50 (of the) Best Twitter Guides, Stats, Tips and Tools of 2010 (So Far)

October 5, 2010

While a dwindling number of business executives still dismiss Twitter as a waste of time, recent research suggests it is one of the most valuable social networks for business. Awareness of Twitter has exploded; 87% of Americans said they were “familiar with” Twitter in a poll taken earlier this year, versus just 5% in 2008 and 26% in 2009. Although fewer Americans use Twitter than Facebook, Twitter users “are far more likely to follow Brands/ Companies than social networkers in general. 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks. Twitter users frequently exchange information about products and services.” 71% of business users now say Twitter is a useful tool, up from 59% a year ago. And 52% of journalists say they use Twitter to research stories and discover what’s hot.

Best Twitter Guides, Tips and Tools of 2010 (so far)So what are the best ways to use Twitter for business? How you can use it most effectively? Which tools are most helpful? You’ll find the answers to these questions and many more here in 50 of the best Twitter tools, posts, how-to guides and rants of 2010 so far.

Twitter Facts, Figures & Stats

New Data on Twitter Usage Can Strengthen Your Twitter Outreach by Search Engine Guide

Jennifer Laycock reports some fascinating statistics and insights from a HubSpot study, revealing factoids such as: the average Twitter user has about 300 followers and follows 170. Thursday is the busiest day of the week on Twitter, and the highest click through rate on tweeted links occurs between 2 and 3pm. Tweets that include links are far more likely to be retweeted than tweets without links. And much more.

The Truth About the Average Twitter User [STATS] by Mashable

Ben Parr digs into a study from Barracuda Labs demonstrating how power users rule on Twitter: “Only 26% of Twitter users had 10 followers or more by December 2009, while only 40% were following 10 people or more (in fact, a majority of Twitter users, 51%, were following less than five people)…only 21% of Twitter users are active users.”

I Tweet Therefore I Am by Brian Solis

How popular is Twitter? Who’s really using it? Brian Solis provides a wealth of statistics that answer these questions and more, e.g., 87% of Americans said they were familiar with Twitter in 2010, up from just 26% in 2009. Total volume is approaching 50 million tweets per day. Women slightly outnumber men, and one-third of Twitters are in the 25-34 year-old age bracket. 63% have at least a college degree, and roughly a quarter earn more than $75,000 per year (a figure that is likely higher, as 27% refused to answer the question).

The Ultimate List: 100+ Twitter Statistics by HubSpot

***** 5 Stars
Kipp Bodnar collects 17 Twitter infographics quantifying everything from the different categories of tweets and how Twitter compares to Facebook to the peak days for different types of tweets and the most-followed Twitter users (Ryan Seacrest beats CNN; that’s just sad).

Tracking the National Mood Through Twitter by The New York Times

Nick Bilton reports on how researchers from Northeastern University and Harvard have analyzed Twitter messages to keep tabs on the nation’s mood. Among the findings: during the work week, people are happiest in the early morning and late evening. When Twitter users get collectively upset, the most negative tweets tend to come from the central states and the East Coast. And as perhaps a hopeful sign, “the peak of happiness on Twitter is reached on Sunday mornings.”

Why should brands bother with Twitter? This table says why by Social Media Today

Dirk Singer uses data from an ExactTarget study to show that “US Twitter users in April 2010 were far more likely than general Internet users to post to forums (75% vs 25%), blog (72% vs 14%), comment on blogs (70% vs 23%) and post ratings / reviews (61% vs 20%). In other words, the 14 million odd people who regularly go on Twitter (as opposed to the 95 million that have signed up), are already active in social media, know how to make things happen and to create noise – good or bad – online, and take conversations elsewhere, be that to blogs, forums, other social networks, or even the mainstream media.”

How-To Guides and Best Practices

10 Tips to Getting More Retweets by TwiTip

Kiesha Easley shares her personal story of transition from Twitter newbie to expert and offers 10 tips for getting retweets she learned along the way including sending direct messages, tweeting others’ blog posts and responding to interesting tweets.

8 Simple Steps to Growing a Quality Twitter Following by Social Media Examiner

Cindy King supplies an excellent guide to creating a tweet plan, a strategic approach to using Twitter, though she helpfully warns “Don’t make the mistake of relying solely on the scheduled tweets in the tweet plan to connect with people and expect to build your business.  You still need live tweets to engage with people.”

Secrets of Twitter Hashtags (For Those Still Unsure) by Interactive Insights Group

For those unsure of what hashtags are or unaware of their many uses on Twitter, Robin Broitman offers an extensive list of hashtag resources and guides.

