There are so many Twitter tools and applications these days, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the constantly changing list of choices. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of 12 Twitter tools that national brands can use to raise awareness, boost loyalty, and drive sales.
Of course, many of these apps are great for small businesses and local brands, too. For more great Twitter tools for brands and businesses, check out 14 Twitter Tools for Enterprise Business and 6 Twitter Tools for Local Business.
And of course, if you need a full suite, check out Sprout Social, our own social media management tool. All promotions aside, here’s the list:
Increase Brand Awareness
The first step to building a successful national brand is to increase awareness of your brand, particularly among your target audience. You want people to develop perceptions of what your brand stands for and how your brand can help them. Here are several Twitter tools to help you find specific types of Twitter users, connect with them, and manage your audience more efficiently.
1. WeFollow: WeFollow is a directory of Twitter profiles sorted by a organized into various categories. It’s a great tool to find and follow people who are likely to be interested in your industry, products, and services. It’s also a great tool to find the Twitter influencers who interact with your target audience.
You can also search for journalists to connect with, and work on getting some national publicity for your business. Or, if you’re looking for investors, search for people using the “venturecapital” tag. The choices are virtually endless.
2. Twellow: Twellow is like the Twitter yellow pages. You can search by category, keyword, location, and more. It’s another excellent tool to find your target audience members who are using Twitter.
For example, a business-to-business organization could select the “executives” category to find decision-makers to connect with. Results can be narrowed down to a specific location for geo-targeting and local marketing.
3. Monitter: Monitter is a free Twitter tool that lets you stay on top of real-time Twitter updates containing your chosen keywords. You can even follow keywords by location. When you find people tweeting about your industry, products, services, competitors, and so on, follow them and join in the conversation about your brand.
4. ManageFlitter: ManageFlitter is a simple tool with a lot of benefits. You can quickly search through the people you follow on Twitter to find and unfollow inactive accounts, accounts without bios, and more. While it may not be as robust as our own social media management tool, it’s a great option for simple follower management.
Boost Brand Loyalty
National brands aren’t built overnight. Targeting customers and fans that have common interests can be an effective strategy in boosting loyalty toward your brand. Try these tools to find people who may become your next brand loyalists.
5. Listorious: Listorious leverages the information found in Twitter lists in order to find relevant people to follow and connect with. You can target people by profession, region, or topic. When you find people you want to connect with, you can follow them on Twitter or ask them questions directly through Listorious.
6. Formulists: Formulists is another Twitter tool that enables you to take Twitter lists to a new level. You can use stock lists to get you started, or create your own lists and group them by location, topic, interactions, or any other criteria you choose. It’s a great tool to help segment your audience, share specific brand messages, and boost customer loyalty among diverse audiences.
For example, Forumulists offers a demo list for Jet Blue’s Top Fans (including the people who retweeted Jet Blue’s tweets the most each month). This type of list provides a great way to find, connect with, and acknowledge your most vocal brand advocates.
7. Twibes: Twibes allows you to create and join Twitter groups. Search for groups related to your business or topics that your target customers are likely to be interested in. Join those groups and get involved.
8. GroupTweet: GroupTweet offers some really cool features for brands. You can create a public Twitter account and invite people to join (up to 100,000 people can join) and tweet to the account’s timeline. Crowdsourcing is hot these days, and GroupTweet offers an interesting spin on crowdsourcing content. Alternately, you can create a private Twitter account through GroupTweet where your employees can all tweet to the same timeline. For example, Syracuse University uses GroupTweet for a variety of private student groups to connect with each other.
Have a special promotion or event that you’re live tweeting? A GroupTweet account could handle it all for you without cluttering your primary brand timeline. GroupTweet accounts are also great for customer service or for handling responses to specific marketing promotions and tracking results.
Drive Sales and Marketing
Another important element of national brand building is restraint. While it might be tempting to fall back on a familiar broadcast advertising approach to sales and marketing, you’ll be much more effective on Twitter if you find more subtle and creative ways to promote your brand. Here some tools to help you do just that.
9. Social QR Code: Social QR Code makes it easy to create quick response codes (QR codes) and instantly share them across your social media profiles, including Twitter. QR codes are particularly popular in campaigns to boost Twitter followers or Facebook Likes. (This tool is no longer active.)
For example, Verizon Wireless ran a print ad campaign that included a Social QR Code with the goal of increasing its Twitter followers. When Batman: The Dark Knight premiered in movie theaters, billboard ads featured a Social QR Code to drive people to view a trailer video on YouTube.
10. TwtQpon: TwtQpon lets you create social media coupons, so you can offer exclusive discounts to your Twitter followers. There are several coupon options available that reward consumers for connecting with you on Twitter.
11. Nearby Tweets: Nearby Tweets is a real-time Twitter search tool that enables you to take your Twitter marketing to a local level. Even national brands should pursue local marketing campaigns; joining relevant conversations using Nearby Tweets is an easy way to give your brand a boost in specific cities. (This tool is no longer active.)
12. PromotedTweets: PromotedTweets is Twitter’s own paid advertising tool that is used by a number of national (and global) brands. You pay to have a tweet displayed to targeted followers. For broader exposure, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts offer more ways for brands to get in front a targeted audience on Twitter. These marketing opportunities aren’t cheap, so try to tie-in a great offer that is highly actionable.
Know any other great Twitter tools for national brands? Let is know in the comments below.
Susan Gunelius: Susan Gunelius is a 20-year marketing veteran and President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has authored nine books about social media, content marketing, branding, copywriting, and blogging, and she is a marketing columnist for Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com. Susan speaks about marketing, branding, and social media at events around the world and is often interviewed about marketing topics by television, online, print, and radio media organizations.