Eight Programs to Supplement Your Twitter Account

Gaining Followers and Increasing Functionality

Twitter users can be effectively divided into two groups: those with solely recreational goals, typically with followers numbering in the tens and maybe a few hundred; and serious Twitter users possessing thousands of followers and/or followees.

This article is directed at the latter group and aims to show you how to make your Twitter account even more powerful, primarily for business and marketing efforts.

A wide variety of Twitter programs are available to supplement and improve your Twitter experience. Here are some of the best:

1) Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck lets you monitor your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts simultaneously through one interface. Its transmission function lets you choose any combination of the media above for distribution of your message, and it includes an option to automatically condense URLs to save on the number of Twitter characters allowed.

2) Your Twitter Karma

This program, operational on any browser except Internet Explorer (it will only take you a few minutes to download Google Chrome), lets you zap — unfollow in more polite language — all those jerks who fail to reciprocate when you follow them. This program helps you to clean out your Twitter account and ensures more people will be following you than vice versa.

3) Free Twitter Designer

Free Twitter Designer is especially useful for business Twitter accounts because it lets you start with a blank slate. You can avoid frilly designs and just choose the company colors for your Twitter interface (right column and background color). You can then superimpose graphics such as your company logo or other related industry photos.

4) Twitterfeed

For those with a limited amount of time to spend composing tweets, Twitterfeed is a godsend. You can integrate your blog’s RSS address with Twitterfeed, and it will automatically tweet out your blog headlines, or even a short snippet of your post (contingent, of course, on Twitter’s transmission limit of 140 characters.)

5) Bitly.com

Bitly.com provides a URL-shortening service to save characters in your tweets. By transforming links into shorter versions that still work — don’t ask me how they do it — they allow more space for commentary about the articles you send to your followers.

6) Hashtags.org

Hashtags represent a powerful Twitter function letting people with like-minded areas of interest share tweets. They are simply the name of the topic preceded by the number sign, #. Hashtags.org lets you search for different hashtags and determine the frequency of their use.

7) TwitPic

TwitPic lets you send graphics as a tweet. The program prompts you to upload an electronic photo then lets you share it with your followers by providing a URL for them to access.

8) TweetBeep

TweetBeep represents the Twitter equivalent of Google Alerts. It helps you monitor your company’s reputation online for any keywords such as your company name, a campaign, a key product or customer. TweetBeep provides an essential capability critical for any company affected by crisis communications.

A whole industry of Twitter-related programs have been developed as this application has continued to increase in popularity. The items above represent the most popular and useful tools to ensure your Twitter experience remains a pleasurable and profitable one.