Most celebrities are on Twitter. Some like Amitabh Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh and SRK are avid users, while others like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Amir Khan use it sparingly. But they are all present there.
Then why is only about 15% of India’s remaining internet population present on it? And why do brands (read their agencies) fail to capitalize on this awesome tool to establish their online reputation?
Well, for one, many brand managers don’t understand how Twitter functions. They simply bombard the platform with self promotional tweets and expect a hoard of followers. Even now, most people consider their Twitter success to be directly related to the number of followers. Secondly, because of the vast amount of content being shared on Twitter, users can feel all at sea. Making sense of things on Twitter can be quite a task.
Twitter is not a self promotion platform. If you’re self promoting without adding value, you’re doing Twitter all wrong. Twitter is about being there, listening to conversations, making sense of them, providing your inputs and using posts which you read to come up with content marketing ideas. And fear not, it is really easy to do once you get the hang of it.
|Free Twitter Tools as good as Paid Ones|
Here are 5 free tools which enable you to become an effective Twitter user:
Bufferapp: This is one of the most popular free tools for posting on social media (especially Twitter). Renowned as a post and tweet scheduling tool, Bufferapp also lets you tweet instantly in case you are unable to access Twitter. Links tweeted are converted to bitly links by default, though you can choose to revert to the original URL. The analytics tool is handy for tracking the performance of each tweet sent from Buffer. So if you see that a post has done well in the past and are short of ideas, you can re-share it after a month or 2. Alternately, you can make use of Bufferapp’s suggestions if you’re looking for content to tweet. Plus you can tweet an article via Buffer right from your browser. Simply install the extension and click on the icon if you want to share an article. Also, if you select a specific quote from the article and click on the Bufferapp icon, the app intelligently tweets your link with the selected text as the headline. Cool huh? People also use this tool for scheduling posts on Facebook, but the Facebook’s inbuilt scheduler feature is more useful and effective for their platform. You also cannot view real time Twitter updates. For that, you have the option below.
Hootsuite: I can’t stop raving about this tool. Apart from scheduling tweets, Hootsuite also makes it convenient for you to track feeds related to your subject on Twitter and Facebook. Simply enter the keyword(s) in Hootsuite’s search box and click ‘Add Stream’ on the tab where the results show up. These streams can also be of lists formulated by you (more on lists in point 5). Your feed is updated real time, ensuring you stay well informed on everything happening in your field. Respond to questions of people, which establishes you as an expert in your field. You can also generate ideas for content marketing material by reading people’s conversations. Plus, you can not only RT a tweet, but also manually RT after adding your comments in it, just like the mobile Twitter app.
Pullquote: Ever read a quote online and liked it so much that you want to tweet it? Well, Pullquote lets you do it beautifully. Simply install the extension in your browser and use it when you want to tweet a quote from a page. The tool converts the quote into a picture and share it. You also can crop a photo and share it, adding your comments in the tweet. Pullquote is a great tool to awesome content on Twitter pictorially. The only drawback, however, is that you cannot tweet a link. For sharing a link along with the image/quote, you can take help of the tool mentioned below.
Bitly sidebar: bit.ly links, when shared, look way cooler than the conventional abc.com/xyz…. But you already know that, right? Additionally, bit.ly links can be used to track how many times your link has been clicked on. Once you’ve tweeted a link, simply compare the number of times people have clicked on the link versus the number of impressions. While it may not be an accurate figure, it may give you a rough idea of how effective what you typed while sharing the link was. More clicks (even if it hasn’t got RTs) means your ‘copywriting’ idea worked, and you can try replicating that for other tweets too. Bitly links are not accepted on some popular social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Blogadda, etc. For those, you can use the article’s original URL.
Twitter: What good would a social platform do if it cannot have some inbuilt features which make it awesome? 2 features which we must make use of in Twitter are Search and Lists. The Twitter Search is as good as Hootsuite in providing you with tweets which are related to your subject of interest. Also, if you want to know how a specific article is being discussed on Twitter, merely paste the article’s URL in the Search box. For instance, if you want to know what people on Twitter think about this article, simply copy the link and paste it in Twitter’s search box. Also, Lists is a kickass feature to get feeds from people from a specific field. So if you want to stalk the competition, you can create a list of them, keep it private and keep a tab of their tweets. On the other hand, if you want to share insightful tweets of influencers in a field related to yours, create a public list and add them to it. Let others also refer to your list and know how awesome you are.
A common mistake which many of us make is not tracking our Twitter platform’s performance (read effectiveness). We pepper the platform with promotional tweets and Twitter contests for our clients, most of which result in negligible conversions. Twitter is a far more effective digital message spreading platform than any other - Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus. It can help portray our brand as a thought leader in its field and convert viewers to followers, then buyers, and ultimately into loyalists. Using the tools above, you can listen to conversations on Twitter, create and promote terrific content and track your engagement levels. Effective use of Twitter will also give a content writer a whole bunch of ideas for the next corporate blog post.
I haven’t added many tools like Seesmic, TweetDeck, etc. to the list. I’ve found the above mentioned 5 to be most effective. Do you know of any other tools which have been missed? Do leave a note about them in the comments section. Also do share this article with others so that awareness about how Twitter works continues to spread.