Twitter and Facebook Management Tools for Business Social Marketing
by Jay Massey
Jay's favorite web-based Twitter & Facebook tools to easily manage business social marketing.
Social networking applications like Twitter and Facebook can be effective social marketing tools for promoting and humanizing both your business or your clients' businesses. So why isn't everyone doing it? I noticed that whenever I speak on the subject of social marketing for business, I hear the same complaint from both small business owners and one-person marketing/PR departments; I don't have enough time to manage Facebook and Twitter on top of everything else I am doing. It is all very overwhelming to them. What they don't realize is that there are a multitude of free web apps out there that can help tame the social media maintenance beast.
What I have compiled here is a list of my favorite web-based Twitter and Facebook management tools. Application development for both Facebook and Twitter is a very dynamic arena with new web (and desktop) apps popping up every day. With all that in mind, I will append this list from time to time as I find new favorites.
Note - the apps listed below are sorted by what I personally find most useful and how often I use them. So there may be a very nice tool either low on the list or not on the list based on my usage. For example, I prefer CoTweet to manage multiple accounts over the HootSuite (very nice app) but since I don't use it as much as CoTweet it is lower on my preference list. For the purpose of this article I will focus on web-based apps only, which is why you will not see the desktop app, TweetDeck in this list. You will need to find out what works best for you or your clients' specific needs.
UPDATED: June 27, 2009
Twitter Business Management Tools
- CoTweet - Hourly
CoTweet is designed for businesses that use Twitter as part of their brand management and social marketing campaigns. CoTweet supports both proactive marketing communication and response-driven customer support. It allows multiple people to maintain multiple corporate Twitter accounts.
- TwitterCounter - Few times a week
- TwitterCounter displays a graph of your followers for the last week, month or 3 months (or so). Nice for tracking trends. Twitter Counter offers a badge you can add to your web site, blog or social network that displays your number of Twitter followers in an effort to grow your followers. It also has a paid 'Featured User' option that promises to help grow your followers. I have not used the paid service.
- Twitterless - Weekly
Twitterless tracks new followers and un-followers with useful graphs & timelines. You can also filter followers in real time by keywords in their descriptions or create searches for keywords in all your followers' posts. There is a nice feature for privacy and blocking if spammers are an issue. My favorite feature is notification via Twitter when you lose a follower (not that I hold a grudge). :-) Developed by Mark Nutter
- Mr. Tweet - Monthly
Mr. Tweet is a relationship-building tool that helps you find people relevant to your interests. It filters through millions of profiles and followers' links and regularly presents you with a list of 200 highly relevant people you may want to follow. Another feature is that you can recommend people.
- Twellow - Monthly
Twellow is like the yellow pages for Twitter. They sifting through the overwhelming volume of content and services to help you connect with people you may be interested in. Developed by WebProNews.
- Friend or Follow - Every couple months
Friend or Follow is a simple web app that lets you know who you're following that's not following you back, as well as who's following you that you're not following back. The best part is that you can export this information as a CSV file. Other general information is an interesting Twitter user growth chart, a top 100 most followed users, and a top 100 users that are following the most users. Developed by Dusty Reagan
- HootSuite - Rarely
HootSuite is a simple, multi-profile Twitter management interface. With HootSuite, you can manage multiple Twitter profiles, add multiple editors, pre-schedule tweets, and monitor click-thru stats.
Facebook Business Management Tips
- Selective Twitter Status - Few times a week
This neat litte Facebook app let's you 'selectively' update your Facebook status from Twitter. How it works - You can manually choose which tweets you want to post to Facebook by appending your tweet with a #fb hashtag. The business aspect of this application is that you can update your Facebook business 'fan" page (see below) and your personal Facebook status or your business 'fan' page only.
Note - Hashtags are typically words or acronyms with the number symbol (#) at the beginning that represent single-topic conversations. You can search hash tags in Twitter to see the entire conversation.
To be part of a conversation's search legacy, simply add an existing hashtag to your post. For new conversations, search for a new hashtag's availability before using it.
- Facebook Fan Pages - Few times a month
Public figures (authors, singers, politicians, etc.), businesses, or brands can create a Facebook Page to share information with followers, known as fans. Pages, also called Fan Pages are distinct presences that are created to represent an entity/organization that is separate from a user profile.
Once you have a minimum of 100 fans you can customize your Facebook Page URL with your branded user name as of June 28, 2009 (prior to that time you needed 1,000 fans). To customize your "vanity" URL go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ after logging in to your account. Here is an example of the user name we created for Coco Design http://facebook.com/CocoDesign.
You can easily use your personal account to manage a Facebook Page for your organization. Please note that only an official representative of the organization is permitted to create a Page. Unauthorized "fan" Pages are not permitted by Facebook and will be removed.
General Social Media Resources
Mashable is a very large blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Media news. Mashable offers reviews on new web sites and services, publisheswhat's new on the web and offers social media resources and guides.
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