The top five Twitter marketing tools for small businesses in 2013

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Top Twitter Tools to look out for in 2013.

Twitter Use 2013With the year coming to a close and 2013 right around the corner, it is important for marketers to start putting in a plan for their 2013 marketing strategy. Sixty-nine percent of B2C marketers and 80 percent of B2B brands used Twitter for social media marketing efforts in 2012, and similar percentages will continue to use the network next year. Businesses should start planning what social networks they want to utilize next year, how they want to use them and what tools can best help them manage those networks.

Twitter recently surpassed the 200 million active users mark and I think it is safe to say this number will continue to grow into 2013. With more and more people engaging and interacting on the network, it’s important for a brand to not only have a profile on the platform, but to be doing all that it can to leverage itself as a thought leader and influencer, too. There is a plethora of social media tools that companies can use to help manage their networks, but some come at a hefty price. Below are the top five up-and-coming affordable social media tools for Twitter in 2013.

TWEETLEVEL

Understand what content (and which users) can boost your influence.

Social Web ChatterDo you wonder where you rank among competitors on Twitter? Tweetlevel helps measure buzz, calculates your influence on the network and analyzes your Tweets. First, you pick the topic, keyword, link or hashtag you want to measure and set the date range from where you want to analyze the trend. Tweetlevel gives you a graph that illustrates the Level of Buzz and the number of mentions for each day specified in the date range. Once you decide on the relevant topic that you want to research, you can see what users engaged in conversation about the topic, what links were shared and gain an understanding of how people feel about the specific subject.

The tool provides a list of users who are most popular around this topic, but this isn’t all the tool offers. After you have the list of most popular users, Tweetlevel will email you a list of the most influential users calculated by who starts, spreads or is an expert within the conversation. Once you identify the most influential users around a specific subject, you can start engaging and interacting with those profiles. This is important because it gives you a credible voice and builds your reputation as an influencer within your industry.

BUFFERAPP

Share content when it counts.

Bufferapp is a great tool to help you post your Tweets throughout the day. It allows you to schedule and add updates based on when your audiences are most likely to read your Tweets. Not only is it beneficial to make sure you are optimizing your Tweet delivery times, but it also allows you to conduct research around other possible social content subjects. Bufferapp has standard schedule times set up to help you post throughout the day, allowing you to customize your posting schedule as you see fit. Although you will be limited on how often you can post, if you upgrade to their premium plan, you receive unlimited posts.

The reporting metrics are also solid for this application. It delivers data based on clicks, Retweets and reach for each Tweet. In addition, it shows you your top Tweet for each day based on specific criteria that matters to you. Therefore you know what links, keywords and hashtags are most popular and receive the most interest among your followers. These metrics will help narrow down and pinpoint what people are interested in learning about, sharing and engaging.

These metrics will help narrow down and pinpoint what people are interested in learning about, sharing and engaging.

Another advantage to this app is its versatility. It has its own button and extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. This allows you to seamlessly share content you uncover across the web and schedule a post conveniently without having to leave a browser or switch to a new tab. You can also download the mobile app to share and schedule posts while you are on the go. Overall, this app is very advantageous if you are looking for a tool that can manage your scheduling while providing solid data to help determine what is popular among your fans (and when).

COMMUN.IT

Find the trending topics among your engaged community.

Commun.it is another Twitter management tool that allows you to track certain trends, websites and hashtags to understand the community engagement around these relevant subject areas. The dashboard provides an overview of your choice of high-value members, influencers, supporters or engaged members. These lists are all based on your community, so if you opt to see your high-value members, it would show your core community of the most-engaged brand followers. I also like the feature on the dashboard that offers insights on people to ‘Consider to Follow’ and ‘Consider to Unfollow’. This helps you discover users who are worth engaging due to relevancy, but it also informs you of accounts that don’t offer much value to your brand.

Simply assessing your brand’s own Twitter actions is often overlooked, but showing how many mentions, Retweets and overall statuses you’ve sent is a great way to make sure your profile is staying engaged within your community.

You can view reports for the past 3 days on the basic plan, and can monitor activity around custom dates if you are working with Commun.it’s Pro plan. It lists the mentions and Retweets that you have received over the given time period in addition to the total reach. The tool also depicts your follower growth and shows your activity, too. Simply assessing your brand’s own Twitter actions is often overlooked, but showing how many mentions, Retweets and overall statuses you’ve sent is a great way to make sure your profile is staying engaged within your community. The tool also recently teamed up with Bufferapp, so you can schedule your Tweets from Commun.it using Buffer.

TWERIOD

Discover your brand’s optimal post schedule.

Social BuzzTweriod differentiates itself from other scheduling tools as it offers completely custom insights on the best times to Tweet by analyzing your past posts and followers. Based on its analysis, it advises the best time to Tweet, so your posts will receive the greatest reach and exposure. A free analysis gives you the days and hours to Tweet to make sure your posts have maximum impact. It also provides a graph to show you when most of your followers are online.

The analysis report is generated by gathering a list of followers from your Twitter profile and analyzing their last 200 Tweets. It may take awhile for your report to come back, but it’s worth the wait. Similar to Commun.it, Tweriod partnered with Buffer, so you can schedule your Tweets using the app. If you upgrade to the Premium account, you receive an analysis report including your entire follower base, more in-depth analytics for all days of the week and an analysis of not only your Tweets, but posts from your followers, too.

BOTTLENOSE

Follow the real-time, mixed media buzz about your industry and brand.

My final tool to be aware of in 2013 is Bottlenose, which has an elaborate dashboard that displays the top trending links, topics and most recent comments on your Twitter feed. These are all based on your followers, so it gives you a solid idea of what conversations are taking place and allows you to see what is going on within the topics and fields that interest you.

You will know what is trending (including the format of the content – from shared videos to linked text) and who is engaging within these topics.

Not only does the tool show live posts and Tweets from users, but when you search for a specific subject area, it provides you with a live stream of photos and videos based around that topic. This is a great way to discover the different types of content that are being shared on certain subjects. Utilizing the Sonar feature allows you to view insights around the profiles you are following and the conversations they are having. You will know what is trending (including the format of the content – from shared videos to linked text) and who is engaging within these topics.

There are many more tools that are great for social media management and even more that are probably being created right now. Hopefully, I’ve introduced you to a few new Twitter tools that can help you increase your social engagement and make sure you are providing your followers with current, relevant and quality content.

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Ty is a Social Media Manager at Brafton and currently lives in the north end in Boston. When he is not working he enjoys traveling, playing sports, listening to music and attempting to cook.
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