SEMA News—April 2010
Power Tools for Business Users
Business users who are already comfortable with Twitter are in luck: There are currently hundreds of analytics and time-saving tools available that will enable you to quickly sort through the noise, retrieve the insights you want and generate the reach you’re looking for with minimal effort.
“Twitter can be a virtual goldmine of information for brands,” said Hollis Thomases, author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour A Day. “To help you monitor conversations and parse through data, Twitter and other third parties provide tools that let you search on particular keywords and receive alerts when someone mentions you. The results can help you understand how people use Twitter and how you tweet in relationship to those tweets—which helps you define and create a Twitter strategy.”
For would-be power users, here’s a cherry-picked selection of some of the best tools for business, recommended by Thomases and other social media marketing experts:
Measure the Impact of Your Tweets: Everyone has their good and bad days on Twitter. Tweet Effect enables you to help spot which of your Tweets were home runs by highlighting the posts that generated more followers for you and which caused people to say goodbye.
Measure Your Overall Influence on Twitter: There are a number of tools that will slice and dice your influence on the social network. Twitter Grader is one of the easiest to use. Just type in your Twitter username, click the grade button and you’ll see how you stack up. TweetLevel, a similar tool, ranks your company’s status on Twitter using four metrics: influence, popularity, engagement and trust. Twinfluence offers similar analytics, as does TweetReach.
Do a Comprehensive Analysis: For a more in-depth look at how you’re doing on Twitter, check out Twitalyzer, which offers an entry-level service and a paid-level service. “This grading program ranks based on such factors as generosity, clout, velocity, influence and signal-to-noise ratio,” Thomases said. “Twitalyzer gives you countless other statistics and graphs depicting those factors changing over time.”
The good news with this service is that its creators just released a new version in January—Twitalizer 4.0—which was also accompanied by price breaks. Other facets of the facelift include easier-to-read charts and graphs, greater ability to customize, tighter integration with Google Analytics and daily reporting for dozens of key metrics.
“Twitalyzer is really just two guys, Jeff Katz and Eric Peterson, both of whom have spent a fair amount of time working in the digital management space,” said Twitalyzer CEO Eric Peterson. “For the past two years, we have spent our evenings, weekends and free moments devising new ways to help businesses and organizations understand and optimize their efforts in short-message media.”
Quickly Discern Which Followers Are Most Influential: It’s nice to be popular and be followed by many on Twitter. It’s nicer when those followers are influential people who can give real legs to your brand. Topify identifies these people for you by giving you in-depth information on each person who decides to follow you on Twitter, including the size of his or her own following, a bio, his/her last five tweets and similar statistics. The information automatically arrives by e-mail to you each time a new follower signs up.
Multi-Post to Many Social Networks Simultaneously: Given that many Twitter marketers are also trying to reach out to customers on other social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s no surprise that there’s a tool to enable you to send the same post to all of your social networks simultaneously. Hellotxt is among the most ambitious. It allows you to simultaneously post to more than 50 social networks with a simple button click. Natter, meanwhile, is targeted to users interested only in monitoring and posting to the two biggest social networks, Twitter and Facebook.
Set Up Shop for Team Tweets: CoTweet enables a number of company employees to tweet from a single company account on Twitter, making it easier to solidify your brand. ChatterBox and TweetFunnel offers similar capabilities.
Do an Instant Twitter Poll: TwtPoll enables you to easily put together a multiple-choice question poll on Twitter. “A Twtpoll can be set-up and launched in seconds, and you can embed the survey and survey results in a website,” Thomases said.
Showcase Twitter Posts on Your Website: Keep more eyeballs glued to your homepage with Twitter Widgets, customizable tools that display your latest posts from Facebook, Blooger, Typepad and other social media tools. A similar tool, Jotabl, allows visitors to your website to get in on the action by displaying their tweets in a social media box on your homepage or anywhere else you’d like to place it.
Admit It, Size Matters: Get more into your posts by shrinking the length of the links you use. There are a number of services that will do this for you. Goo.gl, from search titan Google, seems among the most reliable. (Something tells me that company and its link-shrinking service will be around for awhile.) Other champions of shorter is better include Bit.ly, t.co, TinyURL and v.gd.
Break the 140-Character Tweet Barrier: One of the great charms—and great annoyances—of Twitter is that every tweet must be 140 characters or less. BiggerTwitter allows you to sidestep truncation by allowing you to easily drop a link in your tweet for thoughts that need more than 140 characters to make sense.
Post Multi-Lingually: Babller enables you to read and post on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in a number of languages. Be sure your customer service (phone, e-mail, support people) can handle all the new business you’re looking to generate in a foreign language.
Get the Big Picture: If you’re looking to sift for megatrends on Twitter, including what people are tweeting about most at any given moment, Tweetmeme is your ticket.