In the spirit of the iPhone, the emergence of every great new technology these days leaves in its wake a clamor of software developers racing to build the applications that will enhance its usage. Twitter is certainly no exception. If you are just now beginning to integrate Twitter into your business operations the good news is that there are hundreds of really useful apps out there that can make a big difference in the way you use the site and significantly increase your ROI. The bad news is that with all the options it could get a bit overwhelming, not to mention a time consuming process trying to narrow down the most suitable apps.
To make the process a bit easier, I have compiled a list of some of the most versatile Twitter tools applicable to small businesses and organized them into functional categories. Some of the apps listed here will over lap in terms of features, so it’s a matter of trying them out to see which ones work best for you and your business.
Just a note before getting to the list… If you are just starting out with Twitter, then you should pick no more than two or three of these tools to use at first. As you become more familiar with the site and your pattern of usage and learn more about your needs, you can then change them or add more.
Twitter Search Tools
ChirpCity- A local Twitter search that allows you to see the latest tweets and the top twitterers in a given location.
Nearby Tweets – Find twitterers near your area; you can also limit your search by radius and keywords
Tweepz – A powerful search engine that helps you find people on twitter. Search within the name, bio and location.
Twellow – A search directory of people by area of expertise, profession or other attribute listed in users’ personal profiles on Twitter.
Tweefind – A Twitter search engine that displays results based on users’ rank
Twazzup - A real-time Twitter search engine. Search Tweets, related photos and the most popular links.
Tracking News and Trends in Real-time
Trendistic – Search trends in the topics discussed on Twitter, and compare trends across topics.
Tweetmeme – A great resource to see the most recent news and trends within your industry.
Keeping Track of and Managing Follower Lists
Twitoria – This application allows you sort through your network of followers and filter out the inactive users.
Tweepler – Sort through new followers and easily accept them or ignore them. This app shows the followers’ stats and last three tweets in one simple screen view.
Twimailer – Use this free email client to receive extensive email notifications when your account gets new followers. Emails contain the follower’s location, followers stats as well as their most recent tweets. It also includes the ability to follow the person or organization back without having to log into Twitter.
Digsby – Manage all your existing IM, email, and social network accounts from one application.
IsFollow. This web-based Twitter app that lets you find out who is following who without having to login.
Topify – Another email client that provides new follower stats and allows you to follow and reply to direct messages by email.
FollowWatch – Receive hourly alerts of followers that you have gained or lost.
Qwitter – Receive an email notification whenever anyone stops following you.
Future Tweets -Schedule your tweets ahead of time. You can also schedule reoccuring tweets daily, monthly, and yearly.
Tweetburner – This app allows you to keep track of what happens to the links in tweets you share.
Tweet Later – Track keywords, track replies, schedule tweets, send welcome direct messages.
Splitweet – A multi-account management app and brand monitor all in one screen.
Multi-user Account Management
Cotweet – Manage multiple accounts with multiple users by creating tweet assignments and on duty status, in addition to having access to several other productivity tools.
Hootsuite – Use this Twitter client to manage multiple Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & WordPress profiles as well as montior keywords, schedule updates, and measure your impact.
Group Tweet – This app enables users to send private Twitter messages to specific groups of friends or co-workers.
Tweeting from Your Web Browser
Twitter Toolbar – Use this toolbar to get instant access to Twitter from your browser. Post tweets, check your stats, and access a variety of online Twitter tools.
TwitterFox – A Firefox plugin allowing people to post Twitter updates and recieve them from followers from their Firefox browser.
Monitter – A web-based tool that allows you to monitor Twitter in real-time for mentions of any specified keywords.
Tweetbeep – Set up email alerts so that anytime anyone mentions your brand or any other specified keywords on Twitter, you receive an email notification in your inbox.
Tweetdeck – Stay on top of and even update all of your social media sites, manage multiple Twitter accounts, see top trends, and much more all from one screen and all for free. It’s even available for the iPhone.
Seesmic- A versatile Twitter client that includes features such as Twitter list integration and the ability to preview multi-media bit.ly links within the same browser window.
Twitzap – A web-based Twitter client that provides real-time Twitter monitoring and allows users to slice tweet streams into designated channels.
Blog and Website Integration
Twitterfeed – Allows you to feed your blog posts to Twitter.
Twit This – Allow visitors to your blog or website to post Twitter messages.
Twitter Counter – A badge that displays the number of your Twitter followers. You can add this to your site and invite customers to follow you on Twitter.
Bit.ly – This popular URL shortener also packs several analytics features.
Twitalyzer – Analyzes how effectively you are using Twitter by measuring five aspects of Twitter use: “influence, signal, generosity, velocity, and clout. The factors that influence these metrics include your number of followers, references by others, your retweet rate, and the number of times others retweet your posts. The new beta version also calculates the “hidden costs” of using Twitter based on your hourly pay.
Twitteranalyzer - Get quick, in depth analyis of your Twitter account activity. Plug in your account name and have instant access to a variety of stats.
Tweetstats – Graph your Twitter activity stats including tweets per hour and month as well as reply stats.
Multi-media/ File Sharing
Bubble Tweet – Use this app to post a short video message that pops up on your Twitter profile.
TwitPic – Share your favorite pictures on Twitter.
Twitxr – Post pictures and updates from your mobile phone directly to Twitter.
Tweetr – Share files up to 10MB via Twitter.
Twiturm – Share your MP3 files and turn them into a Tweet.
Twisten.FM – Listen to all of the music tweeted about in real-time.
TweetPhoto – A photosharing app that can upload photos by email, mobile or web. You can also manage and track who is viewing your photos.
yFrog – Use this app to share images and videos.
FileTwt – Quickly and easily upload and Tweet your files up to 20MB.
TinySong – Share songs with this application.
TweetMic – This iPhone application allows you to publish audio to Twitter
twtQpon – Use this handy app to create coupons and share them with your Twitter followers.
TwitterHawk – This app will send your local Twitter users a response if they tweet a certain keyword in specifc locations.
Tweetake – Back up your list of Twitter followers, the people you are following as well as of your Tweets.
Twitter Safe – Use this app to ensure that your network of followers will not be compromised.
Miscellenous Business Tools
Track This – Track the progress of any UPS, USPS, FedEx or DHL shipments.
Tweetbrain This is a powerful crowdsourcing service for the Twitterers.
CalendarTweet – Use this app to tag, share and promote events.
Twitterific – An iPhone app that allows you to easily read and update Tweets.
TwitterMass – A paid-for suite of tools to help you grow your Twitter network.
TwitterContd – Expand your tweets to1250 characters and simultaneously upload images, video or audio.
Twiggit – This app works in conjunction with Digg.com. Digg an article, and your Twitter account will be automatically updated with the link.
Twitter Gallery – A collection of profile backgrounds.