Posts Tagged ‘Twitter tools’
Guest post by Logan Strain.
There are few things more satisfying to an online marketer than witnessing your brand’s Twitter account reach critical mass. All the work you put into building a large social platform is paying off, and now your account, which was once only followed by your coworkers, is now a social media powerhouse. But after that success, how do you make the most of Twitter as a traffic driver to your blog posts, landing pages, and other valuable content?
Merely providing links to your followers without thinking about presentation isn’t enough. Through a few tactical tweaks to your tweets, you can achieve a higher click through rate and more traffic to your digital properties.
Here are five simple ways to improve your tweets for a higher CTR.
Create Custom URLs
You’re already using a URL shortener to make the most of the limited space you have on Twitter. But are you carefully crafting those URLs, or are you letting your shortener turn them into a nonsensical garble of words and numbers? Random characters in a link have the whiff of spam, so they may get unfairly overlooked on Twitter.
Bitly, one of the most popular link shorteners, now features vanity URLs, which means that your social media links are 100% customizable. So you can turn “bit.ly/jd59i8” into “bit.ly/PrettyLink.” The latter, since it contains an actual word, is appealing and is more likely to earn those coveted clicks from your audience.
Choose An Eye-Catching Image
Gaining followers is only half the Twitter battle. Since your followers scroll through countless other tweets on their feed, you also need to stop them in their tracks when they see your tweets. When we promote blog posts on Instant Checkmate’s Twitter account, we create a banner image for both the blog post and the tweet. This not only makes the post itself more visually appealing, it creates a graphic that can help your tweets get noticed.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a graphic designer or spend half an hour tweaking an image in Photoshop to create pro-style images. Online graphic creators like Canva can help you make high-quality, customized Twitter graphics in mere minutes. Simply create an image that contains your content’s headline and a visually striking background and your tweets will stand out.
Command Them To Click
Experienced marketers and salespeople know that you have to ask for what you want. Ambiguous calls to action produce lackluster results. But for some reason they consistently fail to apply that knowledge to their social posts. If you want your followers to click the link, tell them to do just that. Commanding your audience with a simple, brief “click here” or “check this out” will turn more Twitter followers into website visitors.
Tweet Multiple Times
When pushing your content through Twitter, there’s no reason to take a “one and done” approach. When scheduling your posts, set your most valuable content to be tweeted multiple times throughout the week. Just like you, your followers have other things to do and might miss tweets relevant to their interests. A tweeting schedule that pushes your best pieces multiple times gives them many opportunities to see your content.
Leverage Hashtags From Industry Events
Relevancy always increases click through rates. If there is a major conference or Twitter chat that is relevant to your industry, take advantage. Include the event’s hashtag in your tweets to promote your content. You’ll get in front of a brand new and intensely passionate audience for your content. By using this technique, you won’t just gain new traffic, you’ll probably also see a bump in followers.
Logan Strain is a web content creator who regularly contributes to Instant Checkmate’s blog, a father, and a podcast addict. When he’s not browsing Reddit, playing with his daughter, or binge-watching Netflix, he’s creating top notch web content. Follow him on Twitter @LM_Strain.
Guest post by Logan Strain.
If you’ve invested the groundwork necessary to build a Twitter account, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing it actually gain steam. Your best tweets get retweeted on a regular basis, you can count on discovering more followers every time you check in, and you can see that you’re developing a strong presence on a noisy platform.
But all accounts reach a level of stagnation if you use the same tactics over and over again. If you see your growth starting to level off, it might be time to shake things up a bit with new techniques.
How can you break through a Twitter plateau and take your account to an even greater level of success? Use these these five helpful Twitter tools and strategies to build upon what you have already established.
1) Improve Multimedia With Twitter Cards
A highly powerful yet underused optional feature of Twitter is the Twitter card. This feature, developed by Twitter, allows accounts to create media-rich experiences that can help you stand out in the mostly text platform. Accounts can use one of seven different cards in a single tweet.
