While Facebook can certainly boost your small business’ social networking presence, Twitter also belongs in your arsenal. This service has the immediacy and real-time nature that Facebook lacks, making it a highly effective medium for promoting time-sensitive deals or just making sure you’re part of the online conversation.
Small businesses looking to use Twitter effectively can do so with a selection of smart tools that manage the bulk of the work. Beyond communicating with followers, you need data and analytics to keep track of how your brand is being perceived. However, choosing the right Twitter apps in a sea of hundreds can be overwhelming. To help you get the most out of this social network, we’ve handpicked a list of 10 tools that are great for small businesses.
Your business may have more than one Twitter account to manage and more than one social network to maintain. Instead of jumping from one site to the next and logging in and out of accounts, use these services to manage everything in one spot.
When it comes to posting with ease, this very popular desktop Twitter client shines. Tweetdeck was the second most popular Twitter client in August (second only to the web), according to TwitStat. It hooks into many different social networks and lets you quickly post to all of them with the click of a button. That means updating your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts no longer requires visiting every single site individually.
The columned layout and expandable interface make TweetDeck a perfect fit for those managing multiple accounts. It’s great for businesses with many social profiles, especially small business owners or entrepreneurs. The desktop version is available for Macs, PCs, and Linux via Adobe AIR. Tweetdeck is also available on mobile devices running Android or iOS.
Another great option for managing multiple accounts, Hootsuite takes things one step further than TweetDeck with collaborative features. If you have a group of people managing one Twitter account, Hootsuite lets you assign tasks to team members. You can also conveniently schedule tweets for later using the service’s web and mobile clients.
Hootsuite’s web app features a lively design that lets you organize streams of Twitter data via columns and tabs. Hootsuite also features built-in analytics. Without leaving Hootsuite, you can view real-time click-through statistics for the links you send and just as easily send statistical reports. It should come as no surprise that Hootsuite is used by Facebook, Papa John’s Pizza, and the White House.
Tweeting is so much better when you have a team to help you carry the load. CoTweet sets itself apart from the crowd with valuable features such as setting roles and permissions for team members and adding assignments and notes. Plus, this tool’s unified inbox makes it one of the best clients for businesses.
CoTweet’s Enterprise Edition (starting at $7,000 annually) adds Facebook reports on such important metrics as fan trends and impressions. Huge brands such as Delta Airlines, Microsoft, Pepsi, and Sprint use this tool to manage their online presences, and you can, too.