How to use Twitter Part 4 – Tools

Continuing the Twitter Tips I embarked on last year, we’re now up to number 4 in the series – Twitter Tools Now you can run your account quite easily from your web browser.

If you’re just after having a chinwag with friends, or clicking on links to learn from folks you follow, the web will do fine.

But what if you want to dig a little deeper? Back in June when I interviewed Biz Stone, he said Twitter had 11,000 tools registered plugging into their APIs – of course I’m not going to list them all, but I’ll call out a few areas where you might explore some additional help to make your Twitter experience just that bit more fruitful.

Desktop Management Apps

These use a bit of S+S to help you get more out of Twitter.

Download the likes of Seesmic, Tweetdeck, Bdule, Hootsuite or Twhirl and they let you manage multiple accounts, easily search for keywords so you can follow conversations, update your Facebook status at the same time, and notify you if someone sends you a DM or replies to one of your Tweets.

Very helpful if your only blocker to engage is you don’t have the time. These save you time by making it easy to chat and easy to be kept informed.

URL Shortening

Ever wondered how people you follow get those long links to shrink? They use URL Shortening services which create a “re-direct” link to a longer news item or blog post. This leaves more space for text within the Tweet so you can explain the context.

Remember you only have 140 characters!

The beauty of these is in the analytics most provide. They let you see how many people have clicked on the link you tweeted, and very often give some geographic data as to where they’re clicking from. I use but Lee Odden has a great rundown here. Twitter


How many followers did you gain or lose last month? Twitter Counter will tell you.

What’s your reach? You may only have 500 followers but once your stuff gets re-tweeted, what’s your potential impact? Tweet Reach will tell you that. Need some fancy charts and in depth numbers on your retweets, popularity, impact or generosity? Twitteranalyzer & Tweetstats & Twitalyzerwill help you with that! Now that is not all of them, and not one of them is really the all-in-one solution because they all do different things.

But it gives you an indication of how developers are using the Twitter APIs to come up with data mining gizmos and helpful apps that help you be more Twitter productive, and could help justify your foray into Social Media!

For over 50 tools and explanations check out this huge post from HoneyTech!

It’s a monster!

If you have a fave tool then let us know! Next time I’ll wrap up the series with some advanced ideas on how to get the best out of Twitter.

PS: If you haven’t had enough, you can also follow me on Twitter & Facebook