- • Gallery cards that display images
- • Photo cards that include a single image
- • Summary cards with a link
- • Summary cards with images
- • App cards
- • Player cards which showcase videos
- • Product cards
For example, if you want to show off a few different photos of a brand new product on Twitter, you can use the gallery card to display shots from several angles. Or you can use the photo card to add a large picture to your tweet when you link to your blog.
Using one of these cards increases click-throughs and engagement, since they make your tweets look so much different from those ones in your followers’ feeds.
While Twitter cards have been adopted by some major brands, they are still not used by everyone. To learn more, check out Forbes’ great comprehensive overview on this nifty feature and how to implement it.
2) Use Tweriod For Perfectly Timed Tweets
When you tweet can have a huge impact on how much engagement your tweets generate. While there have been some studies on the best overall tweeting time, every account is different. So how do you find a tweeting schedule that is perfect for your particular niche?
Tweriod is a powerful (and free) tool that can give you actionable analytics to supercharge your tweeting. The tool analyzes your tweets and your followers tweets, and lets you know what tweeting times give you the best results. With this information in hand, you can fine tune when you tweet using your tweet scheduler.
3) Experiment With New Hashtags
Hashtags, of course, are essential to getting attention on Twitter. If Twitter is one giant cocktail party, then hashtags are how you take part in a conversation. Most established accounts use a handful of hashtags, either ones directly related to their industry or market, or ones that have successfully garnered engagement in the past.
But if you keep using the same hashtags, you’ll keep getting the same results. Break out of your tweeting routine by exploring other hashtags to connect with. One easy way to brainstorm new hashtags you can try is use the app in Hashtagify.me.
Just enter your most common hashtags, and it will give you other common hashtags that are commonly associated with it. Now you have several more ways to connect with Twitter users with which you can experiment.
4) Create Your Own Branded Hashtag
There’s no reason why you have to use hashtags that are already popular. You can really break through by creating a hashtag of your very own. For example, to promote their “Share A Coke” campaign, Coca-Cola created the hashtag #shareacoke.
In promoting their breakfast items, Taco Bell joked that “Breakfast Burrito from a burger place? That’s like taking a T Rex to yoga.” They then encouraged other followers to create their own jokes in that vein using the hashtag #thatslike. Think of an interesting or funny way you can engage your potential customers with a clever and original hashtag.
5) Optimize Tweet Length
Since 140 characters is so short, many social media marketers take advantage of the full amount of space available with every tweet. But that strategy may overestimate the attention span of the users of the most hyperactive social network on the Internet. Some studies even suggest that the optimal length of a tweet is a paltry 100 characters.
Shortening tweets below Twitter’s limits has resulted in increased engagement for some marketers. Try your hand at extreme brevity for a week of tweeting and see if it has an impact in shares and favorites.
Never Stop Testing
How do you know you’re making the most of the time you spend building up your Twitter account? By consistently trying new things, and keeping what works. Any Twitter account can see steady growth if you simply maintain a steady and consistent tweeting schedule. But if you want to supercharge your growth, you’ll need to rethink your tactics on a week by week basis.
Logan Strain is a web content creator who regularly contributes to Instant Checkmate’s blog, a father, and a podcast addict. When he’s not browsing reddit, playing with his daughter, or binge-watching Netflix, he’s creating top notch web content. Follow him on Twitter @LM_Strain.
Thanks to its brevity and informality, Twitter has become a phenomenally successful social network, particularly for sharing news and updates, with more than 560 million active users collectively posting 5,700 tweets every second.
While powerful on its own, the 140-character social chatter site is even more useful when extended with tools to accomplish all sorts of tasks, from analyzing current followers and finding new ones to identifying influencers and trends, creating custom Twitter feeds, monitoring brand conversations and more.
Check out the posts below to find reviews of more than two dozen helpful Twitter tools, from a handful of top social media experts.
Expert Reviews of Top Twitter Tools
8 Twitter Tools Every Content Marketer Should Have by Streetwise Media
Caroline Lyle reviews her favorite Twitter tools, among them FollowerWonk which “offers valuable analysis of your followers, and more importantly, helps you find new ones,” and TweetBeep, a simple tool that “sends you an email every time your brand is mentioned” on Twitter.
