You recently heard about Twitter.

After some encouragement from a friend or co-worker you opted to hop over and sign up. You poked around the Web and found some ideas for setting up your profile. You made your first tweet and discovered that it’s as easy as it looks. You now haven’t logged into your account for a week because A) you’re not sure what to do with the site or B) you view it as just another tool that you have to monitor and check.

How Should I Use Twitter?

Hop over to Dosh Dosh’s post on 17 Ways You Can Use Twitter. The author, Maki, provides an excellent overview about the various uses of the site. Whether you’re looking to direct traffic, improve two-way customer engagement or simply network and make new friends and contacts, Twitter can help.

How Do I Use Twitter Efficiently?

Active users know Twitter can be a major time suck (but a good one!). That’s why there are a host of applications and widgets to help make the site an efficient part of your daily communications. Here’s a brief overview of a few different Twitter tools that may help you out.

Tiny URL or

Simple – both sites take long URLs and shorten to a manageable size. This is key if you want to share a link in your tweet that happens to be really long. Remember, Twitter only allows 140 characters per Tweet. Every letter and space counts.

Twitter Facebook Application

Add this to your Facebook profile or page and you’ll be able to see all of your follower’s updates as well as tweet without ever leaving Facebook.

The Twitter search engine. As simple as Google – pick a word or phrase and search away. This is a great way to monitor your brand or find other people with similar interests to follow and connect with.

Tweet Deck

Currently in public beta mode, Tweet Deck aims to break down the abundance of information you receive through tweets from followers into more manageable bite-size information.


Enables you to see the hot topics being tweeted and who’s doing the tweeting.


My favorite! Twhirl is an excellent desktop application that makes using Twitter incredibly easy and efficient. From Twhirl, you can see all tweets, easily separate replies and direct meesages, post short URLs, tweet photos to twitpic, connect to multiple accounts including FriendFeed and quickly search the Twittersphere with Twitter Search or TweetScan. Seem like a lot? Michael Maritime did this good video tutorial to explain using Twhirl.

Time to Grade!

Once you’ve spent some time on Twitter, see how you match up with others! The good folks over at HubSpot who I linked to in a previous post, have set up It’s also a great way to discover the Twitter Elite.


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Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Also check out feedalizr,, also an adobe air app, which aggregates twitter, friendfeed and flickr amongst others. Has great feature, de-duping, where duplicate entries are highlighted and minimised, saving the user time.

  2. Very nice, I’ll have to check that out, thanks for the link.

  3. LinkedIn has “What are you working on?” while Facebook asks “What are you doing right now?” Do you consider these competition to Twitter? Or should they be used to distribute different content?

    Great blog, by the way! I’ll be stopping by CGA next Friday so hope to see you there.

  4. Hi Kate! I think it really depends on the audience you’re working to connect with. We’re all seeing a lot of crossover with our networks,which is why sites like TwitterFeed and Pownce are helping to synch updates between various sites and make the update process a bit more efficient.

    LinkedIn uses a variation on the “update” but I’ve always presumed that it’s intended for a more long-term project update format (i.e. here’s what I’ve been working on the past couple months) due to the more static nature of the site.
    I believe they’re going to have a LinkedIn marketing pro at the next Chicago BMA roundtable – could be some good insight on the full intent of their update tool.

  5. One I forgot to add in above is Twitter Feed:

    Really easy tool to synch up your blog RSS feed so that you automatically tweet each time a new post is published.

  6. […] a follow up to my previous post on popular Twitter tools, I wanted to call attention to a few others you may find useful in helping make your interaction […]

  7. I have come across some amazing people who use twitter in a WIDE variety of ways…

    I broke my Twitter favorites into 2 posts… each uses Twitter for a different purpose and some have even had amazing transformations as a result:

    Men of Twitter 2009 –

    Women of Twitter 2009 –

    I hope you find them as funny, helpful, and inspiring as I have!

  8. […] and popularity of Twitter, I thought it would be good to follow up my previous two posts on Using Twitter Effectively and Twitter Tools Overview Part 2 with another “tools” update. As you may gather, there […]

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  10. […] Bloggers and journalists have written thousands of articles on how to get started on Twitter. I refer to Scott Meis’ blog, Social Media Snippets, for the best Twitter advice. Two posts you’ll want to check out are Why Twitter Can Seem Intimidating and his Twitter Tools Overview series. […]


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