You can become the master of the Twitter Universe with just a handful of tools. Here’s 4 you should definitely stick in your arsenal and use regularly to get the most out of Twitter.
We admit it. We’re nerds when it comes it Twitter and Tweetdeck is our favourite platform for managing multiple accounts, scheduling content and creating keyword searches. Pretty exciting right?
If you haven’t come across Tweetdeck before we’ll explain briefly. It’s pretty much a tool to streamline your Twitter activities, creating columns from your different feeds such as notifications or messages and therefore allows you to easily keep track of what’s going on. Tweetdeck really comes into its own if you’re running multiple Twitter accounts; if you spend your days logging in and out of the Twitter homepage to switch accounts then your world is seriously about to change. You can also schedule content (even Twitter cards if you validate the link in advance) which means you Twitter presence can continue even if you’re in the pub.
Tweetdeck might seem quite intimidating at first, especially if you activate a large number of accounts and chuck in tonnes of columns but it’s a really simple tool to navigate once you get the hang of it. Make sure you order your columns up in a way that makes sense to you so you can run the show as efficiently as possible.
Best of all this software costs absolutely nothing. Nadda. Not a single penny. And that’s why we recommend it to many small businesses who are paying for the likes of Hootsuite. You can download it to run on your desktop or even fire it up in your browser. If, like us, you’ve got Twitter accounts coming out of your ears and work for a couple of different client clusters that you want to separate easily, then it’s handy to have a desktop version and one in your browser. If you login to separate accounts on each then you can divide your projects clearly and won’t need to logout of either version at all! Outstanding!
2. Audiense (the tool formerly known as SocialBro)
This is one powerful force in the Twitter realm and one that you should really start harnessing. So what can Audiense do? Well, while it’s not a publishing tool, it pretty much does everything else. From analysing your content and audience with useful figures and graphs, to targeting audiences and constructing rule built auto-DM campaigns, it’s a mean tool that’s as diverse as it is useful. We’re not even sure whether we’ve made good use of all their features yet, but we’re sure as hell going to give it a good go!
Being the Twitter pros that they are, they’ve also lavished their site with tonnes of useful articles and eBooks that explore current social trends from big influencers, as well as tips to getting the most out of Audiense itself. You can access these for free in their Social Strategy Blog.
To summarise, Audiense is all about understanding your Twitter and allows you to reflect on content, adjust and act smarter.
The starting cost of Audiense is around the $13 mark but varies depending on the size of your network and the features you require. A free account is available but it’s hardly worth it, especially for businesses. What is pretty great though is the free trial on sign up; once you join SocialBro you’ll have 15 days to try it out so it’s well worth taking it for a test-drive even if paying for social tools isn’t in your current budget.
Crowdfire is basically a Twitter management tool with an aim of helping you grow your following. In a nutshell, this tool helps you keep on top of your following / followers ratio as well as automating a few process such as DM campaigns. There’s also a publisher that allows you to share tweet live or schedule for later dates.
Of course, this is nothing new; the web’s littered with management tools like this. But what makes Crowdfire stand out is their slick iPhone and Android app that allows you to manage accounts where ever you are (except in the co-op; we never get any signal there), adding a few bonus points to its usability and usefulness.
Unfortunately the free version is ridiculously limited so if you want to use it, you’ll be paying. Costs vary quite dramatically from $9.99 to $199 a month but small businesses are advised to take the $19.99 option that allows you to manage 5 accounts and access all other features.
If you’ve ever used Tweepi you might be surprised to see this in our list. In fact, you might want to call us imbeciles and throw a heavy blunt object at us. But give us a chance; there’s a few very good reasons why this should be included and why you should give it a try.
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. For starters, we’re well aware that it’s not visually strong and seems a little dated; that’s cool though – it does what it does and hasn’t got time for posing. Secondly it has very few features and although it tries to pretend like it has more going on, it’s basically a tool for following people.
But wait…here’s why you should give it another chance. This is a great tool if you want to reach out to an audience that follows another Twitter account, simply by using their search ‘by @user’s followers’. Fairly recently they’ve made this search more sophisticated by adding criteria filters such as bio and location. The result? You can quite easily pull together people who fit into your target audience.
It’s also a really helpful tool if you’re just starting out and don’t have money to throw at management tools. When we helped kick start Wriggle a few years back, this was our go-to tool to find a basic audience and help spread the word around. Back then there were no limits on following for a free version like there is now, but that’s not an issue and it’s a far better alternative to the free version of Crowdfire purely because you have more numbers to play with.
One final point though. You can pay for Tweepi which boosts the number of accounts you can follow on a daily basis, but between us, you’d be better off investing in an overarching tool like SocialBro.