My Favorite Free Twitter Applications
Posted by spritzophrenia on June 7, 2010
Cool Twitter applications: It’s a topic I don’t often blog about, but I’ve been doing some research and I want to share my conclusions with you. Perhaps the title should be “My Favourite Twitter Applications – SO FAR”. [Update: I'm still testing more apps so I'll no doubt add another blog on this soon.] This post will mainly benefit those who have more than 50 Twitter followers or who want to engage in “twitter marketing”. By the way, I’m not a “social media guru” and with a few exceptions I never follow someone who touts themselves as a “twitter marketing expert”. They’re a dime a dozen now, and largely as repetitive as a whining kid.
Anyway, I’ve been playing with Twitter for a couple of days, testing out different applications. So far, I’ve concluded that I need two separate tools. One to manage mass sending of tweets and following people, and one to actually view and post tweets. I wish there was a single program that did everything, but the killer app is not not there yet.
My Current Favorite – Twitter Karma
Tools for Scheduled Tweets
If you only want to schedule tweets occasionally, here’s a list of 15 Free Services to Schedule Tweets on Twitter. However, if you want to schedule a lot of tweets, most of these won’t cut it for you. Hootsuite, for example, is just too time consuming to set more than a few scheduled tweets as it involves too much manual work. (Thanks to Hootsuite power user @Monicks for answering my question.) More on Hootsuite below.
To automate large numbers of scheduled tweets properly, one good tool I’ve found is TweetAdder. The key thing Tweetadder does which free apps don’t is allow quick and easy uploading of large lists of scheduled tweets. There’s a free trial for download on the website. To add followers TweetAdder also allows quick searching, following and unfollowing, however there are plenty of free apps that will do that for you. Its only downside is it’s $US55 for a single twitter account. I accept someone wanting a serious twitter prescence will likely have to spend some money, but by comparison the web-based app Autotweeting is US$7 for a single Twitter account. However I was not able to trial its features. There are plenty of other tools you might look into. Is there something else you think is better? Please comment.
CAUTION: It’s all too easy to start using a tool like this to spam people. This is a swift way to lose followers or even be banned from Twitter. Not only that, badly used it can be boring. I used to follow a guy who I suspect uses a scheduling tool, and he never says anything original. He has about twenty tweets that endlessly rotate. He’s a real person, I just don’t think he monitors his tweeting much. As always, the best way to get followers on twitter is to tweet quality content. I wholeheartedly agree with this list of 8 reasons to unfollow someone on Twitter. I followed a well-known celeb for a short while. He was interesting and entertaining, but he simply could not shut up. If you tweet every time you sneeze, I’m not interested. My time is more valuable than that.
Hence, be very careful using such a tool. Keep it varied, interesting and relevant. Above all, keep interacting with people as normal. But you’d never use TweetAd for this kind of day to day interaction, it’s ugly and clunky. For that, you’ll want…
Tools for Viewing And Posting Tweets
Currently I’m using Echofon, available for Firefox and Chrome (why would anyone use Internet Exploder?) and I have to say I love it. It’s free, simple and unobtrusive, hiding away handily down the bottom of my web browser. One feature I’d love is the ability to only view tweets from one list. Apart from that, it’s pretty good.
A tool that’s new to me is Hootsuite. It has a nice column interface for viewing all tweets, mentions and direct messages which is superior to Echofon in many ways. But again, I can’t view only the tweets from one list through it. In fact, so far the only way to restrict my viewing to just one list seems to be the Twitter website itself. Hootsuite also doesn’t have Echofon’s really useful “retweet with comment” and “copy tweet” features. And unlike Twitter Karma, you can’t easily sort followers into alphabetical order. Hootsuite does allow you to manage Facebook, MySpace and several other social networks all from the same screen which might be useful for some.
I wish there was a single application that combined all my favorite features, but I haven’t found it yet. So for now, Echofon is still the most handy in most respects. Have you got another app you think I should try?
Speaking of Twitter – why not follow me?