How to Make Twitter More Useful for Your Business

social media toolsIf you’ve been using Twitter, you’ve likely checked out an app or two to make your Twitter experience more robust, or even just a bit easier.  TweetDeck, Twitpic and Tweetie are all examples of Twitter apps.

What if I told you there was a magical place that could easily be your one-stop shop for all your Twitter needs? Yes, this place really does exist. It’s called OneForty.com, the Twitter equivalent of the Apple App Store.

Twitter Still Rocks for Businesses

Before I jump in to tell you about all the benefits of OneForty, I want to point out that in recent months two reports have surfaced that show Twitter being the #1 choice of all social sites for professionals.

In a recent Burson-Marsteller study, 65 of the largest 100 international companies have active accounts on Twitter (the second being 54 on Facebook).

In addition, according to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner, 96% of marketers with years of social media experience are using Twitter (and 91% are using Facebook). That’s pretty impressive considering there are far more people on Facebook than on Twitter.  But these studies show that when it comes to business, Twitter is the social tool of choice.

The Ultimate Resource

If you find yourself gravitating toward Twitter as a business tool, OneForty is a site you don’t want to miss. The service catalogs the best extensions and apps for Twitter through a community of users who share and rate each specific tool.

As of this writing, the site lists nearly 3,000 free and paid applications and services that leverage Twitter.  Here you can search, rate and buy Twitter services. It’s a social app directory for Twitter that also has a social networking aspect focused on an ecosystem of sharing and supporting others.

When you sign in using your Twitter login, you’re able to create a profile in which all of the apps you currently use will show up for others to see.  You also get a list of recommendations based on the type of desktop and phone you use.

When I logged in, the image below popped up to show me their recommendations based on my personal preferences.  This is such a great feature because there were a few on the list that I had never heard of and would not have tried if it had not been for OneForty’s recommendations.

You have the option to tell people about what you’re doing on Twitter, who you like to follow and where else you can be found online.  You’ll be asked such questions as:

  • How would you welcome someone who clicked here from your Twitter page?
  • Top picks for #FF (Follow Friday) or favorite Twitterers overall? (Use @name to link to them.)
  • Got a snappy one-liner about yourself?
  • Where else can you find me online? (URLs will auto-link.)
  • What are your favorite blog posts or resources about Twitter?

These questions allow you to showcase who you are and what you’re about, possibly leading to new conversations and partnership opportunities. Also, because you have the option to review any of the apps, a community of sharing is active throughout the site.

In addition, on almost every page that features apps, you have the option to share the info via your Twitter feed by clicking on the “Tweet This!” button.  When I clicked on the button from the “What’s Hot” page, the message below appeared in my Twitter feed.  Now all of my Twitter followers can see what I’ve been up to on OneForty and check out the service for themselves.  This tweet allows me to provide a link to a great tool for my followers and allows OneForty to advertise their site (a win/win!).

The “Tweet This!” feature, no matter how insignificant it may seem, proves that the company walks the talk.  Every aspect of the site encourages social sharing and overall connection via consumer reviews, app suggestions based on preferences and developer spotlights. It’s the real deal.

There are three sections of this site that stand out the most:  What’s Hot, Essentials, and Toolkits.  All three are worth checking out a little closer.

What’s Hot

This list does just what it says: it lists the top 100 apps that are the most popular right now across all categories.

The list is extremely valuable because it allows you to see what others are using.  If you’re new to Twitter, you can model what’s working for others instead of guessing what might work for you.  And if you are an experienced Twitter user, this list will allow you to find great apps fast without doing the research and testing yourself.  Here’s a snapshot of what you might find on any given day:

Essentials

This is a collection of must-have apps to get the most out of Twitter.  It’s a fantastic list of the best of the best apps for specific categories such as your phone, analytics, desktop solutions, browsing and following. Below is a snapshot of what you might find on the “Essentials” page. Notice how the different categories with app suggestions make searching for what works best for your needs quick and easy.

Toolkits

This was a brilliant idea from the folks at OneForty and really speaks to the spirit of social networking and sharing.  Toolkits are a way to share your Twitter knowledge and know-how with others.  You put together a collection of Twitter apps that works within a specific category you create and then share it with the world.

