Managing Twitter can be a daunting task, especially after you’ve started following a lot of people, and have a lot of people following (or trying to follow) you. I’ll explain more about the “Trying to follow you” comment in a moment.
Once you outgrow the basic foundation for following others using Twitter’s web based tool (yeah, the one you get when you first sign up for your Twitter account), you’ll soon find it almost impossible to follow your timeline when there are a lot of “tweets” and maybe you haven’t logged on for a while. (Even overnight a lot of tweets can pile up. Remember, Twitter is worldwide, so not everyone is sleeping when you are.)
Hands down, the leader in “Twitter Management Utilities” seems to be “TweetDeck“. Think of TweetDeck as your browser/organizer for all of your Twitter activity. TweetDeck shows you everything you want to see at once, so you can stay organized and up to date. I highly recommend anyone “tweeting” at all to get started early with TweetDeck. Spend a few minutes going through the features, and you’ll be a “TweetDeck Specialist” in no time.
With TweetDeck, you can not only manage your Twitter updates (tweets), but you can also manage your Facebook updates as well. You can choose to send the same message to both Twitter and Facebook simultaneously, or one or the other separately. You choose with one click of your mouse.
TweetDeck updates itself so you don’t have to be refreshing anything like you do if you’re viewing your Twitter timeline from Twitter itself. Use columns to create your personal dashboard, creating groups to easily manage all of the tweets of those you are following.
TweetDeck is a free download. I suggest you give it a test drive. I think you’ll keep it.
Once you’ve started following some folks, and others have started following you, you’ll begin to realize that figuring out who’s following you or not, becomes a bit of a challenge. Another neat little utility I discovered that solves this is called “Twitter Karma.”
Basically, Twitter Karma is a Flash application that fetches those you follow, and those who follow you, letting you quickly paginate through them. Let’s face it, scrolling through page after page after page of followers can be a bit cumbersome. Twitter Karma, by default, lists all those you follow and all of your followers and sorts them by last update, showing those who most recently updated first. You can sort the list alphabetically either ascending or descending by Twitter ID. You can filter the list in several ways: only those you follow, or only followers, all friends or all followers, and mutual friends.
What Twitter Karma allows you to do is basically see ALL of your followers, and all of the people who follow you, all on one screen, with little red and green arrows that tell you at a quick glance just who’s following you and who you’re following. You then can mass edit your lists, all with one mouse click. You do have to enter your Twitter ID and password, or you can sign in with Twitter and let Twitter’s API handle the sign in for you.Try it out, I think you’ll bookmark this one.
This neat little utility even tells you when the last time someone you’re following has updated, so you can easily stop following someone if they are never updating. Use any criteria you’d like in sorting and updating your entire list. Get more information on Twitter Karma here.
For those of you using FireFox as your browser, a nifty little extension for FireFox is “TwitterFox.” TwitterFox notifies you of your friends’ tweets on Twitter. This extension adds a tiny icon on the FireFox status bar which notifies you when your friends update their tweets. Also it has a small text input field to update your tweets. If you use FireFox, check out TwitterFox.
Anyone used to blogging and familiar with the Future Post feature of most blogging software will appreciate “twAitter.” If you have a Twitter account, you already have a twAitter account. Here are twAiter’s main features:
Schedule: Schedule your twitter messages
Recurring: Set your twitter messages to send on recurring basis: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
Calendar:Manage your scheduled messages (Twaits) with our powerful calendar tool that works just like your Outlook calendar.
Feeds:Register your blog or business RSS feed with twaitter and have your new posts automatically sent to twitter. (coming soon)
Schedule in Mass:Have a lot to say and a lot to schedule? Upload a file with your messages in twAiter’s file format and they’ll be happy to schedule all the twaits for you. (Coming Soon) *subject to Twitter message sending limits.
Personal use of twAiter is free, and businesses are allowed up to 500 messages per month for business use, but according to the twAiter website, they just launched, and no is counting right now anyway. Give twAiter a try.
One utility that I do NOT condone or use is “TwitterMass.” TwitterMass fully automates the process of growing your Twitter network by following people based on a keyword universe you create. TwitterMass works in such a way that it rewards people who follow you back and removes people who do not. In the end TwitterMass is a system that fully automates your Twitter outreach and exponentially grows your niche Twitter network.
If you’re looking for a utility to automate your followers, this might fit the bill for you. Personally, I prefer to build my followers myself, and I like to choose who I follow. I don’t want some piece of software building my list for me. That’s just plain creepy to me. But if putting Twitter on auto-pilot is your thing, then check out “TwitterMass.”
There are probably a few dozen (or more) other utilities and tools for use with Twitter, but these are the ones I have used (except for TwitterMass). If you know of others, I’d love to hear about them. Leave me a comment and tell me about others you’ve used, what you like or don’t like, and where they can be found. (A link would be great). 😉
That’s it for now. Until next time…