Twitter Tools That Help With Efficiency

If you’re as busy as I am, you don’t have time to spend all day finding content, and managing your Twitter account. Steven Hughes wrote a great post a few weeks ago about how to manage Twitter efficiently, and spoke about Twitter tools. I’ll expand more on that topic in this post. There are plenty of Twitter tools out there that make it a lot easier for you to do your daily Twitter work. Here are some of my favourite Twitter tools for content and account management that I could not live without:

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is my go-to command center for monitoring and responding to Twitter messages. I recently wrote a post that explains how I set it up so I’m always listening. Hootsuite makes it easy to manage all of your incoming, and outgoing messages on Twitter, making it a lot easier to follow conversations. It’s also a great tool to monitor conversations from your favourite Tweeps, and some industry hashtags. If you’re still tweeting directly from Twitter’s website – STOP. Start using Hootsuite, it will make your life a lot easier.

BufferApp

BufferApp is my content scheduler – I prefer the interface and the ease of use compared to Hootsuite’s content scheduler. With BufferApp, you set pre-determined times for your tweets to send out for each day of the week. When you find an article you like, you can “buffer” it in BufferApp, and it will be added in the dashboard for your next scheduled tweet. You can buffer 20 tweets at a time if you want, and you’ll be sure they will tweet out at the different times that you selected. Also, BufferApp has an easy analytics dashboard that shows you how many people replied to your tweet, re-tweeted, your total reach for that tweet, and how many people clicked on your link. It makes it very easy to track the performance of your tweets.

Buffer for TwitterTweriod

Tweriod is a neat little app – it calculates when your Twitter followers are most active by measuring when they mention and retweet you the most, and gives you an optimized schedule for the best times for you to tweet. You can get a free report that separates the results in weekdays vs. weekends, but if you pay a couple dollars for a report (and I suggest you do, it’s worth it), you can get optimized schedules for every day of the week. What’s AWESOME about Tweriod is that it integrates with BufferApp, and automatically fills in the best schedule for you.

Tweriod for TwitterGoogle Reader

You’re probably wondering how Google Reader is a Twitter tool – You can subscribe to your favourite blogs with Google Reader, and have the RSS feeds appear in one single location, making it easy to sort through a lot of content at once. You can also subscribe to Google Alerts RSS feeds, and put it into your Google Reader, so you can keep up on the latest news about a certain topic. What’s even better is that BufferApp has an applet that integrates with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. When you go through your Google Reader, and find an article you like, you can schedule it right from Google Reader by pressing the “buffer” button on your browser – makes it ridiculously easy for you to schedule your content. Another added bonus – you can organize your content in folders. So all of your Social Media RSS feeds can go into the Social Media forlder, Marketing RSS feeds in marketing folder, and so on…

Reader for TwitterSocialMention.com

SocialMention.com is neat – you can search for topics across different social networks, blogs, video hosting sites, etc., and set up an RSS feed for your search results. Once you have your RSS feed setup, you can import it into Google Reader and make it really easy for you to schedule out YouTube videos, or any other content you found on SocialMention.

Tweepi

I use Tweepi for one thing – flush people that haven’t followed me back. Tweepi makes it very easy for you to sort through people that you have followed, and that are not following you back, so you can unfollow as needed. If you invest into Tweepi premium, you can also use it to find new Tweeps to follow, which might be useful for some.

These are the tools that I use day-in, day-out, to manage the multiple Twitter accounts I manage. Without these tools, I would waste A LOT of time throughout my day. I’m able to schedule content within 30 minutes each day, and manage my Twitter followers within 10 minutes each day. That totals 40 minutes of account/content management – the rest is dedicated to monitoring and engaging with Twitter followers.

How long does it take you to schedule content, and manage your Twitter followers each day? Do you wish you had more time on your hands for engagement? Please leave a comment below!

Twitter: How to Manage and run Efficiently

Twitter has become a household name thanks to the media and its continued growth.  Twitter surpassed the 500 million user milestone earlier this year, and over 150K new users sign up daily.

While Twitter has become very popular over the last few years, many of the registered users fall off the face of the Earth.  Only about 100 million are active on a monthly basis.  Well 100 million active users is impressive, and there are no signs of Twitter slowing down.  Twitter is only going to get bigger.

If you’re a business and not taking advantage of Twitter you’re likely doing yourself a disservice. Your Twitter account needs to be managed and run efficiently for success.  Twitter gives your customers and prospects another format to communicate with your business.  It also serves as a venue to promote your business.

With a max of 140 characters per Tweet, Twitter would seem like a cinch.  In theory it is a cinch, but there are pieces to manage that make your experience efficient and worthwhile.

Give it time – If you’re new to Twitter or inactive you need to have patience.  If you’re expecting fireworks in a day, week, or month of use you need to change your mind set.  It takes time to build a following and achieve your desired results.  You need to give Twitter six months before making an evaluation of its value.  You will build relationships in this sea of users if you give it time.

Be Active – You must be active.  Tweeting here and there is not going to cut it.  Have a plan where you’re going to be tweeting daily.  At the minimum you should send 8-10 tweets per day.  Any less is just not enough.  If you want to be really active send a tweet out every 20 minutes.  That is good activity without coming off as spammy.

Create Lists and Use them – This is the foundation of an organized Twitter experience especially as your follower count grows.  Twitter allows you to have 20 different lists with a maximum 500 users per list.  As a business you should create a customer list and prospect list right off the bat.  A list allows you to see a group of specified users in one place.  This makes communication with these users more manageable.   You must create lists.

Use Tools – While Twitter recently changed its API rules for third party apps, there are still many out there that will highly increase your efficiency.  Using the Twitter interface alone puts you at a disadvantage.  HootSuite is one of the best free tools on the net.  It takes your lists or any searchable word/phrase and separates them into streams.  HootSuite filters your Twitter account and allows for easy management and analysis.  You can and should schedule tweets through HootSuite.  Sending tweets manually at a certain time can be exhausting and defeating.  Scheduling your tweets in the morning over the course of the day(s) saves you a great deal of time.  Another tool that is suggested is Tweepi.  Tweepi allows you to manage your Twitter with ways to follow and unfollow users based on certain criteria.  As your number of followers becomes greater Tweepi is almost necessary.  Tweepi offers both free and premium service.  Under no circumstances ever buy followers.  You see the ads all the time, “Gain 10K followers for $100” but it is total garbage.  They are not real users and will serve you no purpose.

Avoid one-way Communication – Don’t fall into the habit of just broadcasting. While providing good content is important, you want to communicate with your followers. That’s how relationships are built. Do you have to tweet a “thank you” every time someone mentions you or retweets your tweet? No, but you do want to acknowledge that user by retweeting one of their tweets, mentioning them, and/or adding them to one of your lists. If you add them to a list you’ll be able to see their activity through a stream in Hootsuite that you’ve created. You can then schedule a retweet or mention of one on theirs tweets if it is relevant to your audience. If you’re asked a direct question on Twitter, do everything in your power to reply. If you someone asks you a question in person, do you keep walking or stay silent? Probably not, so it shouldn’t be any different online.

Easy on the Self-Promo Cowboy – Many use a 80/20 rule of thumb with 20% of your tweets promoting your brand, products, and services.  In the Social Media space you’re better off keeping that promotion ratio under 10%.  Self-promoting can be a turnoff to follower real quick, so you really want to be aware of it and space out your tweets accordingly.

How do you manage Twitter effectively and efficiently?