3 Very Useful Twitter Hashtag Analytics Tools by Razor Social
Writing that “Analyzing the activity around a hashtag on twitter can help you identify the influencers, find useful links, analyze trends and much more,” Ian Cleary reviews three hashtag analytics tools including Tweetbinder, which lets you “analyze a twitter chat to see who is engaged in the conversation, who is most influential, what tweets were shared, what links are shared” and more.
7 Free Tools to Find Twitter Influencers Who Interact with You by Small Business Trends
Frequent best-of contributor Ann Smarty reviews more than half a dozen tools for identifying and engaging with influential Twitters who follow you, such as Who Tweeted Me, “a new tool from Hubspot that finds all people who tweeted your pages and sorts them by number of followers. You can thank them with one click as well.”
Find the RSS feed for any Twitter user with Twitter RSS (Update) by Social Media Slant
Twitter has killed off its RSS feeds, but Cendrine Marrouat recommends using the RSS 4 Twitter tool as an alternative. At last check, the site worked well for capturing individual Twitter feeds, but hashtag support was temporarily out of order.
5 Tools to Research the Demographics of Your Twitter Followers by Small Business Trends
Ann Smarty (again) reviews a handful of “great apps that will let you get the proper stats to start engaging your followers in a real and dynamic way,” such as Birdsong (“Do a quick analytics search of any social media profile and find out exactly what conversations your brand is generating”).
Twools: Social Media Unleashed by iag.me
A more powerful alternative to the issue of Twitter RSS feeds is Twools, a tools from Ian Anderson Gray. It allows you to create a number of Twitter feeds including your home timeline, any user timeline, mentions, favorites and more, and filter these by keyword, hashtag or screen name.
As online marketing processes have evolved, the number and sophistication of software tools to support specific functions has exploded. Every discipline within marketing and PR has its own tools, among them:
SEO: backlink tools (Backlink Watch, SEOmoz, Majestic), keyword research tools, page optimization tools, SEO plugins.
Social media: social media monitoring (Radian6, Sysomos, SM2), social media management (HootSuite, SocialOomph, Buffer), Twitter tools, etc.
Web analytics: Omniture, WebTrends, Google Analytics, Clicky, and more.
All are very helpful, even essential, but most are designed for practitioners, that is: they help a specialist in a particular discipline do his or her job more effectively. Not only are they tactical, each focuses on supporting one functional silo or another. Not surprising, since this is how digital marketing is managed today—as a set of largely disconnected specialties. So much so, companies utilize different tools, resources, and in some cases, even different agencies to manage web visibility for brand, SEO, social media, PR, and paid advertising.
And of course, search has evolved—it’s no longer just 10 blue links. Today, web presence goes way beyond a company’s website. News and social links are as vital as are other points of visibility. What’s missing is the larger strategic picture needed for top-level decision-making and for managing digital marketing and PR in a coordinated manner. We’re all missing this because there aren’t tools to help us do it. Or are there?
A “Eureka” Moment
A couple of weeks ago, we blogged about the web presence optimization (WPO) framework. This model (evolved from a 2010 post) came about from KC Associates’ (KCA) client consulting projects. Operating as a cross-functional team, each consultant knew that a framework for optimization is useless unless there’s a way to track and measure gaiting factors that can be adjusted in order to move the optimization needle. So the group took a long, hard look at the tactical tools each consultant uses with a more creative mind of how they might be repurposed for WPO.
For example, SEO backlink tools can provide detailed lists of the precise backlinks to a competitor’s website. This can be quite valuable to an SEO consultant, but it’s mind-numbing overkill for a VP of marketing.
However, a graphical comparison of the type and quantity of backlinks pointing to the firm’s website and the sites of close competitors may be very enlightening (e.g., discovering that competitor A has twice as many media links and three times as many social links pointing to them)—particularly if these measures have changed significantly in a short period of time.
This simple change in thinking was truly eye-opening.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
First and foremost, the WPO framework provides the strategic and structural approach to the unified management of web visibility. And WPO metrics that support this framework provide the critical measurement necessary to enable the overall coordination of these disciplines to improve presence optimization and performance.
