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If you manage it correctly Twitter can be a very valuable resource, so, today we will take a look at six different tools that can help you sort things out.

If you own a business having a Twitter account can be a handy tool, it’s also a great source of feedback and data. However if you don’t manage your account properly the incoming tweets can be overwhelming. Finding the time to sift through the nonsense can end up being a full time job in itself. Thankfully there are some great tools available to help you manage your business Twitter and sort through the rubbish.

So, now we’ll take a look at six handy tools and at what they can offer you to help manage your Twitter activity more successfully. We will see how effective these tools can be when it comes to building a Twitter following, sending or scheduling outbound Tweets, and how well do they monitor the traffic to help build your business. If you get any negative comments how quickly do they pick them up?

MarketMeSuite

Price: $5.99/month or $34.99/year

Billed as a *Social Media Marketing Dashboard* the name of *MarketMeSuite* seems quite appropriate. The main window looks an awful lot like *TweetDeck* with different streams of incoming content filling up various columns. On the left side of MarketMeSuite is a column filled with tools and options that let you manage your company’s social media presence.

You can schedule tweets to go at a specific time or day and set it even years in advance. You can actually target your users based on factors such as location or language and filter out those you don’t think would be likely to become your customers, and build a following of potential clients. The Reply campaign in MarketMeSuite lets you track conversations on Twitter based on keywords so you can stay on top of threads related to your business or topics relevant to your client base. (This application also works for FaceBook)

To use Twitter even more effectively you can set up your company blog or other information your customers and followers may be interested in to tweet via RSS Feeds. You can also configure MarketMeSuite to send you an email when your product or brand is mentioned on Twitter – allowing you to get involved with the conversation and reply quickly to anything negative.

One of the driving forces being Twitter is it’s *you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back* mentality, where basically the idea is that if I follow your Twitter account, you’ll follow mine in return. While MarketMeSuite seems to lack some of the analytics and reports that products such as Sendilble have, it does have a tool that allows to you un-follow any unproductive Twitter accounts.

MarketMeSuite is priced at $5.99 per month which includes free updates, tutorials, unlimited accounts and support. There is also a half price deal available for $34.99 a year.

Nimble             

Price: Free (individuals); $10/user/month (Nimble Team)

Nimble lacks some of the advanced management and metrics functions of some of the other tools out there, but, it is more about consolidating social networking and streaming participation on social networks. It is its simplicity in allowing you to track your contacts and for this it comes highly recommended.

The screen of the Nimble is plain and clear, but you can add your Facebook, Twitter, email and LinkedIn accounts and view all your messages and updates as single stream. One great feature is being able to click on a single contact and instantly view all your interactions and communications with that one person – and then reply to them within Nimble. It even puts all the social network information about that person in one spot, giving you all the useful data together.

Where you really gain is that you have a team of individuals working for sales or marketing within social networks – Nimble Team – which costs $10 per month – allowing you to select individual status updates or messages and use them as the basis for assigning tasks. For example, if a customer has tweeted about an issue with your service or product you can ask a team member to follow up. Nimble gives you the tools to pull all of the different message streams and all your relevant users together so you can manage them effortlessly.

Nimble Contact is free for individual use. Nimble Team is $10 per user per month.

Sendible

Price: $9.99/month for Solo; $19.99/month for Marketer; $49.99/month for Business; $99.99/month for Enterprise

Sendible is one of the most comprehensive tools out there for managing your social networking activity including Twitter. Sendible gives you the tools to communicate and sent out updates to your accounts including FaceBook, LinkedIn, e-mail, Twitter and more.

You can tweet instantly once you add your Twitter account to Sendible, schedule set tweets to recur at set intervals, schedule tweets for a specific time and date. You can even track messages and see how many times any shared links are opened. Sendible by far has the biggest range of tools and reports for monitoring your Twitter account metrics and for analysing the success of your brand or company on Twitter.

Sendible gives you the tools to keep track of how your products, services or company are being discussed on Twitter – or – other social networks. Using a *sentiment analysis engine* that finds negative and positive mentions and prioritises what posts or mentions you should reply to.  Using the *My Report* tab you can view your activity or you can configure Sendible to send an email at set intervals summing up all the activity related to your company or brand. Using the iPhone app you can also manage your Sendible account.

With Sendible you can also automatically follow other Twitter accounts that share similar interests, and, it can also send welcome messages to any new Twitter followers of your account. One feature that we’d like to see in Sendible is one as featured in TweetAdder or MarketMeSuite that automatically removes – un-followers any unproductive accounts.

You can view Twitter lists, or create new lists that limit the amount of Twitter accounts in your stream.

Unfortunately Sendible offer a confusing array of pricing plans ranging from $9.99 per month for the Solo plan (which lets you send up to 400 messages at a time with a maximum of 15 social network accounts and 500 contacts) up to $99.99 per month for the Corporate plan (which lets you send up to 32,000 messages at a time with a maximum of 400 social networks and 32,000 contacts). The different plans offer varying caps on the number of contacts that a given message can be sent to, the number of social networks that can be managed and maintained from Sendible, the maximum number of contacts, and so on.

TM & Tap11

Price: In pre-release; price not yet set

This is a more analytically focused tool allowing you to monitor the *TwitterVerse* and see what is being said about your company, track what exposure your tweets receive, see what Twitter accounts wield influence within your industry and obtain email alerts whenever news relevant to your products, service or business breaks.

