New Public Relations, Social Media, Web Content — Twitter Toolkit for Beginners

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The shear number of Twitter tools to make Tweeting “easier” is somewhat overwhelming! You can discover thousands of programs that do this and do that. How can you stay on top of it all?

Take a deep breath and realize that you cannot. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by Twitter, create some categories for your Twitter use and then find the applications that work best for you. (Even better, find the freebies.)

These are my categories and the programs that I use. If they work for you, fantastic! If you want to share your suggestions, I’d love to check out your favorite Twitter tools too!

Manage Multiple Twitter Accounts

HootSuite is a neat little application (free) that allows you to manage multiple accounts. Your business might use separate Twitter accounts to communicate with your different customer profiles. Logging in and out of Twitter every time you want to Tweet under a different profile is time-consuming, but with Hootsuite you can manage them all at once. Best of all, you can schedule Tweets in advance. This ensures a few Tweets per profile go out throughout the week.

To see what others are available, read this Mashable blog post authored by Jennifer Van Grove.

Find Followers

Who says the Yellow Pages are dead? Not users of Twellow, the Twitter Yellow Pages. Register for a free listing and find oodles of people to follow by category. If you want to follow people Tweeting about growing roses, type it into Twellow’s search box, then every Twitter profile that discusses rose growing pops up into a list. Choose to follow as many as you’d like.

WhoShouldiFollow is an application that offers suggestions on people to follow that mirror those already in your profile.

FriendorFollow shows within your profile who follows you that you do not follow, those you follow not reciprocating, and mutual followers.

Organize Your Followers

I use TweetDeck to organize the people I follow in Twitter. Set up as many categories as you like and follow those Tweets in separate columns. My columns are organized to follow my full Twitter stream, another by industry experts, one by the topic SEO, etc. You can also see a column of replies, direct messages, etc.

Tweepler is a handy little program that makes following and ignoring people a bit easier. Whereas before I tried going into Twitter and manually looking up every new follower and either keeping or ignoring them, this app is much quicker!

If you would rather block than ignore, use MyTweeple. It is similar to Tweepler, but offers the block function. Once you upload your Twitter followers, MyTweeple shows you whether they follow you, you follow them, or it’s mutual. This app allows you to block and it is a huge time saver for me!

Dainis Graveris compiled a great list of Twitter tools for finding and managing followers. I suggest you give it a read.

Get Questions Answered on Twitter

Many people use Twitter as a surveying tool. It’s a wonderful use of this social medium. Rather than spending a bucket of cash on a focus group to test customer response to a new product or service, ask thousands of Twitter followers. Mashable posted a useful blog post on this topic. It lists and describes five Twitter apps for posting questions including iknowtweet, Twttrstrm, twtpoll, and twitQA. (The author Stan Schroeder also lists toanswer.com which as of this posting was no longer a working link.)

How Well Do I Twitter?

Whether you are a new Twitter user or a more seasoned expert, it’s nice to monitor effectiveness. I ran across three applications that do just that.

Visit Twitalyzer. Simply enter your Twitter user name and then wait for the results. Categories include influence, signal, generosity, velocity, and clout. Each category is explained on the site. There is also a search function and a way to see what brands are Twittering.

Another program from Chitika, analyzes your Twitter echo, or influence factor. Once again, enter your user name and wait for the results.

HubSpot offers a number of free graders including Twittergrader. Enter your user name and this app ranks and grades your account. Another section I found interesting was the Tweet Cloud which lists the terms you Tweet most often. I was pleased to see in my cloud words like Web, useful, analytics, RT, marketing, and thanks!

If You Twitter, They Will Come

Once you start Tweeting on a regular basis your following will increase. It takes time, but stick with it. Remember to monitor your brand, name, industry terms, and even competition through search. Add your “Follow me on Twitter” icon to everything you send out. Select a fun Twitter icon. This TwiTip blog post offers hundreds of free Twitter icons.

Twitter icon courtesy of productivedreams.

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4 Comments

  1. Joe Pulizzi

    Hi Laurie…incredibly helpful post for any beginner (or even intermediate) Twitter user. Great stuff.

    Best
    Joe

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  4. Laurie Dunlop

    Thank you Joe. Your book “Get Content. Get Customers.” is one of my professional favorites and I always learn something useful when I read you blog junta42.

    Sincerely,
    Laurie :)

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