TRS Tips #3: Twitter: Tips and Tools

Written by on 08-07-2009

This is the third and final installment of our Twitter series of articles. Here we will look at a few tips and tools to help you get the most out of Twitter.


  • Don’t post too much. While it’s true you want to stay in communication with your followers, posting too much will cause some to get annoyed and stop following you. If you find yourself needing to post continuous updates from a meeting or event, it might be worth opening a separate twitter account or use a live blogging service. (ScribbleLive / Cover It Live)
  • Use a URL shortening service that offers statistics. (, This will allow you to see how many times your link is getting clicked and various stats about your visitors.
  • Use one of the tools listed below to create custom searches for your company/organization name, industry keywords, and your competitors.
  • Create a profile on the Twitter Yellow Pages and use it to see who else is in your area and industry.
  • Integrate a Twitter badge and logo into your company/organization’s website.
  • Read the Twitter 101 business guide for some excellent information and case studies on how other businesses are successfully using Twitter.


Most people think of Twitter as a website that you visit to interact with your followers. However, a more useful way to connect with Twitter is to use a Twitter application on your computer or phone. While their features vary, these applications let you perform searches, put your friends and followers in groups, and post updates directly from your cell phone. Listed below are some of the more popular and useful applications split into their respective categories: Browser Plug-Ins, Web-Based, Desktop Applications, and Mobile Applications.

Browser plug-ins
TwitterFox (Firefox) – If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time with your web browser opened on the screen. The TwitterFox plug-in puts a small icon on the right side of the status bar.  When a new tweet comes in, it puts a number next to the icon to show how many updates there are. The nice thing about TwitterFox is you can reply to a message or post a brand new message right in the plug-in. It is the most popular browser plug-in out there right now.

YooNo (Firefox) – This is a sidebar that lets you track not only your Twitter friends, but also your Facebook, Myspace, Flickr and other social networking feeds all within one client. If you deal with multiple social networking systems, this is the plug-in for you.

Web-Based Applications
– This application runs in your web browser and has quite a few features. It is geared towards businesses as it has a feature to control which employees get access to post with the company twitter account. It also has features to group certain twitter users, create custom searches, as well as provide some nice statistics on your tweets. You can also setup tweets to be scheduled to send at a later date. Check out the Hootsuite tour video for more information.

Desktop Applications
Digsby (Windows) – This application is more of an instant messaging client but also integrates several social networking sites in as well. If you have friends on various IM networks like AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk as well as on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and LinkedIn, this is application that you need. Did I mention it’s totally free?

TweetDeck (Windows / Mac / Linux) – One of the most popular desktop Twitter applications is TweetDeck. The layout is formatted in columns and can be fully customized. You can also create groups to organize large lists of people you are following. The search feature in TweetDeck will create a column for the phrase you enter so you can keep an eye on tweets that match your search terms. It’s still a beta product, but it’s been out for awhile and is one of the best desktop applications out there.

Seesmic Desktop (Windows / Mac / Linux) – This is very similar to TweetDeck, but check out the review from for an in-depth comparison between TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop.

Mobile Applications
Tweetie (iPhone) – This one will cost you a few bucks ($2.99), but it is currently one of the most popular Twitter apps for the iPhone. It does the usual updates on your followers, @ replies, and direct messages but also has a few other features. The nearby feature uses the built-in GPS to find recent tweets from your location. You can also create your own searches and save them for future use. The big feature with this app is you can enter multiple twitter accounts and switch between them without having to enter your username/password each time.

TwitterFon (iPhone) – They have two different versions, but the free one should suffice for most people. This app is very similar to Tweetie, though the free version lacks multiple account features. The interface is very clean and is a really useful client. The free version is supported by ads, but if that bothers you then you can buy the pro version at $4.99.

TweetDeck (iPhone) – If you use the desktop version of TweetDeck, then you will probably want to use this app for your iPhone. The big feature with this is you can sync your iPhone with the settings you have on the desktop version. It looks and operates pretty close to the desktop version.

TwitterBerry (Blackberry)

UberTwitter (Blackberry)

Twikini (Windows Mobile)

PockeTwit (Windows Mobile)

Hopefully this three part series on Twitter will help you communicate better and attract more volunteers or participants to your event. If you have any comments or questions, please post them below. Thanks!

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