There are tons of apps and online tools available that can turn you into a Twitter rockstar. But with so many choices, it can be tough to know which tool is the best one to use to meet your particular needs.
I’ve been there and done that myself. I’ve poked around, searching for different metrics of Twitter accounts only to test drive multiple services to find what I was looking for. Having done all this testing, I have no problem with saving others from wasting their time looking for the same things. Life is too short to try to figure everything out all by yourself!
So here are 10 common questions that come up when managing Twitter accounts accompanied by 10 great, completely free online tools that can help answer these questions. While most of the tools offer premium features, every feature I present here is free.
What Are the Statistics of My Competitor’s Twitter Account?
Twitonomy is a great all-around free Twitter analytics tool. But what is really great about Twitonomy is that it allows you to pull up detailed statistics about not only your own Twitter account but also about your competitors’. While many other Twitter analytics tools also allow you to review statistics of any Twitter handle, Twitonomy stands out from the crowd because of its comprehensive range of data and its user-friendly interface.
How Can I Find Popular Tweets by Hashtag?
There are some tasks that seem to be next to impossible to do using free Twitter tools. One such task is searching Twitter for hashtags and keywords. Most free tools allow you to search and review hashtag and keyword history within your own tweets, but not for all users’ tweets. To be fair, this is a tall order, since 9,100 messages are tweeted every second.
Tweetchup can help you out in this area. When you query a hashtag, Tweetchup searches through the latest 1,600 tweets to find the most popular messages. Though this is limiting, it’s better than nothing, and the service can be useful when you’re trying to find viral content on Twitter.
When Are My Twitter Followers Online?
If you want to know when your followers are online, Tweriod is one of the best tools to use. On its main page Tweriod offers the three blocks of time when your tweets have the highest probability of receiving maximum exposure. Furthermore, these time blocks are customized for particular days, and Tweriod allows you to sync your optimized tweeting times with Buffer with one click (more on Buffer below).
It’s important to note that with for free accounts, Tweriod only analyzes 1,000 of your followers. If you have a large following, a free Tweriod account will not give you the most accurate data. Additionally the free account limits you to requesting a report only once every 30 days. If you use Tweriod for a personal account, this is not really a big deal; if you want to use Tweriod for business clients, however, these limitations could be an issue.
How Can I Automate My Twitter Posting Activity?
Once you know when your Twitter followers are online, you can begin optimizing the timing of your posts to maximize your exposure. Buffer is a popular tool for getting this done. Buffer is so popular, in fact, that many sites (DashBurst included) now offer a Buffer button in their social sharing options. Buffer also integrates with other free Twitter tools such as Tweriod, Followerwonk and Commun.it.
Buffer’s free offering limits you to queuing a maximum of 10 items at a time for each social media account. Buffer also prevents you from varying preset posting times by day of the week. Free account holders can, however, still modify specific posts to be published at custom times, which is a decent workaround for that particular limitation.
Where Are My Twitter Followers Located?
Many free tools will tell you the geographic locations of your followers, but few present the information as well as Followerwonk. In addition to providing your followers’ geographic locations, Followerwonk also presents quite a few graphs and charts that show social authority, gender, account age, language and more. Plus, Followerwonk allows you to run the report on the people that you follow as well.
It should be noted that the free version of Followerwonk does not work if you have a large number of followers – it won’t process any account with more than 100,000 followers. So that’s something to consider.
How Active Are My Twitter Followers?
If you want to do some spring cleaning on your Twitter account and weed out any inactive accounts that you follow, ManageFlitter is a good option. ManageFlitter is by no means the only option out there, but its interface provides some details you just can’t help but appreciate. For example, ManageFlitter displays full profile information when you hover over account names in search results.
Besides removing inactive accounts from your following list, ManageFlitter also lets you weed out users by whether or not they follow you back, if they are quiet, have low influence, have a high following ratio and more. ManageFlitter’s free account is limited to 100 unfollows a day. Not too bad!
Who Unfollowed Me on Twitter Today?
Like ManageFlitter, Unfollowers helps you clean house in regards to dormant or non-reciprocated Twitter follows. While the information Unfollowers provides about these accounts is not nearly as comprehensive as that provided by ManageFlitter, Unfollowers gets a head nod for sending a daily email updating you on the latest follow activity on your account. This daily email can be a great reminder to chip away the dead weight in your following list. It also makes it easy to spot “gluttons for follows” – you know, those users who follow you on Twitter just so that you’ll follow them back. After you take the bait, gluttons for follows will drop you. A quick look through your Unfollowers emails will show these users moving from the bottom of the message (indicating they follow you) to the top in a few days.
Do I Have Tweets That I Need to Respond to?
Commun.it has been around for quite some time, but its recently updated dashboard makes it easier to find content and engaged users. You can send replies and retweets directly from Commun.it’s dashboard, along with #FollowFriday, thank you and welcome tweets. Commun.it also lets you schedule content for publishing via Buffer.
How Can I Track My Twitter Activity over Time?
SumAll is another service that sends you a daily activity report by email. The daily report gives you insight into how your account is performing compared to the day and week before. SumAll’s simple graphs and numbers do not take a lot of your time and attention to understand.
Since SumAll can track a wide variety of activity across a lot of social networks, setting up your dashboard may take some time. But once you start receiving SumAll’s emails, though, the setup time will be worth it.
How Far Are My Tweets Going?
Most of the free analytics tools mentioned here also report on the size of your Twitter following. But TweetReach provides data on the popularity of both your tweets and the tweets of your followers. Even with a free TweetReach account, you can download this data into .pdf or MS Excel files.
It’s encouraging to see a wide variety of free tools online that can help improve your Twitter experience. You just have to know where to look.
What are some free tools that you use to help manage and control your Twitter accounts?
Photo by Maria Hagglof