The reporting and analytics tool in Tap11 – from a social media marketing perspective is a valuable tool, allowing you to monitor and track the audience for your tweets. You can send the same message out with different wording, or, at different times during the day, and then see which tweets are getting the most exposure. It is information such as this that can help optimise your social media marketing efforts.

Like most of the tools we have reviewed Tap11 allows you to work with Twitter more efficiently by letting you schedule all your outbound tweets. However Tap11 is not so great when it comes to un-following or adding Twitter followers. The one advantage it does have over most of its competition is its mobile integration. Tap11 has applications for both Blackberry and iPhone.

TweetAdder.com

Price: $55/1 profile; $74/5 profiles; $110/10 profiles; $188/unlimited profiles

TweetAdder comes with a variety of tools for streamlining and managing your Twitter account. It tries to help you grow your Twitter following by automating tweets, replies and re-tweets.

An overview type screen gives a simple at-a-glance rundown of the current state of your Twitter accounts. A green icon shows that automaton for any given feature is switched on – for example sending re-tweets or @replies, while the red indicates automation is switched off. Simply open your Twitter account, click on *open user* at the bottom to make changes for your account.

One of the ways TweetAdder helps minimize the *rubbish* is by allowing you to automate your following or un-following of other Twitter accounts. You can automatically follow accounts based on a keyword or interest and follow that user’s account, or use Follow Back Twitter accounts that are following you. If there are any Twitter lists you’d like to follow you can automate the addition of those accounts to your list of accounts to follow.

This of course has its own set of pros and cons, while it can increase the number of accounts actually following you, you could also end up following hundreds of accounts you’re not really interested in. Ones that have no interest in your topic or product, or, that aren’t even following you back. TweetAdder can automatically un-follow any accounts that are not following you back. You can also set up a *white list* of Twitter accounts that you do want to follow whether they are actually following you or not.

You have the ability to control how many accounts can be followed or un-followed at any given time or session, how often your automated service runs, and what the maximum number of follows or un-follows you want to have on any given day.

Apart from helping to manage your Twitter accounts, TweetAdder can actually manage your Tweets. You can use it to automatically send out tweets, tweet messages from a RSS feed, or, re-tweet from specified users. TweetAdder can also be set up to reply whenever a tweet mentions your Twitter account, or to send a message to new followers that you can use to direct them to your website or Facebook page, or to promote a special service, offer or product.

TweetAdder comes in versions for Linux, Windows and  Mac OS X. The pricing for TweetAdder is based on the number of Twitter accounts being managed: $55 for one account, $74 for five, $110 for 10, and $188 for an unlimited number of accounts.

TweetRoost

Price: Free (1 user, up to 3 accounts); $14.95/user/month (up to 25 accounts per user)

With TweetRoost you can schedule, save, catagorise and analyse Twitter traffic from up to 25 different accounts – if you use the for-pay Pro account. You get your own sub-domain of tweeroost.com when you sign up for TweetRoost. This is where you can log in to manage your TweetRoost account and watch over your Twitter account.

TweetRoost is just like any typical Twitter client application, it displays the status updates and Twitter stream from the accounts you follow along with a box at the top where you can add your own updates. Located on the right is a column displaying information on your Twitter profile which includes the number of users following your account and the number of accounts being followed.

There is a field for searching Twitter at the top of your page and while doing a search within Twitter is neither new nor unique using TweetRoost saves all your searches and continuously checks for new updates. This can be a handy way to trace any comments and feedback related to your product, services or company.

TweetRoost includes some built in metrics, so you can review re-tweets and any mentions in either graph or table form over different time frames and monitor trends in followers on a given Twitter account over time. You can also use TweetRoost to manage your accounts more efficiently by scheduling messages and updates.

Two good things we found with TweetRoost was its ability to save tweets and its integration with *Klout*. Twitter has such a high volume of Tweets that old ones disappear fast. TweetRoost allows you to maintain your own local database of tweets, direct mentions and messages in a database you can search for as long as you like.

So, what is *Klout*? It is a site that ranks the scope and reach of your social networks with a Klout score. This simple but very effective tool monitors how your social network efforts are working when it comes to establishing your own brand and influencing your followers. Your Klout score can be easily integrated to the analytics and reporting section of your TweetRoost

TweetRoost is a web based service that is available free for individuals, but is limited to a single user who has up to three accounts. If you have more accounts you can sign up for a TweetRoost Pro account for $14.95 a month that lets you add unlimited users and up to 25 different Twitter accounts. There is also a free 45 day evaluation period that gives you free access to all the features of the Pro account, but it is limited to only three users and three Twitter accounts.

Bottom line

If you just want to manage your Twitter account, weed out the rubbish and focus on the tweets that are the most relevant or important – TweetAdder comes out on top. It has a clean and simple interface, one time pricing, with no monthly or yearly subscriptions and gives you the best value for your money.

If you want a far more comprehensive programme however Sendible is by far the best. This application provides a well thought out toolbox for managing social media. It’s a bit like a Swiss Army Knife for marketing that makes communicating with customers or followers a more efficient and streamlined procedure. It also provides you with analytics and reports to help you figure out what is and isn’t working. The only complaint or problem we have with Sendible is the price. So, if you are after a less expensive platform for managing your social media then MarketMeSuite is quite a good tool and the $34.99 a year deal gives you the ability to manage unlimited accounts for an entire year, rather than the cost of managing 15 accounts for just 3 months on the Sendible Solo Plan.

Over and out

MobileGeekette

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