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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.

1a-ping

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’).

2-futuretweets2

(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.

3-twitearth2

(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.

twitterfeed1

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

  1. John Connor
    November 10, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Ya I also agree with you.AutoTweeter is nice.I downloaded and used the trial version for a while and then I purchased full version.Its small and easy to use than the other tools.Thanks.But I dont know why makeuseof.com did not review this tool.Anyways..here is the link autotweeter.in if anyone wants to use it.

  2. tito cheriachan
    September 21, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    There is a desktop automated twitter application called autotweeter. autotweeter.in , im using it for a while and found it good than tweetlater or futuretweets.

  3. Ankit
    September 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Nice sharing....!!

  4. cesar
    July 16, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Wow!, I learned about marketing today more than the last 16 years, by reading your blog, excellent this is the best marketing-sales-social media presence I have ever read, thank you, you made my day

  5. Paul T
    June 27, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Thanks for all this info! I am going to implement this now!

    Be Well.

    Paul.
    AllAboutGratitude.com

  6. Tsudohnimh
    June 23, 2009 at 1:48 am

    I'd like to suggest some alternate methods to accomplish these tasks.

    To manage multiple accounts and schedule future tweets the winner by far is HootSuite.com. They've got a great interface and it is wonderful management tool.

    I think Twitter ranking and influence scoring is a pseudo-science that serves to boost ego more than actually provide information. However if someone is interested in stats I recommend Twittercounter for follower and update stats, Twitalyzer to analyze how you use Twitter, and Tweetstats for more indepth usage stats.

    TwitEarth is a nifty but not very useful. Monitter.com allows you to filter tweets based on a distance from a location and is much more useful.

    Finally, I don't recommend Twitterfeed either. They've had some stability issues and it relies on scanning your blog at scheduled intervals. Most blogging platforms offer Twitter posting integration either natively or via a plugin. For WordPress, Twitter Tools, can't be beat.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Tsudohnimh

  7. Cynthia Tzavaras
    June 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Excellent Information! Thanks!

  8. Charlie Profit
    June 22, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Great tips. For myself, I use TweetLater to combine the FutureTweets and TwitterFeed applications. You can even use Ping.Fm through TweetLater. Try the Pro version for free here: TweetLater Pro

  9. Jimmy Rogers
    June 22, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Hey, nice to know SOMEBODY still reads my old articles.

    Thanks for the link :) I'm not hardcore enough into tech anymore to write for you guys, but I hope you continue to grow!

    @loyaleagle on Twitter

  10. Faiza
    June 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks for these tips.
    Id like to know one more thing though; How can you find out who has stopped following you on Twitter? Is there an app/tool to track that?
    Thanks!

    • Shannon Rist
      June 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm

      I have heard of a free app called Qwitter (http://useqwitter.com). I haven't personally used it but it seems to have gotten pretty good reviews.

  11. Diana
    June 20, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Thank you for writing this article! This is very useful information and you organized it very well.

    I too never saw the relevance of having a Twitter account, but I have a feeling that after reading this article, I might have to try it out!

    I would love to see similar articles about some of the other online tools. For example, I've recently been looking at online collaboration platforms and am fascinated by the number of options. I'll be watching for additional posts from you!

    Diana

  12. Aibek
    June 20, 2009 at 7:34 am

    btw, I use TwitterFeed to tweet MakeUseOf tweets to Twitter, works great.

    Aibek

  13. Rohit
    June 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I never knew we can schedule our tweets too. Thanks for sharing.

    • Shannon Rist
      June 19, 2009 at 10:48 pm

      You are very welcome!

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