10 valuable Twitter utilities for business users

10 valuable Twitter utilities for business users

Summary: One of the biggest reasons for Twitter's success is that the Twitter team allowed the service to be shaped by the user-base, including developers using the API to extend the Twitter platform. Learn about 10 of the best Twitter apps for business users.

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One of the biggest reasons for Twitter's growth and success is that the Twitter team allowed the service to be morphed and re-shaped by the user-base from the very beginning. We saw it happen in the way that the Twitter community instituted replies, retweets, and #hashtags.

But the real kicker was the fact that Twitter released an open API for developers. That allowed programmers to extend Twitter in lots of different directions and experiment with different tools and utilities to improve Twitter.

In 2007,  Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told ReadWriteWeb, "The API has been arguably the most important, or maybe even inarguably, the most important thing we've done with Twitter. It has allowed us, first of all, to keep the service very simple and create a simple API so that developers can build on top of our infrastructure and come up with ideas that are way better than our ideas."

This is part two of my three-part series on Twitter. Here are links to the other two parts:

Today, over three years after Twitter originally launched, there are now thousands of different tools developed from the API, and many of them are extremely useful. Below is my list of the top 15 most useful Twitter tools for business users.

1. Bit.ly

This URL shortener not only shrinks links down to about 20 characters, it also keeps track of your links for you and provides some basic analytics to see how many people click and retweet the links and where those users are coming from.

2. Twitpic

The most popular tool for sharing photos on Twitter is Twitpic, which allows you to take a photo on your mobile phone and email it to a customized Twitpic email address. You simply type your tweet into the subject line of the email. (See also: Flickr2Twitter)

3. Tweetscan

If you've ever used Google Alerts, then you'll understand Tweetscan. It scans Twitter for your keywords and sends you a daily or weekly email of all instances where your keywords were used. This can be especially helpful for tracking brands. However, the service is not free. It costs $20/year.

4. Twitterfeed

Twitter is great for promoting blog posts and other types of content. If you have a blog and you want to automatically send out a tweet every time there's a new post, then Twitterfeed can do it for you. It also has some nice customization options.

5. TwInbox

If you live in Microsoft Outlook -- like many business professionals -- and would prefer to interact with Twitter from there, TwInbox integrates Twitter into Outlook. And, the product is free. It was formerly known as OutTwit.

6. CoTweet

CoTweet provides an entire business workflow for companies that are serious about using Twitter for business. CoTweet allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts, it allows multiple users to access a single account, it can assign tweets to employees for follow-up, it can monitor keywords and trends, it can track clicks to links, and it can allow employees to schedule tweets out into the future. This is not a free tool. (See also: HootSuite)

7. TweetStats

This site provides statistics for individual Twitter users. Simply plug in the person's Twitter username and you'll get a plethora of stats, such how often a person tweets, when the person tweets the most, who the person replies to most often, who the person retweets the most and which interface the person used the most to post on Twitter. (See also: TwitterGrader)

8. Twuffer

This free tool allows you to schedule tweets out into the future. For example, I like to post an inspirational quote of the day on Twitter. But sometimes when I'm looking up quotes I'll come across with several good ones at a time. So, I use Twuffer to spread them out over several days.

9. Twtpoll

One of the most useful things to do on Twitter is to crowd-source a question or ask a quick straw poll. Twtpoll is a tool that makes it very easy to officially do a poll. (See also: StrawPoll)

10. Twendz

If you want to see watch how a keyword has been viewed over time, Twendz provides a very simply and useful chart. The chart is updated in real time. (See also: Twazzup, Twist, and Twittercounter)

For more Twitter tools, check out these resources:

For more insights on technology, you can also follow my Twitter stream: @JasonHiner

Topics: Social Enterprise, CXO

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12 comments
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  • Now that Best Buy is plugging for twitter

    it must have jumped the shark :)
    zmud
  • 1 valuable Twitter utility for business owners

    The off button.
    Lunatic59
  • RE: 10 valuable Twitter utilities for business users

    Hi Jaison Hiner the way the list is deried does sound to be hygenic way of doing a
    report but there are some services which are affective for the business like the
    twitqa.com which allows you to ask a question and invite your followers to answer that
    Lets say a customer has question about a product he can tweet about the problem
    and business can catch the customer query using the keyword (Question Spy) and answer the customer queries.
    smdali
  • Twitter practicality

    Twitter is a difficult to actually value the benefit of to businesses. If anything I think it detracts from employee attention. My company, www.windycitynovelties.com hasn't seen much of a return from tweets, but we keep typing.
    jds3266
  • What about Twitter and CRM?

    Seems like an oversight to omit a product like Toucan CRM (www.toucancrm.com). With all the talk of customer support, what about lead gen, helping sales to know your customer, and marketing stats and ROI? It's baked right into Salesforce CRM or the free Force.com platform edition.
    atomz4peace
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  • RE: 10 valuable Twitter utilities for business users

    Tweetdeck is another I love. Thanks for the great post.
    junctiongen
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  • RE: 10 valuable Twitter utilities for business users

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  • Twitter comme telecommande de PC

    On peut aussi utiliser des logiciels comme AidLys (www.aidlys.com) ou TweetMyPc pour utiliser Twitter comme t?l?commande de PC ? distance.
    sdanigo
  • Twitter as a remote control

    We can also use twitter as a remote control via software like AidLys (www.aidlys.com) or TweetMyPc . This can provide some great functionnalities as doing a monitoring system, a parental control system, ...

    Same post as my previous one, but I saw I've made it in french, that's the reason for this second post.
    sdanigo
  • RE: 10 valuable Twitter utilities for business users

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