Twitter: The 7 Rules of Business Engagement by Smedio

Douglas Idugboe advises Twitterers to keep their Twitter handle as short as possible (to help with retweets), avoid automated DM welcome messages (hate these!), be conversant, and retweet others among his best practices.

HOW TO: Make the Most of Your Twitter Profile Page by Mashable

Amy-Mae Elliott offers guidance on writing a great bio, selecting a Twitter picture, making the best use of your URL link and using lists to optimize your Twitter profile.

How to Monitor Your Brand Using Twitter Search by Pamorama

The always insightful Pam Dyer embeds and summarizes a video from John Hayden demonstrating how to create saved searches (for your brand, competitors, industry terms, etc.) in Twitter, track URL mentions, create feeds from searches and more.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Tweets by Smedio

Jay Adams suggests that the “Twitter traits that make for effective tweets” include clarity, brevity (pretty much a requirement given the 140-character limit), and strategic use of keywords and links among other characteristics.

62 Ways to Use Twitter for Business by GigaOM

Twitter isn’t just for linking to blog posts or telling the world what you had for breakfast, as Meryl K Evans demonstrates in this extensive list of the business uses of Twitter such answering questions, providing highlights from a conference or event, getting and giving referrals, finding topic experts and tracking conversations about your brand.

The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Theme Design by 1stwebdesigner

***** 5 Stars
Anastasia Miles provides an outstanding, detailed, richly illustrated step-by-step guide to creating an attractive and effective Twitter background.

5 Secrets To Get Retweets That The Experts Won’t Tell You by Tremendous News

Am irreverent yet informative post that could have been included instead in the most-entertaining-of-the-year category, but is too helpful not to put here, on how to get more retweets. Example: “1. Focus On The Sexually Active. Think of a retweet as an STD.  But one that’s not devastating.  One that still retains a measure of hilarity. Crabs. Let’s do crabs. Now picture twitter as sexy college campus during the first week of school…Who is in danger of getting crabs?…Is the fat, hairy terroristy looking dude going to get crabs? Of course not. So don’t fill your followers with people like him. Focus on the sexually-liberated cool kids.”

21 Twitter Tips From Socially Savvy Companies by Fast Company

The ubiquitous Brian Solis offers tips for Twitter success based on the experience of real-world companies like Dell (special offers), Comcast (customer service), using dedicated brand channels (Ford) and developing new ideas (Starbucks).

Twitter 101 for Business: A Special Guide by Twitter

Must-reading for any business owner or executive who still doesn’t “get” Twitter – the folks actually behind the world’s most popular microblogging platform put together a detailed guide to using Twitter for business, covering everything from getting set up and learning the lingo to building relationships and measuring value.

The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter by Webdesigner Depot

*****5 Stars
In this ambitious, long and lavishly illustrated post, Angela West compiles a remarkable collection of Twitter tips, etiquette, jargon, tools, apps, icons, WordPress plugins and more.

50 Power Twitter Tips by Chris Brogan

Social media rock star Chris Brogan offers 50 tips for interaction, technical considerations, business, integration, and off-Twitter activities (e.g., “Think of Twitter as a guidance system to what you think is interesting. A lot of that is likely off-Twitter.”).

10 Reasons You’re Not Getting Followers on Twitter by Social Media Today

Paul Sutton lists factors that can turn off potential followers on Twitter including using your profile to sell, excessively automating your tweets and tweeting repetitive messages.

Twitter Tips – Things You Should Know by Trailblaze Social Media with Josh

Joshua Lyons provides a short but useful set of tips he believes can help “make the difference between mediocre Twitter use and excellent Twitter use.”

Twitter SEO

How to Turn Your Twitter Profile Page into an SEO Masterpiece by TwiTip

David McClellan presents an outstanding to optimizing all of the elements of your Twitter profile (name, bio, avatar, URL and feed) for search.

Twitter SEO Best Practices by SEOptimise

Tad Chef covers the best practices for SEO with Twitter: how to rank in search with your profile and tweets, get found in Twitter search, make your tweets spread virally and capitalize on Google real-time search.

Twitter Strategy

Successful Twitter Marketing Strategies by Social Media Optimization

According to a MarketingProfs study, monitoring and responding to brand mentions are ranked among the most successful Twitter marketing tactics by both B2B and B2C marketers. Driving sales directly was ranked by both groups as the least effective use of the platform.

In Social Media, Twitter is Just the Start by Social Steve’s Blog

Steve Goldner lays out a strategy for using Twitter in conjunction with other social media tools like blogs, YouTube and Flickr to optimize your social media marketing success.

7 Insanely Useful Ways to Search Twitter for Marketing by OPEN Forum

John Jantsch shows how to target Twitter users by occupation, bio or location and get the most out of Twitter by creating “some very powerful searches and alerts combining Google and Twitter.”

