Twitter is great, but it can be so much more than something you occasionally glance at on the Web or on your phone. What you need to really leverage Twitter are apps. With these apps, you can take advantage of one of the most popular social media services today, especially if you’re using it to boost your business. (You should also avoid major Twitter mistakes. Read Twitter Fail! 15 Things You Should Never Do On Twitter.)


TweetDeck is one of the most amazing clients ever made. It allows you to see tweets in real time, allowing you to keep track of your timeline, your notifications and your activity. You can also add columns to show certain users, search queries and even hashtags.

What makes TweetDeck so distinctive is its columnar layout, which lets you see all of your important Twitter streams at once. You can add columns for lots of things. For example, you can add columns for just one user you really want to pay attention to, such as a major influencer or just a close friend.

You can also set it up for more than one account at once, whether you’re managing more than one account for business or just for fun. You can even see @mentions across all your accounts if you add a column for it.

You can customize these columns even further by adding filters. In addition to certain users, you can include or exclude certain keywords, eliminate retweets and even filter your conversations if you want.

TweetDeck is an incredibly powerful tool. It’s available for Windows, Mac and inside the Google Chrome browser.


HootSuite is geared toward business social media uses. In addition to Twitter, it also integrates with Facebook and Google+. You can do a lot of amazing things in HootSuite. You can schedule tweets automatically for certain times, which is useful if, for example, you’re debuting a new article. You can even target specific demographics.

You can also save responses for reuse. If you’re in customer service, you can amass a series of canned responses for common questions. If you really want to, you can bulk send hundreds of messages at once.

You can also see emerging trends on Twitter, including key influencers. (Check out some of the key influencers in tech by checking out our Who to Follow lists.)


If you’re tweeting in a business capacity, chances are you’re not the only one doing so. And if you’re part of a team, it can be difficult to share the same Twitter account if you’re part of, say, a PR or customer service department. ExactTarget could be what you need.

ExactTarget, formerly known as CoTweet, is a service similar to HootSuite in that it offers social engagement and analytics tools to businesses. It’s available for everything from small businesses to very large enterprises.

You can easily share accounts with other users. Tweets will appear from the main account, providing a unified front. It’s also possible to schedule tweets in advance to do things like promoting articles, just like you can in HootSuite. Like HootSuite, you can track conversations and key influencers.

It’s also possible to make it so that tweets have to be approved before being sent out, in order to avoid any major social media blunders.

If you’re been on Twitter at all, no doubt you’ve seen a link at some point. But the popular link-shortening service has more features than meet the eye. If you’re using Twitter in a business capacity, you have powerful tools at your disposal.

For example, you can have a custom domain to make your links stand out in Twitter streams. In addition to custom domains, you can even customize the short links so that they’re easier to remember.

Since your links go through, you can also see how much engagement you’re getting on your Twitter posts. You can see how many organic clicks you get as well as how many people are coming to links from Twitter, Facebook and others. You can even break down links by department, team, location, channel and user - all in real time.


While other tools offer full-fledged Twitter management, Hashtracking does one thing and does it well: it tracks hashtags.

By signing up for the service, you can track hashtags over a time period, identify the main influencers, see historical data, see related hashtags and generate reports.

While hashtags may seem frivolous at first, they’ve emerged as a key promotional tool on Twitter, especially since the company has offered sponsored hashtags. But the way people actually use hashtags is a better indication of their real feelings about a product or service. The hashtag, along with other ways of using Twitter, such as the @reply, was generated by the user base itself. Paying attention to hashtags is a must for any social media manager. (Learn more about hashtags in Streamline the Conversation: How and Why Twitter Hashtags Work.)

Twitter has proved to be a powerful tool all on its own, but with the help some of the apps mentioned here, you can really make that little blue bird soar.