There's no shortage of free Twitter tools. However, as many social media managers have discovered firsthand, having a long list of tools can be more of a headache than a help. Instead of trying to start by figuring out the different features of a bunch of tools, a more effective approach is beginning with specific questions that you want to answer. Once you know what answers you're looking for, you can easily pick the best tools for the job. While their order of importance may differ, most social media marketers want answers to a lot of the same questions. Since finding those answers offers a lot of value to anyone who spends time using Twitter for marketing, let's look at quite a few common questions, as well as the five free Twitter tools that will provide answers:
How Far are My Tweets Spreading? One of the reasons that Twitter is so appealing to marketers is the entire platform is designed to help messages spread in a viral manner. And even though not every single update you make is going to spread like wildfire, it's still very helpful to know the types of tweets that get the most exposure outside your network. Twtrland.com
are the two best tools for nailing down this metric. The former calculates your total number of retweets for every 100 tweets, while the latter uses several metrics to determine just how far your last 50 tweets spread.
When Should I Tweet? You can find plenty of blog posts that share opinions and even data about the best times of day to tweet. But even though those posts can provide some helpful guidelines, their recommendations aren't set in stone. The reason is what's best for one demographic may not be ideal for another. Since the demographic that matters most to you is the one your business targets, TweetStats.com
are two tools that can give you a definitive answer to this question. TweetStats compiles a graph that shows when your tweets reach the largest number of followers. While that's very helpful, the reason it's worth using both is because Tweriod takes a completely different approach. It looks at the last 200 tweets your followers have made, and then uses that data to tell you when they're most active.
Where Do My Followers Live? This question can be just as relevant to a local business as it is to one with a national presence. Because it's something that so many companies want to know, Twitter actually offers their own tool for finding out the answer. Simply go to Ads.Twitter.com
, and you'll be able to see a heat map that gives a visual representation of where all your followers live. By taking advantage of one or more of the above tools, you'll be able to get the best results for your business from the time you invest into using Twitter.