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At first, I didn’t get the purpose of Twitter. I kept hearing about its rising popularity and just couldn’t understand why “Shannon ate toast and jelly this morning” could be intriguing or newsworthy on any level. However, after months of being inundated with the “Do you Tweet?” question from friends, family and strangers alike, I finally succumbed to peer pressure and set up my Twitter account.

Being so skeptical at first, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that Twitter, in fact, can be a powerful tool for promoting your business. So, now that I am a happy daily Twitter Tweeter, I have learned some tasty tidbits that I’d like to share.

(1) Posting Tweets to multiple social networks

One of the first things I learned when I became a freelance writer is: there is no such thing as too many social networks. The problem with keeping up with all these sites is that it can be exhausting and time-consuming. Fortunately, now we have Ping.fm to link all these sites so your tweet can get maximum exposure.

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Getting set up on Ping.fm is simple. All you need is an email address and password and you are in business. Next, follow a few simple directions on choosing and setting up your social networks, and VOILA, your tweets will be transmitted to 39 top social networking sites. (Who knew there were that many?)

Mark O’Neill covers Ping.fm in-depth here.

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(2) Scheduling An Automated Message to Twitter

Getting too busy to tweet? No problem. Spend an hour planning your tweets in advance and your followers will never know the difference.

There are actually a number of sites completely dedicated to setting up pre-scheduled tweets, but my recommendation is http://futuretweets.com. This site offers a totally free scheduling service, complete with the ability to pre-schedule automated messages to twitter, set up recurring tweets, and turn tweet text upside down and backwards (I got nuthin’).

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(3) Tracking Tweets by Territory

Want to know where the tweets on your stream are coming from? Well, Twittearth will display tweets and their locations in the form of cute little text balloons floating over a rotating 3D globe (think Google Earth). It’s actually quite mesmerizing, kind of like watching an aquarium.

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(4) How does your Tweet rank?

It’s a harsh reality that Twitter is, in fact, a popularity contest. If you want to be noticed, you have to make sure your tweets are getting maximum exposure. This comes in the form of followers, shout outs and retweets. If you have this kind of exposure then it is actually possible for your Twitter page to show up on a search engine – which is a dream come true for those trying to promote their own business.

twinfluence

Twinfluence is a statistical site which analyzes your Twitter popularity by rank and percentile. There are a number of other graphs and charts based on other criterias as well. If you like stats, this is your gig.

James Rogers discusses Twinfluence as well as others tools for tweeting here 15 Twittery Things for Your Holiday Enjoyment 15 Twittery Things for Your Holiday Enjoyment Read More .

(5) Automatically send your blog updates to Twitter

Did you just finish a blog that you think your readers will be excited about? Try Twitterfeed. Twitterfeed will link to your blog and send an update to Twitter every time your RSS feed gets updated.

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Learn more about Twitterfeed here.

With the ever increasing popularity of Twitter, there are new tools created constantly. If you are going to be on Twitter, why not maximize its benefit with these totally free applications?

Oh and now you can follow MakeUseOf on Twitter too.

Find these tools interesting? What do you use Twitter for? Let me know in the comments.

For more Twitter ideas, check out these links:

7 Tools to Integrate Twitter with your WordPress Blog 7 Tools To Integrate Twitter With Your Wordpress Blog 7 Tools To Integrate Twitter With Your Wordpress Blog Read More
Tools, Apps and Bots to Improve Your Twitter Experience Tools, Apps and Bots to Improve your Twitter Experience Tools, Apps and Bots to Improve your Twitter Experience Read More
4 Tools for More Productive Twittering 4 Tools for More Productive Twittering 4 Tools for More Productive Twittering Read More

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