Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some of my favorite free Twitter tools

With so many social media tools out there, it is hard to know which tools are worth using and which aren't. Here are three of my favorite Twitter tools, and all are FREE. They are applications created by nonTwitter entities, but they work hand-in-hand with Twitter. I have found them to be easy to use and big time-savers.

1) Social Oomph: If you have more than one Twitter account, this tool is a great one to use for managing all of those accounts. You can auto-follow, auto-unfollow, send a DM to all followers, screen followers (accept, ignore, spam or block) and more. I have 10+ accounts so this is a real time-saver to be able to ignore all of my Twitter emails (I auto-filter them into a special Twitter folder in my inbox) and then view all new followers 3 days a week (M, W, F). If I skip a few days, Social Oomph automatically accepts all followers after 72 hours so no one gets ignored. The tool I use is free, but there are upgrades for a fee.

2) Hoot Suite: Colleague Kirk Davis (GRCC's Small Business Assistance Center) told me about this gem. Again, I can manage multiple social media accounts in one place. It manages a variety of social media - including Facebook - but I primarily use it for Twitter. Here I can manage my tweets, scheduling them in advance. I choose the account, type my tweet, "shrink" my URL if needed, and choose the date and time to go out. I can even get an email confirmation that the tweet was sent. Want to delegate this task? You can add users to your account, so others can manage your Twitter accounts for you. The tools I use on Hoot Suite are free.

3) Twellow: There are dozens if not hundreds of Twitter search tools out there. I use different ones for different reasons. One of my newest (and, of course, free) favorites is Twellow. You can search for keywords under a variety of pre-selected categories. For example, for my iLoveKent.net site, I want to focus on Twitter users who are in the Puget Sound area. I click on a specific area of interest like real estate, dining or shopping, and then type in "Seattle" in the keyword area or I can select "Kent, Washington" in the keyword box and choose all categories. Twellow returns a list of Twitter followers that match those criteria. If I'm logged into my free Twellow account, I can follow them right there on the spot! This is a great - FREE - way to narrow your followers' list to those who are most likely to fit into your target market.

Have a favorite Twitter tool? Post your comments here. I'd love to hear your suggestions! In particular, I'd be interested to hear how Twitter users screen and purge their followers' lists.

Virtually Yourz,
Dana Neuts

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