The set of 100+ WPO metrics that the group developed for KCA clients is driven by data collected by a host of off-the-shelf tools as well as some custom developed sources. As a collection, the attributes of these metrics differ from what most other tracking and measurement tools are set up to provide in six distinct ways:
- • Focus on management, not execution. WPO metrics are designed to support management decision-making (e.g., where should we devote more resources) rather than tweaks to specific tactics. Put another way, they are about the “what” rather than the “how.”
- • Provide a unified view of results. They provide leaders and team members with an overall picture of press (media outlets), social, website (organic search), industry (e.g. associations, research organizations) and paid web presence. The tactical tools available tend to focus on one or two of these areas.
- • Include competitor metrics. An organization’s digital marketing results don’t exist in a vacuum; it’s critical to be able to view results in the context of competitive activities. Competitive benchmarking is vital to developing strategy and allocating resources.
- • Reflect the value of owned, earned and paid presence, not just the company website. What customers, analysts, journalists, bloggers, and others have to say about you is sometimes more important than your own content. WPO metrics show the value of all of your points of web presence, whether it’s your content or something produced by a third party.
- • Are actionable and NOT “everything but kitchen sink.” Too many tools try to report every possible detail, rather than just what’s important. The result is data overload and analysis paralysis. It’s confusing and too much to absorb, and therefore doesn’t get acted upon. Best-practice WPO metrics focus only on measures that support concrete action.
- • Identify clear priorities. While WPO metrics cover a lot of ground, not every measure matters all the time. For example, if your media share-of-voice remains about the same from one month to the next, but your AdWords conversion rate drops by half, WPO metrics focus on the latter result.
WPO metrics won’t replace tactical, execution-level tools, but they will help guide decisions about which functional tools to use and how to coordinate the tasks of different disciplines for a larger purpose. They fill a critical gap by giving marketing executives, and everyone on digital marketing and PR teams, a unified view of web presence that reflects a more integrated optimization effort.
Twitter isn’t just for the birds anymore. According to recent social media research, Twitter now has more than 165 million users, and is attracting nearly a million new users each day. Twitterers collectively post a billion tweets every three days. 62% of the Fortune 500 companies have at least one Twitter account, and the average Fortune 100 firm maintains 10 separate Twitter handles to support different product lines, divisions, functional areas and geographic regions.
Find the answers to those and many more questions here in more than two dozen of the best Twitter how-to guides, resources, tools and reviews of 2012 so far.
Twitter Tips for Newbies
A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter and the Twittersphere Culture by Creative Marketing Channel
Catherine Lockey helpfully walks new Twitterers through the process of getting started and building a following on Twitter, from opening an account and creating lists through DMs, retweets, hashtags, post frequency, following back and more.
Beginner Tips For Your Corporate Twitter Publishing Schedule by Social Fresh
Writing that “Twitter provides an opportunity to mix structure and spontaneity in your business communication,” Brad Shorr offers guidance on scheduling tweets without going overboard on automation, from picking the right scheduling platform to categorizing the content you want to tweet to using repetition (carefully).
How to Grow Your Twitter Following
4 Ways to Grow a Twitter Following That Matters by Social Media Examiner
To grow a relevant and productive following on Twitter, Rich Brooks recommends avoiding shady tactics and shows how to do it right, starting with creating a strong profile (including your real face, detailed bio and physical location) and using third-party tools and directories to find interesting people to follow, and progressing through promoting your Twitter account through other channels (your website, email signature, etc.).
10 Ways to Build Your Twitter Following Like Big Brands Do by iMedia Connection
Contending that “it doesn’t take a big team and millions of dollars to get attention on Twitter,” John Manoogian III recommends emulating 10 strategies used by big brands, such as polishing your image: “Customize your background with something that fits you. Use a large image or a tasteful pattern. Check out Themeleon or Pixelgirl Presents for ideas.” Also on his list: staying positive. “Big brands typically emphasize positive things and never go on a stream of consciousness rant. When necessary, present thoughtful criticism but keep it professional.”
