I’ve come across some new Twitter tools that I’ve found useful as a journalist, so I’ve decided to compile a new post of my favorite tools for Twitter. (Read my earlier list of favorite Twitter tools here.)
Blip.fm: A colleague of mine, @LauraTRyan, turned me on to this great tool. It allows you to search for a song for free and tweet the song. The tweet contains a little musical note to indicate to readers that it’s a musical tweet. They click the link, and hear the song you picked. Fun, fun, fun. (You do have to create an account to use Blip, but it’s free.) Here’s an example.
Twitoria: Once you’ve been on Twitter for a while, you may find you’re following a bunch of people who never or seldom tweet. This isn’t a bad thing, but at a certain point, Twitter will cut you off from following new people if the ratio between followers and people you’re following gets out of whack. Plus, if someone never tweets, really, why follow them? This tool can help. You type in your Twitter name and find out how long it has been since people you follow have tweeted (a month, a week, never). I used it recently to weed out the folks who I was following who never tweeted.
Back Tweets: This is a great tool to find out who is tweeting your blog. You type in your URL, hit return, and you’ll get a list of every time your blog’s URL is tweeted, who tweeted it and what was said about it. What’s great about this is you can see which of your posts are tickling your readers’ fancy enough that they tweet them, thereby, potentially gaining a larger audience for your blog. This can help you know what interests your audience and who is following what you say on Twitter closely enough to retweet it.
Future Tweets: This tool has become one of my favorites. It allows you to schedule a tweet for tomorrow, next week, two months from now. Now, I know some Twitter purists will say scheduling defeats the spontaneity of tweeting. Generally, I’d agree. I wouldn’t use this a lot. But it is very useful sparingly. It’s great if you’re writing a post late at night and want to tweet it, but know much of your audience won’t be on Twitter at the time. So you schedule for 9 a.m. (You can adjust for time zones.) It also is helpful if you’re trying to hit different time zones. I generally tweet the most at 8:30 a.m. EST, but I can schedule later in the day to hit my Twitter friends in California.
Retweetist: This tool helps you find out who is retweeting you. (Retweeting is when someone else repeats your tweets, crediting you, presumably because he or she felt your tweet was worthy. It helps you widen your influence on Twitter and could help boost your blog traffic if you tweet your blog. Here’s how to retweet. ) To use Retweetist, click on the “people” tab and then enter your Twitter name without the @. Click enter, and you’ll get a list of the number of retweets by day you’ve had for the past 30 days. It also lists what the retweets were. ( One caution: I find this is sometimes behind, so if you check it midday it might not reflect tweets from that morning. There seems to be a delay, but it catches up eventually.) You can also find out the 100 people who get retweeted the most; good folks to follow.
Search.Twitter.com: Love this. It’s basically a way to search by topic through Twitter. I generally put in my Twitter name at least once a day to see what comes up. Sometimes, I’ll find someone has tweeted about me, and I didn’t realize it. Or someone has retweeted one of my tweets. I try to dash off a thank you through Twitter’s @reply function. (@reply is just Twitter parlance for responding to one person individually.) This tool is also useful if you’re blogging on a particular topic and want to find other blogs that have posted on that topic to link to. I find it more useful than a Google search because it helps you find blogs, rather than news stories.
What’s your favorite Twitter tool and how do you use it?