimes hard to keep up. First, identify what you want to do with your Twitter account(s), then seek out the tools that can help you do it.
Some Twitter tools perform very specific functions, while others address several objectives at once. Just some of the things Twitter apps can help you with are:
- Managing Twitter followers to see who is following you that you aren’t following back and vice versa.
- Directories for finding people so you can engage in the communities that matter most to your business.
- Managing Twitter productivity to streamline your Twitter usage outside of the traditional Twitter user interface.
- Managing your brand on Twitter through design and brand tracking to ensure your business is putting its best foot forward.
- Searching and aggregating current or popular topics and trends to see what people are talking about.
- Sending images and/or video on Twitter to make the experience even more interactive.
Start Reading User Reviews
You should apply the same techniques to choosing Twitter tools as you would to choosing a restaurant, for example.
You’re going to want to find candid reviews about the tools from the people that have used them before, so you don’t waste your time.
A site that I have found really helpful in choosing Twitter tools based on functionality and user reviews is OneForty.com.
This site allows you to search for Twitter apps based on many of the functionalities I mentioned above, plus it has reviews from people who have used them.
It also suggests similar apps based on the one you are researching, and it gives developer information, press mentions and related tweets about the tool you’re looking at.
It even has an area on the site dedicated to Twitter Toolkits, where users can share their arsenal of Twitter weapons with readers (see Toolkits to the left; click on image to view page).
When you’re poking around for tools, remember that some have free and premium options, where you’ll have to pay for the upgraded service.
If you do your research, oftentimes you can find free tools that offer the same functionality that some of the other tools charge for.
As some tools gain popularity, we might see them beginning to charge for their services, so get in on the good apps while you can.
Once you’ve found some Twitter tools that look good for your business, get in there and start experimenting with them. You’ll likely find out if the tool is working for you within a couple weeks of continued usage.
You may only need a tool that automated tweets for you, for example, or you might be the kind of business that is looking for analytics so you can take Twitter usage to the next level (Twitter Analytics!).
As I said before, some Twitter tools address many of these functions in one. HootSuite, for example, just won the Best Social Media Management Tool award from the 4th annual Mashable Awards at the beginning of January.
Hootsuite manages more than just Twitter though, it can also manage up to five social networks for free.
And why not give back to the community once you’ve experimented a bit? Spread the word about the tool, and tell people what did and didn’t work for you by leaving reviews on OneForty.com.
If you have any more tips, please leave a comment below. Tweet on, people!