WTF? Twitter Abbreviations
OMG! Over 40 Twitter Abbreviations You Should Know by Social Media Today
If you’ve spend any time on Twitter you know what an RT is, and you’ve perhaps responded to an amusing one with LOL or even LMAO, but are you familiar with MT, OH, OMW, SMH and HtH? If not, check out this big list of Twitter abbreviations from Tammy Kahn Fennell.
Top Twitter Abbreviations You Need to Know by Social Media Today
Want even more Twitter shorthand? Bliss Hanlin provides a list of about 140 (how appropriate) examples of Twitter shorthand ranging from the obscure (CX = correction) to the borrowed-from-the-military (SNAFU, FUBAR) to common hastags (#FF for follow Friday).
Tips for Twitter Brand Pages
4 Ways to Leverage Twitter’s New Brand Pages by iMedia Connection
David Clarke explains four ways that businesses can capitalize on Twitter brand pages, including enhanced customization, “turning Twitter into a more sustainable channel of its own. It’s easier to promote hashtags, Twitter chats and special promotions specific to the brand.”
Mart Prööm explains half a dozen things companies can do with Twitter brand pages, such as using calls to action and promoting limited time offers, and includes 12 examples of famous brand pages including Disney Pixar, Audi, Pepsi and Red Bull.
4 smart tactics for brands on Twitter by iMedia Connection
Jon Elvekrog details “four concrete strategies to use social advertising to deepen your brand impact on Twitter” for brands, among them getting your content “in front of connected fans. These Twitter users are active sharers — spreading ideas, offers, and messages among their own followers and people aligned with their interest graph. If you get your paid campaign in front of influencers, they’ll spread your messages for you — and bring them to many more people than you originally targeted.”
Noting that “first impressions matter. So if you’re trying to build a remarkable social media presence, you can bet that the look and feel of your brand pages in social media will make an impression on new visitors who know nothing or little about you,” Pamela Vaughan showcases examples of brand pages that visually capture the reader’s attention including Spotify, Target and Zipcar.
General Twitter Guides, Tips & Tactics
How To Build Your Professional Twitter Brand by Heidi Cohen
According to research cited by Heidi Cohen, “the most positively received tweets are asking your followers questions, sharing useful information, and letting people know you’ve just created new content…By contrast, the least liked tweets are those that let the world know what you’re doing and broad greetings with no added information.” Among her top 10 tips for building your Twitter brand: dress your Twitter profile for success, offer meaty Twitter content, and give digital shoutouts to colleagues and others.
How To Optimize Twitter: Be Real, Profiles, RT, Hashtags & More by Search Engine Watch
Noting that’s it’s getting tougher to stand out on Twitter now than it was in the less-crowded early days of the platform, Lisa Buyer provides several tips for brands and individuals, such as “keeping it real” (showing personality as well as business content), optimizing your profile (with specific best practices), and using hashtags carefully.
Rocking the A to Z of Twitter and Tweets by Resume Bear
***** 5 STARS
Shirley Williams creatively offers 26 Twitter tips alphabetically, from A (“Audience – Followers that connect with you because they believe you do interesting things and/or have interesting things to say”) to Z (“Zed Carpet – …Listerious is a great site to get acquainted with the Who’s who of Twitter by all kinds of categories”).
Secrets of Becoming a Pro B2B Tweeter by Social Media Today
Do you wonder how your Twitter presence looks to others? Kevin Jorgensen recommends using TwitCleaner (a recommendation I strongly endorse) to check your own Twitter profile for sins like excessively retweeting, too many links, too much self-promotion, too much use of automation and other sins. Then he provides several tips for improvement such as participating in Tweet chats and actually conversing with people.
The Top 10 Reasons You Need to Use Twitter Lists Now by Bad Redhead Media
Rachel Thompson offers 10 reasons for using Twitter lists, such as that you can use them to categorize up to 10,000 followers, they can help increase your Klout score, and “Lists are a perfect way to attract followers to your stream. People are flattered you’ve added them to a list. It means you care enough to take that extra step (which takes seconds). It’s like you invited them to an exclusive party.”