9 Questions for Analyzing the Tweet Stream by iMedia Connection

Frequent best-of contributor Daniel Flamberg outlines the two biggest issues facing brands on Twitter, nine questions for addressing them, and a strategy for answering those questions to “get a feel for what’s being said, understand competitive comparisons, potentially identify brand loyalists or opinion-makers worthy of extra care and attention and intervene before problems or negative comments cascade into real trouble.”

Benefits of Twitter by Boomtown Internet Group

I’m guessing English isn’t Priyo’s first language so pardon the grammar and word usage issues here, but he presents a nice list of the benefits of Twitter use for business such as for collaboration, promoting content and improving SEO.

The A-Z List: How Twitter Can Make You A Better Blogger by Ink Rebels

***** 5 Stars
Diana Adams puts together a remarkable and entertaining post, lavishly illustrated, extolling the benefits of Twitter from A (“A is for – Ask”) to Z (“Z is for – Zen”).

14 Cool Things People Do On Twitter by Penn Olson

Sarah Chong’s recommendations for Twitter use range from the common (learn, be heard) to the unusual (monitor sensors in your home, catch thieves) to the truly inspired (write poetry).

Twitter Tools and Reviews

Twitter stats and analytics tools – top 10 by Social Media Today

Chris Norton writes that “There are hundreds of twitter tools that measure different statistics out there but many can be a bit of a waste of time. I have been through most of them in the last few years and given them some kind of test” before setting out mini-reviews of his top 10 picks including TweetStats, Tweetmeme and Twitterholic.

Get rid of stale Twitter users that have stopped tweeting by Social Media Today

It’s Chris Norton again, this time providing a quick review of UnTweeps, an handy tool for culling inactive Twitter users from those you follow.

The Complete Twitter ‘Follow / Unfollow’ Toolkit by COMMS Corner

The brilliant Adam Vincenzini offers a concise but valuable list of tools and advice for managing your Twitter following.

Local Tweets: 9 Ways to Find Twitter Users in Your Town by Mashable

Josh Catone describes how to use local events and tools like Localtweeps and TwitterLocal to identify and connect with Twitter users in your local vicinity.

Busting through the Twitter noise to find a signal by {grow}

Guest author Frank Podlaha explains how to craft a search strategy and then use tools like LocalChirps, Twitscoop and Radian6 to cut through the clutter on Twitter and find exactly what you’re looking for.

Twitter ROI: Show Your Clients the Effectiveness of Twitter Campaigns by Web Analytics World

Chuckie Oliver reviews five key tools for measuring the effectiveness of Twitter activities including Twitter Analyzer, Klout and Tweet Stats.

36 Twitter Resources: Advanced Twitter Search for Business by Social Media Today

Coree Silvera compiles an outstanding list of tools for Twitter research and monitoring, directories and geolocation, along with links to articles on improving Twitter search skills.

9 Twitter Apps Worth Another Look by Web Analytics World

Manoj Jasra reviews “interesting Twitter apps” Tweetshare, ComTweets, TheCadmus and half a dozen others.

27 Twitter Tools To Help You Find And Manage Followers by 1stwebdesigner

Dainis Graveris writes brief reviews of more than two dozen Twitter follower management tools including FriendOrFollow, WeFollow, Twubble and My Tweeple.

4 Free Tools that Publish Blog Updates to Twitter by Freesourcing Blog

Mini-reviews of that use RSS to automatically publish blog posts to your social networking sites inclding Dlvr.it and RSS2Twitter.

Top 20 Sites to Improve Your Twitter Experience by Mashable

Vadim Lavrusik offers his list of “the top 20 third-party websites for making your Twitter experience more useful and easier to manage,” including tools for management, filtering (such as the very cool create-your-own-newspaper site Paper.li), spotting trends, making lists, finding new followers, measuring influence, sharing photos and video, conducting polls and more.

The Ultimate Collection of FREE Twitter Tools by Regillo Consulting Group

***** 5 Stars
An outstanding collection of Twitter tools for analytics, business, follower/following management, network building, information gathering, media sharing, organization, blogging and more.

Themeleon

Don’t want to go through the trouble of creating a coolio Twitter background from scratch? Themeleon is a cool tool that automates Twitter background theme development.

Tweetake

***** 5 Stars
One of the tightest Twitter tools around, Tweetake lets you export your followers and following lists to Excel for analysis, grouping, backup or any other purpose you can think of. In the words of the site, “The brainchild of Alfred Armstrong and Nikki Pilkington, Tweetake is here to allow you to back-up your followers, people you are following and Tweets with just one click.”

