140 characters may not sound much, but it sure as hell adds up over time. From Steven Fry to Bill Gates, even the queen tweets. As so do your customer, prospects and competitors. And it’s all available to everyone, anytime.

As a business, you can use Twitter for marketing in so many ways.  Are you using it in any of these?

  • To promote happy customers and catch unhappy ones before they damage your reputation?
  • To identify (and engage with) influencers – and their followers
  • To identify those in need of your service/product
  • To learn what topics are hot, and provide a tailored news service for you
  • To advertise to a highly tailored audience
  • To capture contact details for those who’ve visited your site (and not given you their details)

You can do all of this and more with twitter. And most of the tools you can use to achieve the above are either free or less than £100 per month. I could put pages and pages of examples below, but here are some of my favourites:

Influencer identification and top content

  • BuzzSumo – find influencers by topic and see what they’re talking about (and what works for them). Also great to see what content is performing for a topic
  • Topsy – find the most popular tweets pertaining to specific keywords, or referencing specific profiles
  • Hashtagify.me – see how a specific hashtag performs, who’s using it and how

Marketing automation

  • Socedo – automatically retweet or favourite tweets from profiles matching your keyword criteria and specific business profile criteria on LinkedIn, then automatically direct message them

Analytics and Research

  • Advanced Twitter Search – the most effective way to identify tweets about specific topics including, or from, specific users
  • My Top Tweet – find the top 10 tweets (by engagement) for any Twitter profile
  • Riffle – a browser plugin to show profile statistics, most used hashtags, top mentions, amongst other things
  • Twitonomy – analytics on tweets, favourites, mentions, hashtag use for any Twitter profile
  • Sonar Solo – see who’s talking about what right now, drop in a hashtag or profile name and see the connections to other topics and profiles

Scheduling and Monitoring

  • HootSuite – brings a lot of things together in one place, but I love this mainly for automating tweets (or other social posts), monitoring who’s talking about what and keeping tabs on mentions of my clients’ profiles. The ability to filter by Klout score is fantastic when digging into who’s talking about specific topics.
  • Keyhole – track realtime use of keywords or profiles or get alerts when they’re used. Even gives you historical data to see who’s said what, when
  • Mention – a bit like keyhole, but a little easier to analyse, share and collaborate with others working as a team

Clean-up and grow your Twitter following

  • Crowdfire (formerly JustUnfollow) – clean up your follower list by unfollowing those who don’t follow you (if you want to do that), see who’s recently followed or unfollowed you and grow your network by following followers of specific profiles, or users of specific keywords
  • Manage Flitter – much lick Crowdfire with a bit more analytics, but less nice interface (IMHO)

As I say, there are tons of other tools out there, but these are my favourites.  Every single social media marketing projectI’ve worked on in the last few years has involved at least a couple of these tools, and many more than that!