Some examples of toolkits include a Community Managers Toolkit, a Small Business Owners toolkit, New Media Tools from Real Estate Professionals toolkit, and a Cancer Killing Chemo toolkit.  If you need a Twitter app toolkit for your special needs, you’ll likely find it here.

What I find most beneficial here is the caliber of social media celebrities who have created their own toolkits to share, including Brian Solis, Guy Kawasaki, Steve Rubel and David Armano.

By taking a look at their toolkits, you get a glimpse of some of the more up-and-coming apps you might have initially passed over. You also get to see what the pros are using. Priceless, to say the least!  Here’s a snapshot of a few apps inside Guy Kawasaki’s “Twitter Indispensable Tools” toolkit.  TweetDeck and Tweetie 2 are my favorites.  Take a look and see if you’ve used any of these apps as well.  If not, I encourage you to test out a few.  Guy Kawasaki is a social media expert (and a Twitter guru) so his recommendations are invaluable!

About The Company’s Founder & New Plans

Just a few years ago, Laura Fitton was a struggling presentation consultant who initially used Twitter to build a business network when she moved to a new city.

According to Laura, “I was just my goofy, enthusiastic self, and I used the site to connect with interesting, like-minded people.” She was quickly a huge draw on Twitter as people began to see her as Twitter’s expert marketer and she began to get job offers and major exposure. As they say, the rest is history.  She went on to start Pistachio Consulting and became the co-author of Twitter for Dummies.

OneForty.com is currently in an alpha test of an e-commerce platform for one-time app purchases.  Now developers will have the opportunity to sell their apps directly from this site.

I encourage you to take some time exploring this extremely useful site because you’re likely to find a handful of tools that you can apply instantly.

While doing research for this article, I stumbled upon a few apps I now can’t live without.  One is called Topsy, a search engine powered by Twitter conversations that I use to find the best social media articles.  The other I found was Overheard.it, an app purely for fun that gives you a glimpse of all the funny things people overhear on Twitter.  It’s pretty entertaining!

Now it’s your turn!  What Twitter apps are you using. Share them in the comment box below.

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About the Author, Amy Porterfield

Amy is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-In One for Dummies and a social media trainer and speaker. Check out her latest webinar, 7 Simple Strategies to Profit From Facebook. check. Other posts by »




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  • http://repeatable.org/newtwitter/ Twitter Fan

    OneForty definitely has a nice site. While I do try to check out as many new Twitter tools as possible; personally – I tend to stick with those tried and true tools that are working well for me. ;)

    It’s just amazing how inventive these app developers are in creating new, useful ways to use Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/FunCityOps Jeff Posey

    I’ve been looking for just such a collection. You’re timing is perfect. My favorite Twitter app is HootSuite for my Droid Incredible phone. I manage a couple dozen client accounts from that, and it’s uber-useful to be able to do it on the go.

    Your report introduced me to some things I didn’t know. This is great resource. Thank you.

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    I’ve used several of the apps mentioned..my new favorite is http://www.twaitter.com/

    It allows me to schedule my tweets PLUS have them repeat periodically. Socialoomph can do the same but you have to pay for that feature.

  • http://twitter.com/cr8vclwn cr8vclwn

    sweet

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    dude

  • http://www.bloggingforcoaches.com Steve Martile

    Hey Amy,

    Just from this one article you’ve opened up a whole new world of Twitter for me :)

    I’ll check out your links and see what’s a good fit for me. Sometimes all the apps can be overwhelming because there isn’t one silver bullet. Thanks again for the tips and advice,

    Steve

    P.S. Love the story about Laura Fitton – very inspiring.

  • http://www.denisewakeman.com DeniseWakeman

    Thanks Amy, for the thorough overview of OneForty.com. I confess though I’ve known about the site since it launched, I never bothered to check it out since it seems to be overwhelming. Now I’ll go take a look.

    My fave twitter app is Hootsuite and Hootsuite Lite for my android G1 phone. Also use twitpic.

  • http://twitter.com/Lisagarciaruiz Lisa Garcia-Ruiz

    Nice article Amy! Thanks for sharing this great resource, I am going to check it out now. And I feel validated since Twitter really is my fave social media platform :)

  • mattrsullivan

    Thanks Amy for the heads-up.

    Yet another great post on SME…becoming one of my first stops each day

  • http://machoarts.com/ Suraj Vibhute

    Nice to read all details about twitter applications, I hope some of them become my favorite. Great Post!

