Social Networking – Top Tools For the Ideal Twitter Experience

Haven’t tried it yet?
I find Twitter is the most fun social networking tool – by far. It feels like a game in some way. It offers real time connection and current synchronization with those you don’t get to be with all the time. It shares interesting new happenings that you wouldn’t have known about.

Tweets are limited to 140 characters – so this requires people to keep their posts short and sweet. And, to top it off, it’s low maintenance! Profiles are light and don’t need much updating. The information below may be a little much if this is your first time on reading up, but check it out for a quick orientation to TwitterLand :).

A seasoned twitterer?
This article is designed for us. All in all, twitter is great left as simple as it is. However, a few tools can enhance the experience. After reviewing tons of available apps, these I find are most useful and enjoyable. Try them out and have some fun! Would love to hear your favorites as well.

Regular Use:
One of the most fun ways to use twitter is on your mobile phone. Be ready for the times when you think of the greatest tweets with these phone apps:

TwitterFon- for iPhone Users. An easy to use tool built into your phone. This one freezes less and has great capabilities. Auto posts to Twitpic (a great, easy way to share pics on Twitter). It’s all you need! You can follow, unfollow directly from the app. You can also see DM’s and @replies easily. Links posted in tweets also come up very fast (much faster than through Safari).

TwitterBerry- for BlackBerry Users. Although I am not one, this is the BlackBerry App I hear the most about. Take it from Puff Daddy.

Networking: (aka finding more friends you WANT to follow)
Find someone you enjoy reading and follow their followers. Another great way is to search for keywords and see who is tweeting about your favorite topics. Connect with them that way.

There are websites such as Mr. Tweet who suggest who to follow based on formulas of some type, but I find the natural search works best. They are fun to check out though.

You can also learn about the stars of twitter on the Top 100 List. Interesting…

My top picks – who to follow:
The most entertaining twitters are:
@the_real_shaq – Shaquille O’Neal (Yes, THE Shaq. Funny!)
@RevRunWisdom – Rev Run (Deep thoughts, refreshing ponderisms)
@TheEllenShow – Ellen DeGenerous (Great ideas and fun info!)
@iamdiddy – P Diddy (On a lot with uplifting and fun reads)
@sumsei – Jet Magat (Enlightening concepts and entertainment at its best!)
@tferriss – Timothy Ferriss (Author of 4 hour work week. Always interesting info.)
@MichaelScott – The Office Character (I don’t even watch this show, but his posts are hilarious)
@guykawasaki – Guy Kawasaki (Fun, interesting information, but a LOT of posts)
@MACvPC – Mac vs. PC (Funny)

How Many:
Following: I found that following under 1,000 people was a little too slow for me. I am not on all that often, but when I log on, I like to see the flow moving. Some find it hard to be following so many people, but with the use of TweetDeck, you can keep up on all the things you want. Search YouTube for some videos on that.

Followers: Once I hit 1,000 followers, the number of my followers increases much more quickly each day. It also allows more opportunity for response from your posts based on the chances of them being online at the same time.

Ratios and Balance Baby: Everyone has their own taste here. Some like to follow as many as possible to get more followers. Some hardly follow anyone back. Some people like to keep a balance between followers and who they’re following. Feel what is right for you. Chances are it may change from time to time. I like to follow everyone back that follows me to keep it a mutual relationship, unless I find their tweets extremely annoying for some reason – which is rare.

TwitterKarma is a great bulk follow/unfollow tool in which you can instantly even things out and only follow those that are following you, if desired. Or you can follow back everyone that is following you with a couple of clicks.

RSS Feed automatically from your blog to Twitter. This application automatically posts your blog posts as a tweet on Twitter. Great for sharing what you’re writing without any maintenance. I am writing an article to share more about fun with feeds and will post when it’s ready.

Search, Tracking, & Alerts
Search the history of tweets for any keyword. Here you can also be alerted when people tweet about you or when your defined keywords are tweeted by selecting the options on the right after a search. You can be auto-notified via feed, if desired.

Sync with Facebook
Facebook is my second favorite social media and it has only gotten more fun with the integration of twitter status updates. Warning: this is only a good idea for those who don’t tweet too much. Otherwise, you overload Facebook with your excessive tweets. I’m one of these who tweets more than I like to post on Facebook, so I no longer integrate the two through Facebook. If you would like to set this up anyway, do this:
In Facebook, add the Twitter application to allow auto posts of your twitter updates into Facebook. It may take a few minutes to go through or process once you’re done, but eventually works with a seamless feed.

TweetDeck just added a new feature where you can post to Facebook as well. Love it! This is my top option while working on the computer as it’s fully integrated and most fun.

For those who post more often, you may want to try this set up: I have another service through Ping.Fm which I use when I want my posts to go to both to Facebook and Twitter, while using my phone. Also works well from the internet if you’re not using TweetDeck. To post to Ping.Fm on your iPhone, use Nambu. Try BlackPing for BlackBerry.

The Lingo
@ – immediately followed by a user name is a mention. It links their profile by making it clickable and notifies them of your response.
# – immediately followed by a word is a hashtag. It creates a search of that word when clicked. A popular example is #FollowFriday in which people recommend their favorite people to follow.
DM – A direct, private message
RT – Re-Tweet (re-post of someone’s tweet)

Too Much
There are apps out there that allow auto-follows, auto-responders, special programs to tweet from your computer, tool bars for your web browser, and so much more. I find all these are unnecessary. People get irritated with the canned responses. And everything else I’ve looked at makes Twitter too much of high maintenance (AKA less fun). However, a quick search on “Twitter Tools” will bring up the infinite possibilities if you are interested. And you never know what new tools may actually be fun to use.

Would love to hear your experience and your favorite apps for Twitter. Please post!

Happy Tweeting!

By Danielle Marie Crume