There are numerous ways of using Twitter for everything from business to fun. The key to using Twitter effectively is the use of tools. Without tools, Twitter can be overwhelming and difficult to fathom. There are numerous tools that allow you to sift through this massive resource of latest news, links and gossip.
So what are the Twitter tools that really make a difference for advanced Twitter users?
I selected just the best of them: 30+ Twitter tools that are most useful right now. Most of these tools have been around for years so they have a sound business model. They simplify manifold tasks but have one thing in common: you must be aware of these tools if you’re serious about Twitter participation.
Standalone and Web-Based Twitter Clients
CoTweet is a solid and free web-based Twitter client with some useful CRM features aimed at business users. I use it quite often.
Sleek Adobe Air desktop client for Twitter offering a good overview with several panes.
Seesmic is like both CoTweet and Tweetdeck; they have a web-based client and an Adobe Air based app with similar features. They even support Facebook and other services as well.
One of the more popular Twitter clients from the early days of Twitter. I can still recommend it.
Cross platform open source Twitter client for Mac, Windows and Linux.
Web-based iPhone (and iPod Touch) optimised Twitter app that works inside modern browsers as well.
Misc. Twitter Tools
An advanced Twitter contact management tool I can highly recommend.
Twellow is the “Yellow Pages” of Twitter.
This is an alternative web-based interface for Twitter, and indeed it’s a little more usable than the default one on Twitter.com.
This is a Twitter followers counter similar to the Feedburner count for blog subscribers.
Ever wanted to publish a newspaper? Paper.li does it on your behalf. Just pick the sources, be it people or hashtags.
Magpie is an ad-network for Twitter. It boasts that users can make something like $50-200 a month just by tweeting.
Twitter WordPress Plugins
Twitter Tools by Alex King
I use this set of tools over on my own SEO blog and it works fine, you can even tweet from the WordPress backend and your blog address will be used as the client (software) link.
WP to Twitter
Twitter updater plugin using the SEO friendly Cli.gs short URL service for tweeting your posts.
This WordPress plugin uses the Google Ajax API to get a reliable stream of tweets to your blog sidebar.
Firefox Extensions for Twitter
Simple but effective and popular Twitter Firefox add-on. I have used Echofox as my main Twitter client for several years now.
Even simpler Twitter add on for Firefox.
Lets you post to Twitter right from the address bar of your browser.
Twitter Social News
Search the most popular current stories shared on Twitter. Also available this week, month or all time search.
This is a Delicious-like social bookmarking site for Twitter but it’s automated. It collects the links you share on Twitter, Facebook, Delicious and everywhere, saving them as bookmarks with tags. You can share them with others as well.
Find out the most popular stories as shared via the Tweetmeme button.
Social news-like interface for the current hot tweets.
Shows you what’s most popular today, this week etc. on Twitter and across the other common microblogging platforms.
Shows the latest and most popular links on Twitter.
Klout is probably the most widely used tool to determine a person’s (or account’s) authority on Twitter. The sheer number of followers is a worthless metric.
Use bit.ly as URL shortener and you can look up how many people clicked the actual links along with some other stats. For shortening links you can also use j.mp – it’s even shorter and does not have a domain from Libya (.ly).
Tweetreach is an analytics tool that estimates the number of impressions you have received, even listing the users who provided them. It’s quite biased though, as impressions by large numbers of bot followers do not mean much. So make sure you weed out the automated accounts when considering the numbers.
This statistic tool measures everything from when you tweet (weekdays, time of day) to who your real friends are by counting how often you address people.
Twist allows you to quickly view and compare popularity trends on Twitter. It’s similar to Google Trends.
This tool compares your list of friends with your followers and shows you who does not follow you back.
These 30+ Twitter tools will allow you a seamless integration of Twitter in your daily routine, but make sure you know what you’re doing on Twitter and have some business objectives.
This post was originally published on November 14th, 2008. It was last updated: May 3rd, 2011. Numerous links have been removed and added. Many descriptions have been altered.
* Image by Noël Zia Lee