  • http://www.michelleshaeffer.com Michelle Shaeffer

    Very cool! I can tell I’ll be discovering all sorts of things on the oneforty.com site. My favorite apps for Twitter are HootSuite, Tweetie, and Twitter Karma.

  • http://www.outsellyourself.com Kelly McCormick

    Hi Amy,

    Great article and great resource. One question. I set-up a profile, selected and signed up for different apps, but the selection doesn’t show up in my profile. Did I miss a step?

  • http://www.brosix.com Kelsey

    Ugh, the pop-up about your newsletter covers up most of the content. I can’t click the X because the Microsoft video is over-lapping it.

  • http://oneforty.com/pistachio Laura @Pistachio Fitton

    Wow, Amy. Thrilled to have you in the oneforty (and Twitter for Business) community and very grateful to read this writeup about how we’re trying to serve.

    Would love to hear what else you’d like to see and what we can do better. Would especially love to see what you would choose for a “How to Use Twitter for Your Business” toolkit… http://oneforty.com/i/toolkits (Which ANY of your readers can show off their “How to Use Twitter for Business” expertise and share great tips with others…

    Once again, thank you.

  • http://randyduermyer.com/ Randy Duermyer

    Amy:
    Call me a contrarian if you like, but I have to take exception to your assertion that:

    “But these studies show that when it comes to business, Twitter is the social tool of choice.”

    I just can’t agree. You make no mention of LinkedIn at all, yet nearly half of LinkedIn’s members are decision-makers. For many B2B businesses, LinkedIn networking is much more productive. Additionally, many B2C businesses are having great success with Facebook. When used in conjunction with Twitter, that can work really well.

    While it’s nice to have so many Twitter apps available from one place, oneforty was smart in making everyone share what apps they are using from oneforty as it’s all self-building promotion in the end.

    As someone else commented, “I like the tried and true”. While there may be some apps I wouldn’t otherwise be aware of, I don’t need to tell everyone in the world what apps I’m using. I’ll try some that I think might work for me and use them as long as they meet my needs. I’ll even recommend them to others. But those I happen to like probably won’t be liked by everyone.

    I’m not a believer that “one size fits all”.

    Best,
    @randy_duermyer

  • http://getonthemap.us/ Juliemarg

    Amy,I’ve been looking through the site and don’t see anything like what I’m looking for. I’d like an app that combines a twitter list with a google map – you can see what the people on a list are tweeting about. Have you seen anything like that?Juliehttp://twitter.com/juliemarghttp://getonthemap.us

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    I recently did a ton of research on the most used Twitter management tools and especially those that can be useful for managing multiple Twitter accounts. You and your readers may find it useful. I linked it to this comment.

  • http://twitter.com/birds44 John

    Do you think Twitter is more better than Facebook?… I have this thing at twitter44.blogspot.com which gives views about Twitter…

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Randy,

    Thanks for your feedback. Perhaps Amy could have said “a” social tool of choice. I think the take home message is there are a ton of cool business apps most people did not realize were available for Twitter.

  • gameglide

    Thanks for reminding me about all of the apps. I have been doing too much of the research manually. These will help greatly.

  • http://techchai.com Saurabh Dutta

    Making money from Blogging is not for everyone. It takes a lot of effort to get noticed online. Social Media is one thing that has given a new platform for bloggers to get some traffic. Here are 7 essential tools for bloggers on TechChai.com to boost their online presence.

  • http://dev.midlifeop.com Rob H

    Great site, thanks for the info.

    best

    Rob

  • http://www.englishclass.com.tw/toeic/ TOEIC

    Interesting post. I have stumbled this for my friends. Hope others find it as interesting as I did.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Laura,

    Glad you like the article and our site.

    Mike

  • http://DeadSimpleDiet.com LD@DSD

    I’ve been dabbling with Twitter, I cant bring myself to open the pandora’s box that is facebook yet.

  • http://startupgrowthexpert.com/ Vinil Ramdev

    I have been using facebook pages and twitter. But I seem to get more responses from facebook than twitter. Not sure why.

  • http://www.adnpost.com/ eagles11

    Thanks for writing this! I’ve been wanting to start a social marketing campaign and this is great info.