Tailoring Twitter: The ROI of Curating Content on Twitter by Successful Blog
Liz Strauss explains the benefits of curating content on Twitter and how to do it well, closing with “The ROI of curating content on twitter is the influence gained from incrementally staying in sync with the tools and the culture while still listening.”
Wondering what type of information, timing or tactics will garner the most retweets? Dan Zarella shares half a dozen research-based tips for maximizing pass-along on Twitter, including “Say Something New. When I compared the ‘commonness’ of certain words in retweets versus the ‘commonness’ of words contained in a random sampling of non-retweeted tweets, I found that retweets tend to contain much rarer words. People don’t want to retweet the same things that everyone else is saying, they want their tweets to stand out!”
Twitter Tool Reviews
4 Twitter Analytics Tools For Your Business by Social Fresh
Amy Moczynski provides helpful, detailed reviews of four tools for Twitter analytics: SocialBro (which she calls “the most comprehensive tool for analyzing Twitter data that I’ve found…after entering your Twitter log in information, prepare for your mind to be blown”), TweetStats, TwentyFeet and PostPost.
Want Guest Post Links? Find Them Via Twitter [TOOL] by The Daily SEO Blog
If you’re ready to get your geek on, this post from Ethan Lyon presents a tool and instructions for finding blog guest posting opportunities via Twitter. The tool pulls an RSS feed into “Google Docs, finds all of the t.co URLs, enlarges them, eliminates duplicates based on domain, and presents them in a nice package.” For the slightly less ambitious or technical, try Blogger LinkUp.
The Top 20 Twitter Clients being Used in 2012 by WindMill Networking
Neal Schaffer serves up brief reviews of the top tools for tweeting. Not surprisingly, HootSuite, Tweetdeck, and Twitter itself top the list. I would have expected Buffer to show up a bit higher than #13, though as Neal notes, it’s not strictly speaking a Twitter client but rather “a perfect complement to help you schedule your posting on Twitter.”
12 Most Clever Twitter Tools by 12 Most
The ebullient Peg Fitzpatrick reviews a dozen top Twitter tools for various functions, including Tweepi for cleaning up your Twitter following with following/unfollowing help, Formulists for organizing and managing your community through smart Twitter lists, and Twitalyzer for analyzing the Twitter influence of anyone on Twitter.
5 Best Analytics Tools for Twitter Search by DreamGrow Social Media
Tom Chu offers brief reviews of five Twitter analytics tools including The Archivist (“This tool works in just the way it sounds. You download the desktop app and it archives search results for you to go through later. The search will find as many results as possible, and then you poll those results without you having to monitor it”), Twitter Counter and What The Hashtag.
A Silver Lining In This Cloud by THINKing
Harry Hoover recommends using SocialBro to create word clouds revealing the terms that your friends and followers tweet about most frequently. “You might discover new topics with which to engage your friends and followers. Further, you can drill down by tags to find out specifically which friends or followers are talking about that word.” You can also use TweetCloud to see which terms you use most often.
More Twitter Tools
Per the website, Itweetlive’s “Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) search engine uses advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and clustering tools to gather similar status updates, provide response suggestions based on real-time Twitter analytics, and measure engagement levels. In this way, we build a smart conversational tree that actually suggests the best statistical responses for status updates received in the future.” Basically, it lets you use statistical rules to talk “personally” to many people at once. Interesting concept.
A slick little low-cost tool that enables you to store up to 25 different search phrases for Twitter, identify potential followers / people to follow based on those searches, manage your follow/unfollow activity, and direct message any or all followers (up to Twitter’s daily limits).
A free or low-cost Twitter management tool that provides Twitter use statistics, weekly email digests, scheduled tweeting, conversation tracking, sorting of friends and followers, and an activity feed. Paid versions add features like bit.ly integration and the ability to manage up to 60 Twitter accounts.
The original hashtag wiki. Search for any phrase and see a collection of hashtags associated with it.
One Final Twitter Stat
Andres Silvaa shares an infographic from Klout which shows the expected half-life of a tweet based on the tweeter’s Klout score. For users with Klout scores under 40, activity tends to die off after 25 minutes and a handful of retweets, while those with scores of 75 and above can expect hundreds of retweets over three to six hours.