November 12, 2013
Twitter is a truly fascinating social platform. Launched merely 7 years ago the company is now valued at $24bn. Some argue this is an over-valuation (Twitter is yet to make a profit), however the numbers speak for themselves:
- 230+ million monthly active users
- 500 million Tweets are sent per day
- 76% of Twitter active users are on mobile
The sheer amount of traffic, conversations and eventual conversions created by the platform is impressive. When you listen to Twitter, and you hear what the world is talking about. You can even use it to water your plants, avoid traffic jams or teach your class!
Over the last couple of years I’ve grown to like Twitter more and more. Sure, micro-blogging is no replacement to in-depth argumentation provided by blogs, but the word limits also foster creativity. According to Orson Welles, ‘the enemy of art is the absence of limitation’ and Twitter provides exactly this exciting limitation.
However, fascinating though Twitter is, its user experience and functionality has its limitations. It is pretty basic! This blog is about a couple of practical tools that help make the most of Twitter. These are tools that I’ve grown to appreciate over time and hopefully so will you!
If you are into social analytics, insights and listening, Twtrland will help you compare the quality of engagement across multiple Twitter accounts. Let’s say you are looking for a thought leader or brand advocate within your industry to engage with via Twitter. Twtrland will allow you to search by skill (for example, Customer Experience) and will provide you with a list of top influencers within this industry. You can then compare these individuals according to their Relevance, Amplification and Reach. If you’re after even more detailed analytics, such metrics as Tweets per Day, Retweets per 100 tweets, Replies per 100 tweets are also at your disposal.
If you still haven’t come across HootSuite, you should. The two main reasons I like HootSuite are:
- Scheduling – of course, Twitter is not all about broadcast. There should be live engagement (and this is what makes social media so distinctive), but it doesn’t mean you can’t schedule a couple of posts in advance. Create a content plan for the next couple of months, find relevant content to support it and schedule it in. This will ensure the consistency of your outreach that so many campaigns lack.
- Listening – the second reason I like HootSuite, is the ability to set up the monitoring of specific keyword groups, phrases and hashtags. This will allow you to extend the reach of your campaign, identifying relevant conversations to join and contribute to. Try it out!
Hashtags matter if you want your content to be discoverable. According to this infographic, Tweets with one or two hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without hashtags! However, the problem quite often is choosing the right hashtag. Twubs and Topsy are really useful tools that will help you with this choice. Twubs is a hashtag directory, and its main advantage is the extensive list of related hashtags. Let’s say you are writing about User Experience conversations. Twubs will helpfully show you that #CEM, #UX and #CX are all useful tags. And this is where Topsy comes in – you can cross compare the popularity of specific tags over time:
And finally a simple little tool that makes List management a much more pleasant and effective task. Instead of opening each of the profiles you follow and indicating which list they belong to, this tool provides a simple table of tickboxes, which will help you update and manage your lists in a couple of seconds. Lists help to avoid the chaos that so often arises as you follow more and more people. Public lists are also a great SEO tool if appropriately signposted. Try it out!
Do you use any of these tools? Would you recommend any others that make your Twitter experience more enjoyable and outreach more effective? Feel free to comment below! And read on at This week’s changes to Twitter platform
Images courtesy of Twtrland, HootSuite and Topsy