Tweasier

Sort of Swiss Army knife for Twitter, Tweasier’s functions include Twitter analytics, finding and sorting followers, email alerts, conversation tracking and more. Free and fee-based versions are offered.

Twellow

Slick map-based interface lets you zoom in on any geographic area to find local Tweeps to follow.

Twitter Rants and Musings

Why Your 4,243,564 Twitter Followers Don’t Mean Jack by aimClear

Another post that would have been a great post to include in most-entertaining-of-the-year as well. We’ve all seen the buffoons on Twitter who somehow manage to amass a large following despite offering no apparent value or even seeming to have a clue as to what “social” media means. Noting that “there are also bandwagon-jumping companies and celebrity glory-whores who go at Twitter like a portly dude at a buffet. They use it as self-centered bullhorn and nothing more,” Lauren Litwinka here brilliantly categorizes these Twitter-star wannabes into archetypes such as “You have 822,780 followers. You follow two people,” “Your feed consists of status updates. And only status updates” and my favorite: “You share would-be Zen gems through a f*cking API.”

Ten Things You Need to Stop Tweeting About by The Oatmeal

Simply awesome. Anyone who’s spent any serious time will relate to this entertaining and creative list of things we’re tired of seeing people tweet about, including what they’re eating, their workouts, their pets, and the incredible (or not so) number of Twitter followers they have.

Bye Bye Birdie: Why Twitter is On the Outs by Techi

Timothy James Duffy argues that Twitter’s popularity is fleeting, it offers most users little value, and it will never make money. Agree? Disagree? Check out the 72 comments in response to this post.

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29 Responses

  1. great list – please consider adding TwitterWorks (http://twitterworks.tv)”The story of how social media built a restaurant, a pizza truck and thousands of relationships.”


  2. Tom 

    Thanks John, looks like an interesting book!

  3. Great roundup, I Stumbled it for you.

    Over on JobMob, this is very popular, almost 900 retweets to date:

    47 Twitter Power Users’ Secrets To Getting Many Followers


  4. Tom 

    Hi Jacob, thanks for the comment, the Stumble and the heads-up about JobMob. Really appreciate it, glad the post is a hit!


  5. basti 

    Hey, I am really looking for the user stats for twitter.

    how many users in each country and i can´t find it.

    can anybody help? (as many countries as possible)

    thx


  6. Tom 

    Basti – Check out the Twitter stats in this post, you may find them helpful: http://webbiquity.com/social-media-marketing/best-social-media-stats-and-market-research-of-2010-so-far/

  7. I’m having a hard time reading your website with Google chrome. It’d be nice if you could try to tweak this so I could look at your website? Thanks ;)


  8. Tom 

    Thanks for the heads-up on that Geraldine, I will look into it.

  9. I found this info is very helpful. Thanks for sharing. Do you care if we quote a few sentences written in this post in our website if it’s disclosed you as the source and links back to your site? Thank you!


  10. Tom 

    Leona – I wouldn’t mind at all, I’d be honored!

  11. Just wanted to post to say thanks for the great list it’s really useful to me.

  12. As a Chinese, it is really a pity that we are phobited to access to twitter, facebook, and youtube, blogger,but I think twitter, and other sircial media is pretty nice, we can learn and communicate with somany people all over the world, it bring us closer.As per using sircial media for business I have beening studying and practicing it.


  13. Tom 

    Liu – I’m one of many who fervently hope that true freedom comes to China soon. Perhaps social media, if it gets through, can help accelerate that trend as it has been part of freedom movements elsewhere.

  14. Thanks. Hope it will be free in the near future.


  15. Brad 

    Thank you for the article. There are 100′s of tools that help you take twitter in to your own hands but these 50 are great. Will be using many in the future.


  16. Tom 

    Thanks Brad, glad you found the list useful!


  17. Sara Haider 

    A huge list of hugely resourceful content but recently I read about Twitter losing its SEO value. Is it correct??
    http://www.technize.net/twitter-will-lose-its-seo-value/


  18. Tom 

    Hi Sara. There is speculation to that effect, but I haven’t seen anything definitive yet. Google may try to rely on Google+ for social signals rather than Twitter, but it will take time to reach sufficient volume to make that reasonable.

  19. This is a fantastic resource list for Twitter. Of course I use the site daily as it is one of the best social media tools for those that have a blog.

  20. This is an amazing Twitter resource and a big THANKS for the link to the free Twitter Tools. Sweet!


  21. Tom 

    Thanks Anita! Here’s a recent update on Twitter guides you may also find helpful: 20 More of the Best Twitter Tips, Tactics and Tools of 2012.

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