5 Agency-Tested Twitter Tools for Brand Marketers

I help run various brand campaigns that include Twitter as a tactical channel.  The tools below help my team monitor our brands’ opportunities, organize our efforts, understand our progress, and report our success to clients.


Input: Twitter Username

Twitter Tool Campaign Management

Understand when you're tweeting, how frequently, from which interfaces, and to whom

Info: Graphs of the user’s tweet frequency by month, period of time during the day, day of the week, interface used(eg hootsuite, tweetdeck), and users who reply to and RT most.  The site also generates tag clouds of user’s tweet content.

Benefit: Team management, Targeting Tweeters, and Reporting
I use this site to make sure our Twitter teams are tweeting on a good schedule (covering times of day, days of the week, etc).  It’s also helpful to see who we reply to and retweet frequently–are we missing anyone? are we focusing on the right people? etc.  Finally, the tag clouds (click through to the well-designed clouds from Wordle) are great to share with clients b/c they’re quick to digest and cool to view.


Input: URL

Info: All of the tweets that have linked to that URL (you can choose a specific period of time too)

Benefit: Targeting Tweeters and Measurement
Helpful in understanding how viral brand tweets are, who is tweeting about your brand, and how successful your link-building is on Twitter.  Also great to understand who is tweeting about your competition, or related sites.


White Pages for Twitter

Input: Keyword (including location, brand category, subject matter, profession, etc

Info: Tweeters who have registered themselves in the directory under this keyword.  You can sort results by influence (how often they are retweeted) or number of followers

Benefit: Monitoring, Targeting Tweeters, and Localization
Critical to use in a campaign to understand the most influential Tweeters for your brand.  Also, at the start of a campaign, you can look at the top Tweeters to get a sense for how popular topics appropriate to your brand are on Twitter.  For example, 484 users are registered under the word “DIET” and there are 15 users with 10,000 followers or more.  In contrast, there are 223 users listed under “ANTHROPOLOGY” and none of them have 5000 followers.

The Esperson blog recommends http://www.JustTweetIt.com as a good Tweeter directory.  I’m experimenting with this one too.


Input: Twitter Username

Twitter Followers Monitoring Marketing Brand Social Medai

This Twittersheep cloud describes my agency's followers.

Info: Provides a tag cloud made up of the descriptions of the people following your profile

Benefit: Monitoring, Targeting Tweeters, Reporting
Tells you how your followers identify themselves.  What do they have in common?  What words do they use to describe themselves most frequently? What other complementary topics come up frequently?
You can also use this tool to understand the keywords in your brand category.  Use WeFollow to find the top Tweeters related to your brand and analyze their followers.  Check to see how followers of your competitors compare to yours–do the results expose a point of difference about which you were unaware?  Finally, the tag clouds are great to show clients, especially when the clouds reflect the messages of the campaign/brand


Input: Username and email

Twitter Followers Monitor Marketing Email Measurement

Qwitter helps you monitor your Twitter profile retention rates for followers

Info: Sends you an email when someone stops following your account on Twitter

Benefit: Monitoring and Reporting
During the campaign, your follower numbers will (hopefully) keep going up, so it’s difficult to track retention rates.  It’s good to know if you start losing people, so you can investigate if there’s a topic, specific wording, or link that’s causing an exodus.  It’s also nice to demonstrate how ‘retentive’ the page really is.  (also, I’ve got to give props for the pleasant design of the site)
There’s another resource called TweetEffect that claims it will tell you which post caused an individual to stop following.  I experimented with this tool, and did not find it useful or accurate.


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Filed under Measurement, Organize, Search, Social Media, User Information

The HootSuite Debate



Twitter Management Interface


I direct our agency’s social media group.  Our Twitter teams use Hootsuite to schedule tweets and shorten URLs (this is the ow.ly shortener).

Why I Chose Hootsuite?

  1. Schedule tweets for future posting
    We can sit down at the beginning of the week and create all of the key tweets for the week.  That frees up the daily tweeters to focus on mentions and retweets.  It also ensures that we will hit high-traffic periods each day and post about a diverse collection of topics.
  2. Very simple, intuitive interface
    Everyone is busy.  We want to focus on the content of the tweets, not the logistics of how to get tweets posted.
  3. Manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single location
  4. Basic click rates, mentions, replies, and messages are reliable and straightforward
  5. The Hootlet widget allows you to tweet a page without navigating away from it–GREAT, if not unique

The Debate: Why I’m considering a Switch

  1. Many ‘social media’ experts (through blogs and personal discussions) have suggested that bit.ly is more reliable and has better data.  Twitter named bit.ly the default shortener in May and it’s the default for TweetDeck which many members of our agency already use personally.
  2. I’ve experienced some spamming with ow.ly.  One of our links has unexplicably started generating hundreds of click-throughs a day, all from Thailand.  I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s a real pain that obviously throws off the analytics.  I’ve heard of similar problems with other shorteners too.  This may not be an Hootsuite issue.
  3. I’m not an SEO expert, so I am not the person to settle the debate, but there’s certainly significant question about ow.ly and framing–basically, are the shortened links permanent so that the search engines give full credit for the links to the original (longer) URL?  Further, is Hootsuite using any practices that go against Google’s standards?  The fact that there is so much debate leaves me unsettled.
  4. There are now a number of resources that teams can use to schedule future tweets
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

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Filed under Search, Social Media