I confess. I’m one of those mysterious people who actually “gets” and loves Twitter — and I’m not a journalist, social media marketer, or entertainment star. I’m just someone who knows about some powerful Twitter apps, and after reading this, you will be too.
And yes, Twitter is threatening to implement an algorithm that will choose for you what you see at the top of your feed, the way Facebook does, instead of continuing to show a real-time stream. It would appear it will actually be some sort of hybrid animal in the end.
But you know what? Unless they eliminate the chronological feed all together, I don’t think I have a reason to care.
Now when I used to consume tweets directly on the Twitter site, okay. When I go there, I do find the “While you were away” feature rather scroll-past-able. But with so many ways to consumer Twitter content off Twitter, the user experience can continue to be however they have personally shaped it. (That is, so long as they simply make a chronological feed available, which they say they have no intention of ending.)
My Favorite Apps for Personally Shaping My Twitter Experience
This list is likely to change over time, but right now my favorite Twitter apps are:
- The Tweeted Times (see example at: http://tweetedtimes.com/IndigoOcean)
- StatusBrew (formerly Unfollowers) or Manage Flitter
Now I know there are lots of other Twitter apps out there. These are simply my current favorites, and between them I get all my core Twitter needs met. If you love Twellow, for example, I’m not knocking that. Just isn’t something I find myself actually using, so not a personal fav.
What Do You Do With These Twitter Apps?
Commun.it – I’ve tried a lot of different Twitter apps for managing my life on Twitter. It is just darned hard to keep track of the volume of communication and make sure the important stuff isn’t getting lost in the noise. This is why Twitter has kept threatening to introduce an algorithm for so long, and is now doing so in a limited roll-out.
We don’t really want Twitter telling us what we should want to see, but we do want some way of controlling it ourselves. Lists help, but you still need a better way to read even your lists than just the Twitter native platform. And how about important mentions, retweets and direct messages? Changes to the feed won’t help with that.
Enter Commun.it, a way of prioritizing what needs to be prioritized if you want to use Twitter to grow relationships with new people. You simply must interact on the platform, including responding when someone tries to interact with you, if you want it to be anything other than a link dumping site. People who don’t get Twitter, mainly don’t get this. Then they wonder why it isn’t feeding their pipeline any!
Identify the people who share often, mention you often, and have large numbers of followers who also interact with what they share. These are the people you don’t want falling through the cracks. Notice that person with 100k followers who just started following you, and be sure to follow them back if their subject area does seem a fit with yours. Commun.it points all this out to you.
You can also set it to automatically interact with people on your behalf, but I prefer more control than that.
TweetLead – Once you’ve got good engagement going on, you want to make sure you move the interaction off Twitter and onto a platform you can more fully control as soon as possible. Enter the new Twitter app, TweetLead, which is still in beta. (Use my link above to get it free forever!)
Tweetlead is a very simple app that let’s you collect email addresses directly on Twitter. Just connect your email autoresponder to the app, create a free Twitter card within the Twitter ad platform using the code TweetLead gives you to send the emails to, then post your tweet.
The first thing I did with it was create a pinned post adding people to my email list so that they could get a free business plan creation kit I creative entrepreneurs. Here’s what it looks like at the top of my Twitter profile:
I only put it up last night, and so far only have 1 new mailing list subscriber who has joined through it, but that is likely 1 more than I would have otherwise had. Given it is currently free, it really is just a question of whether there is any reason your business wants to collect prospect email addresses on Twitter, and if so, take the 20-30 minutes getting something like this up.
The Tweeted Times – Forget about trying to read your lists on Twitter or even in a cool app like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. Want to see your tweets as a tiled magazine you can scroll at your leisure? In a few clicks you can have your own personal paper at Tweeted Times, and then just select the “Column View” and you’re all set. Add additional papers for each of your Twitter lists. Or create one by keyword or hashtag. This is my primary way of consuming Twitter content at this point. Look at the below and tell me if this isn’t infinitely easier to read than a column in something like Tweetdeck.
The only drawback is that the free account is far from real time. It is still chronological, not an algorithm telling you what you should want to see, but that just means everything is hours old. It really is reading the magazine version of your Twitter feed, as in, feels like it gets published once a week… though really it’s more like a couple times a day. If you want this to be how you read Twitter for real time updates, just pay the $15/m for the upgrade.
Statusbrew/ Manage Flitter – Both allow you to easily find people to follow, eject fake followers (those egg accounts), and generally manage your follow/unfollow relationships. Some people also like Crowdfire for this. I like Statusbrew because it also includes a feature to send an auto-tweet or auto-DM to new followers.
Tweetdeck – Great for keeping track of DMs and Notifications. I used to always use it to read my lists too, but The Tweeted Times is so much easier to read that now I only go to Tweetdeck for this when I am specifically looking for what’s happening now.
It is great for Twitter chats though. Don’t know how you’d do one without it, unless using an alternative app like Twubs, which then lacks some of the other features. For a more multi-function experience, this is a good option.
Linksis – I’m pretty newly using this one, so this entry may change within the next few weeks, but for now I’m loving at least the idea of it. Basically it causes any tweeted link to load in a custom page it generates, so that your social media profiles or encouragement to retweet plus retweet stats are highlighted on the page. Hard to describe. Easier to understand seeing it. Here is a link to a tweet of mine that is to a link: Linksis example URL
Are there any other Twitter apps you’re loving that fulfill different functions than the ones I’ve listed above? I know there are things like Buffer and PostPlanner for finding and sharing content on many social media platforms, but I mean Twitter specific? Please share your favs below.