October 16, 2008
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard something about the new microblogging platform, Twitter, and how Twitter has taken the online marketing world by storm. The phenomenon has even spawned a new lingo, with new your new tweeps (followers) tweeting (making posts) you and discussing the state of the Twitterverse (you get the idea here).
While Twitter is pretty easy to use, there’s an overwhelming amount of tools, plug-ins and applications being developed to support it. I ran across one blog that listed over 100. How can you determine which ones will best support you in your use of Twitter?
I’ve tried to sort though all of the junk, and come up with my 7 essential Twitter tools:
1. TwitterFox. This is actually a Firefox browser plug-in that permits you to keep up with your tweets and any direct (private) messages that come your way. Tweetdeck and Twhirl similarly help your manage your tweets and tweeps and have gotten rave reviews from users, but I prefer the simplicity of Twitterfox. All I have to do is check the Twitter logo in the lower right corner of any browser window to check my Tweets and to reply to any of them that I want.
2. TweetLater. The primary function of TweetLater.com is to permit die-hard Twitterers to stock up Tweets that can be scheduled to be posted over a period of time. However, the reason that I like it is that I can forward the emails about who is following me to my TweetLater email address, and my will automatically get a direct message from me. I just love it when I can automate my marketing tasks!
3. TwitterFeed. This service will enable you to feed your blog posts to your Twitter account. You can control the frequency with which Twitter displays your blog post, as well as the text used to preface your blog feed. I use “Blog update” to preface my posts.
4. TwitterSearch. This site offers a quick way to search what people are posting about particular topics or keywords in the twitterverse.
5. TweetBeep. This is the equivalent of Google Alerts for Twitter, which permits you to track mentions of your name, products, company, or anything else you want to track.
6. LoudTwitter. LoudTwitter is the bridge that posts your daily Tweets to your blog Your blog takes care about the archiving of your tweets along with your other posts, which give more context. After all, if you have a blog and a Twitter, your blog is probably the core place where you want to be found and tracked.
7. Png.fm. While technically not a Twitter tool, I quickly tired of manually updating my status settings at all of my social networking sites. So, I began using Ping.fm. When you update your status at Ping.fm, the service will automatically update your status on all of your social networking sites, like Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, Pownce, to name a few (there are 21 you can update). Depending on the number of networks you use, it will take you 10-50 minutes to connect your Ping.fm account to your various social network accounts. However, once everything is set up, you simply log into your Ping account, post your update (no more than 140 characters), and your status is automatically upgraded on all of your social networking profiles. I use this tool to post Tweets, but use Twitterfox to post my @ replies to my followers.
Even though Twitter initially seemed like a fad, it’s not going away. Use these tools to maximize your use of Twitter and enhance your social networking!
Online Business Manager and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com. Follow Donna on Twitter.