The Beginner's Guide to Twitter for Business: Choosing Free Twitter Tools
Twitter is awash with different clients, tools and apps and if it’s your first brush with the platform, it’s very hard to know what may be useful and where you should spend your budget.
Whether you choose to tweet and manage your account from the native Twitter page, or one of the other free or paid-for clients is up to you. Your choice will depend on how busy your account is; what reporting and analysis needs you have; what devices you are tweeting from; who else will be sharing the account with you – and your budget!
Extracted from eModeration's newly-published The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter for Business, we’ve done some hunting around, and here is a list of FREE Twitter tools and apps which we hope you’ll find useful.
Twitter clients, to publish, read and engage (for Mac and PC)
Twitter twitter.com The native Twitter webpage and smartphone/iPad app. This is still a favourite for searching for accounts, watching trends, getting recommendations and live tweeting events.
Hootsuite hootsuite.com Web, mobile and desktop. One of our personal favourites, Hootsuite offers three sign-up plans, including a free option which allows you to manage four other social network profiles (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Pages) through the tool and offers basic analytics, scheduling and team collaboration. You can organise your view into ‘streams’ (columns) of groups of accounts, searches, or keywords.
Tweetdeck tweetdeck.com (now owned by Twitter) Web and desktop only. This allows you to create columns for lists of accounts and searches, which helps you to monitor your incoming feed and not miss tweets from those you follow. You may have (for example) different columns for ‘customers’, ‘news media’, ‘suppliers’, ‘friends’ etc as well as the standard columns for your @mentions, direct messages, your own tweets etc.
Echofon echofon.com (iPad, smartphone) It does all the basics — tweeting, retweeting, messaging — and can easily sync all unread tweets across multiple devices. Plus, it features a clean interface, allows for drag and drop attachments, and can manage multiple accounts.
There are many more clients for desktop and mobile which are worth considering, and please note that for reasons of space, we have not included any of the excellent paid options available.
Also, to help you manage your account, there are hundreds of free Twitter apps. Here are a few which are worth mentioning:
Tweriod tweriod.com Usefully – despite the twerrible name – Tweriod will analyse when the people you follow are most active and DM you the results in pretty graph form so you know when it’s best to tweet and engage your followers.
Bufferapp bufferapp.com Use this to easily share and schedule content to your social networks from wherever you are, mobile, newsreader etc.
Twubs twubs.com A useful hashtag directory to discover topics and twitter chats, check the availability of hashtags and register your own.
Twilert twilert.com Get updates of tweets containing your brand, product, service… any keyword you like. Great for making sure you don’t miss a crisis brewing, a sales opportunity or a chance to say thanks.
SocialMention socialmention.com Real-time social media search and analysis (not just for Twitter) (Also listed under ‘search’.)
Hashtag Tracking hashtracking.com Gives you all the tweets on a hashtag, # tweets, followers, impressions etc.
Twitter Advanced Search Twitter.com/search-advanced Often overlooked, but very powerful searching capabilities.
SocialMention socialmention.com Real-time social media search and analysis (not just for Twitter).
TweetGrid tweetgrid.com Twitter search dashboard that updates in real time.
Topsy topsy.com Real-time search for the social web. Google for the social web.
Postpost postpost.com A tool that helps you to discover interesting tweets that might otherwise have been buried.
Monitter monitter.com Real time Twitter search tool that enables you to monitor a set of keywords on Twitter.
Measuring influence & reputation monitoring
Klout klout.com measures your influence on your social networks.
Kred kred.com Another good influence measurement company.
tweetLevel tweetlevel.edelman.com Tracks influence and shows the algorithm used to calculate it.
PeerIndex peerindex.com Measures influence by topic and person, etc.
RetweetRank retweetrank.com Tracks your rank and retweets
tweetreach tweetreach.com Measures the reach of tweets, links and hashtags
Bit.ly bit.ly Track information you post to Twitter by custom URLs.
SocialBro socialbro.com Powerful Twitter analysis.
SocialBakers socialbakers.com Global Twitter stats.
ManageFlitter manageflitter.com Powerful Twitter account management, both free and paid.
Twittercounter twittercounter To just keep an eye on your activity and growth (and that of your competition) you can use the freemium level of this app.
Unfollowing You may find yourself following a lot of accounts which may no longer be active, are fake, or of little use to you. A number of apps such as Manageflitter and Tweepioffer a service to analyse and categorise your following list and then make it easy to unfollow them (though beware of either following or unfollowing too many at once, as Twitter sets limits on this and may suspend your account).
Twitlistmanager twitlistmanager.com fetches the people you follow, as well as any lists you’ve already created, and puts everything on a single page. You can create new lists if you want to, and simply check boxes to add or remove people to your lists.
We’re not going to pretend this is an exhaustive list – but it’s a good start. Why not let us know your favourite Twitter apps below, and we’ll keep this list updated?
Note that the landscape for Twitter app developers is becoming more restricted as Twitter isn’t really interested in supporting services that compete with its own client apps, so these apps may well not be around forever, alas.
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