Some estimates place the number of Twitter applications at 2,000 while others place the figure as high as 70,000. Really, how many do you need?
There are applications to schedule your tweets, find new followers, weed out followers, determine your best tweeting times, keep track of your mentions and retweets, notify you of what’s hot on your timeline, and even preserve your tweets into the future.
Whether you need help creating a stunning background for your profile or you would like to communicate with a follower who speaks Japanese, many of these applications will save you time and help you to grow a more cohesive tribe. To narrow the selection, here’s a list of some of the applications you might like.
Schedule Your Tweets
Are you planning a three-day weekend? Will you be out of the office for a few days or weeks? No problem. You can schedule your tweets by using a number of different applications. While scheduling tweets ahead of time can be convenient, too much automation kills the social in social media.
Buffer There are free and paid versions of Buffer, and the free account allows you up to four tweets daily for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. As a social media scheduler, Buffer App is great. Buffer collaborates with Tweriod to determine the best tweeting times for you. With Buffer, You’ll never again have to figure out whether your best posting time is 2:10 p.m. or 11:47 p.m. It’s easy to set up and use, and works great on an iPad too.
HootSuite The free version of Hootsuite makes scheduling easy, and the analytics are great. You can use Hootsuite to schedule your tweets, LinkedIn updates, and Google Plus and Facebook posts. However, refrain from using the scheduling application for Facebook. Studies indicate that people who schedule their Facebook posts receive fewer comments and Likes. The paid versions of Hootsuite will provide you with better analytics, integration with Facebook’s Insights, and other features, depending on the option you select.
Who’s Following You?
How well do you know your followers? Use these applications to know a tad more about those avatars streaming into your timeline.
SocialBro This application digs deeper into the profiles of your followers. You can use it to identify demographic information about your Twitter followers including nationality, gender, and relevant holidays for any Twitter user. It will also tell you which users aren’t following you back and which are creating more spam than real messages. The free version will analyze and monitor up to 100 active users every 10 seconds— probably all you really want to know.
TweetsMap Do you know where most of your followers live and work? Do you want to find out? (For marketing purposes you do.) This application will gather and display the data for you in a map.
Discover Your Tribe
Listorious Are you having trouble finding new users to follow? You can use this application to search for individual users or lists of writers, agents, or writing coaches. This is a good application to use when you are starting out on Twitter.
Tweepi Tweepi will determine which users aren’t worth following, who’s not reciprocating by following you back, and which of your followers aren’t tweeting much, if at all. It’s analogous to a broom and a dust pan to sweep the cobwebs out of your account. It will also enable you to search by category to find new users to follow.
Know Your Metrics
TweetStats TweetStats is an amazing, free Twitter analytics dashboard that provides insight to all sorts of metrics, such as tweets per hour, tweets per month, and reply statistics. It will also determine when most of your followers are online. While it calculates your statistics, this message will appear on your screen: “Magic Happening!” A few seconds later, another message appears: “Please be patient while I load your tweets. You are currently queued, with 87 other people. Have a party! Hey, what can I say - people want their stats!” The application will also count yout twooshes (a tweet that is exactly 140 characters).
Detect Trending Topics
The TweetedTimes This application will analyze the tweets in your timeline and create a daily “The Tweeted Times” newspaper for you. You can subscribe to your daily newspaper and receive it via RSS.
TweetBeep This application will search Twitter every hour and send you an email whenever your selected keyword — your Twitter handle, the title of your book, or your name — is mentioned. If you are looking for a tool that monitors your digital presence, this tool will notify you of every @reply and @mention on Twitter.
FollowFridayHelper #FollowFriday is a great tradition on Twitter. Each Friday, users thank Tweeps who have mentioned or retweeted them earlier in the week. With this application, you no longer have to keep track of your retweeters. This application will save you plenty of time.
Twitter is probably the best platform to keep up to date on writing conferences, writing prompts, newly released books, social media, or whatever your fields of interest are. It’s on this network where you can learn to market your book, find a publisher, seek an agent, or converse with the author of your favorite book.
If you’re not yet on Twitter, sign up today. Then try the applications mentioned here. Let me know which one is your favorite!
Frances Caballo is a social media trainer, blogger, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books. She helps writers and businesses attain their social media marketing and public relations goals. Frances is the Social Media Editor for Redwood Writers, the largest branch of the California Writers Club, and for the Women’s National Book AssociationFind her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Social Media Just for Writers is available on Amazon.