Being February, it’s the season of declarations of love. I’ve been using Twitter for over nine years and in that time, I often fall in and out of love for the ever-evolving platform. I thought I’d hate the increase to 280 characters, but actually, it’s not that bad. Also, in my years of social media training, I’ve recommended numerous third-party tools to help manage, measure and understand what’s happening on the platform. Most have been free initially, but many have either started charging or sadly disappeared.
But what are the Twitter tools that have remained close to my heart?
The successful use of hashtags is crucial to get your tweets in front of the right audience. Success means using hashtags in the right way, not simply as an emphasis to what your tweeting (e.g. #hungry #starving etc….) but to link your tweet to already established hashtags being used by the community you’re trying to reach.
There are lots of tools to help you research to build your hashtag vocabulary around a campaign or set of tweets that you’re planning for Twitter.
I personally love the visual displays that some of these provide. Bottlenose Lite, sadly no longer available, was the first I fell in love with, displaying hashtags and their connections as tag clouds. Thankfully there are still a couple of free products that offer a similar visual representation:
While a still great tool, the team are looking to create an income from the platform. Features which were originally free such as a map showing the connections between hashtags you now must pay for. However, at present Hashtagify still provides a useful tag cloud of hashtags related to the hashtag you’re searching for. Each hashtag in the keyword cloud is clickable, meaning you can navigate easily between hashtags. It also shows top influencers for each hashtag as well.
Keyhole is a great Hashtagify alternative, as well as a hashtag cloud it also provides one for keywords, but neither are clickable at present. Keyhole has sentiment statistics and information on the top websites linked to from posts using that hashtag. However, a lot of these can be unhelpful as link shrinker and tracker bit.ly came out highest on most searches I tried.
Although worth an honourable mention is followthehashtag.com a new tool to me and currently in beta, but seems to provide a lot currently for free, including a much more comprehensive tag cloud than Hashtagify or Keyhole.
During my years on Twitter, I’ve noticed a rise in the number of accounts that simply follow you so that you follow them back. Within a few days, they’ve unfollowed you and a whole host of other accounts as well.
What they’re aiming for is a “celeb” Twitter profile i.e. following a few accounts but having lots of followers. It’s a real pain especially for those of us on the platform who use Twitter to be social. Two tools have helped me manage this situation, flagging up new unfollowers:
Who Unfollowed Me was the first tool that really helped me with managing my unfollowers. While there’s many similarly named websites and apps available, even the free/lite web-based version of Who Unfollowed Me will show you your followers and unfollowers for the past 30 days.
Although Statusbrew offer a full social media management package, the app (Android or IOS) allows you to check your followers/unfollowers from your smartphone. Yes, the app does a lot more than this for a price, but the free version is all you’ll need to manage your Twitter community.
So what tools and apps do you love to use with Twitter?
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