  • KarriannGraf

    Great article….I had heard of OneForty.com but never really had an interest in looking further into what it did! After reading this I wondered over to see what I might possibly be missing. I love that you gave us a birds eye view to wet our appetite….well done!

  • http://startups.com/ juliacassidy

    Wonderful article. I believe this kind of article is useful for almost anybody using this social media site for business purposes, and hence it can be very effective for entrpreneurs. Truth is that even when wer believe we are using Twitter in a proper way in order to achieve our business goals, it might turn out to be not enough in the end.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    I agree with you–go with what works best for you because that makes things a lot smoother. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Jeff! I am so happy you found the article valuable. I have not used HootSuite regularly yet–I think I may need to revisit it. You have me sold!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Dino–very cool. I had not heard of that one–looking it up NOW!

    Always good to hear from you :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    rock on.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Denise–So many people love HootSuite–I think I need to check it out further for sure. So good to hear from you!

  • http://twitter.com/Thinkstock Thinkstock

    Great read! There’s a whole other side to this as well around how to make Twitter a useful point of interaction for your customers. We’ve put out something that we think is helpful: http://thnks.tk/socialartbuyer

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Steve! I love that you just found something new–you will love the site for sure. And I too LOVE Laura’s story–I just gave you a piece of it, but her whole journey is even more inspiring! Thanks for the comment…

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Michelle: Twitter Karma is a good one! I should add that :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Kelly: Hmmmm… I am not too sure why that would happen. I just checked how mine appeared and the app box was there–I would try logging out and back in just to make sure. Sorry I could not be more of a help!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi, Laura! What a compliment to hear from you. I am a big fan of yours :-)

    I will for sure dive in and choose my favorites for the “How to Use Twitter for Your Business” toolkit. Great idea.The toolkits are by far my favorite feature on oneforty–genius idea!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi, Randy. You make a good point indeed and “A social tool” would have been more appropriate. Thanks for helping me out there :-)

    I am actually a huge fan of Facebook as well–I am always amazed by the level of real-time engagement that happens on FB pages.

    All opinions are welcomed and encouraged–so thanks for the feedback.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    …..

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    I dare you :-) I must admit, I was a die hard Twitter fan until I started to work with Mike on the Social Media Examiner Fan Page–now I am a HUGE FB fan. Be warned…it’s pretty addictive!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hello, friend! So great to see your face here. Thanks for the comment–I really love oneforty. I hope all is great in your world :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    …….

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Thanks for the stumble!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    I think that holds true for many different social sites–the good news is there there is a lot of great advice out there….and that bad news is that there is a lot of great advice out there! Sometimes it can be overwhelming. But my hope is that the oneforty tool can help you simplify things a bit. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://talkviews.com/photography Nishant

    Some have probably mentioned it already but Hootsuite deserves a mention too. I like its simplistic approach :) . Great Article though. Bookmarked it! :)

  • http://www.ipad-screen-protector.net Matty T

    Amy – Managing Twitter can become a real pain and it is good to have an arsenal of tools at the ready to help. Thanks for the heads up. Just a question… What you be the split of time that you allocate to Twitter compared to Facebook per day?

    ~ Matty T

  • jackxp7

    Thank you for article but five years after its inception,
    http://www.technews5.com/2011/04/twitter-more-robust-now.html
    Twitter’s status seems in flux. On the one hand, it is a vibrant virtual metropolis beyond Dorsey’s wildest imaginings. It has garnered 200 million citizens from every corner of the world, yet manages to be more orderly and simple than that noisy Facebook megalopolis down the road.

  • Twitter Tools

    Twitter tools – Videos, Tips, Resources and Help.

  • Twitter Tools

    Twitter tools – Videos, Tips, Resources and Help.

  • Lol

    Hello.
    I need to know if there is any way to get some extra information about  visitors I get on my Twitter account.  I would like to know some information about visitors who do not log in before reading my updates (on the internet). Up to now it is not possible to get more details about these type of visitors, I guess.
    Do you have any news about that? Is there any new app/tool that gives away this type of info.?
    The information I am looking for about those who do not log in (non followers)  before reading my updates are: IP, time spent on the account, if the visitor came from a web proxy, etc.

    Thanks!

  • Jacqueline Biggs

    Hey Lol, 

    You should check out Hubspot’s tool: it can track what happens on your page and should give you the stats you need.

    http://www.hubspot.com/







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