You’ve decided to join your fellow business owners on Twitter? Better late than never, as the saying goes. Familiarising yourself with the interface while you work out the main features, is the easy part. In the next stage you work hard to seem witty, informational and relevant in order to gain a following substantial enough to benefit your marketing strategy.
Luckily there are applications to help you monitor activity on your Twitter page. Taking advantage of these services will inform you of a number of things: which tweets are popular, who your target demographic is, who follows you, who unfollows you, the percentage that click on your links and engage. Basically you’ll know what you’re doing right and wrong.
The best applications for monitoring Twitter are:
Twuffer is your most basic Twitter extension and, to be honest, its uses are limited when compared to the likes of Hootsuite and TweetDeck. Twuffer has one main use: to schedule tweets that will be sent out while you’re busy doing something else. Sadly other apps do this and more, so its favour isn’t high, but if you’re looking for a simpler service, Twuffer is your Twitter companion.
One of the best free social media management tools, Hootsuite links your accounts from different social networks into one package. Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Twitter, Google+ and Foursquare can be simultaneously monitored. More than one person can handle the application at one time, which is perfect for marketing teams tasked with monitoring and updating the company social media accounts. Weekly analytic reports, task delegation and private message capability are added bonuses. Take note: you will have to pay for any more than the most basic functionality.
TweetDeck is the Hootsuite for beginners. Covering your basic needs, the interface lists your time-line, interactions, activity and scheduled tweets in columns alongside one another, to enable you to keep an eye on all the action at once. You’ll never miss a notification again and scheduling is extremely simple. Personally I prefer this application more than any other, but it’s just an opinion.
Twazzup is the Twitter monitoring tool for social media beginners. The additional features on the average app can be overwhelmingly technical for a newbie, but with Twazzup you enter the name you want to track and get instant real-time updates on that topic. The most active influencers will be brought to your attention, from retweeted photos and links, to the top 10 keywords related to that search. Minimal fuss, helpful results.
TweetReach is the application for you if you’re a business interested in monitoring the reach of your tweets. TweetReach will measure the impact of social media discussions you dive into. It will even inform you of your most influential followers and potentially guide you in targeting the share and promotion of online content to the right people. Data collected includes: amount of tweets, retweets, replies, contributors, exposure and estimated reach.
The problem with the main Twitter interface is that, while you can tell if your Twitter followers are going up or down, you don’t know who has unfollowed you. By signing up to Qwitter, you receive weekly updates that tell you how many people quit following in the last 7 days. It even tells you who unfollowed and whether or not it was the result of an account suspension or deletion.
TwitterCounter is self explanatory by its name. Users are given a clear overview of their Twitter stats via a graph that will visually show you every sharp dip and gradual increase in followers. The downside is it doesn’t give you all the stats for free. If you want a graph that includes mentions, retweets and favourites you have to buy the privilege. And many aren’t prepared to do it. The free package is useful though, and 94 million users agree.
Klout is the Marmite of the social media analytics world: you either love it or you hate it. In terms of Twitter, users find it handy because it measures your accounts influence on the micro-blogging platform. You can keep a watchful eye on what people are saying about your brand. Then you can adjust your posts based on your target audience and their interests.