6 Twitter Dashboards That Will Lead You to Social Media Success

Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Social Networking [ 2 Comments ]

Everyone rightfully praises social media, but everyone is also, most likely, probably, secretly thinking, “I need a break.” The number of social media outlets available for small businesses is continually growing. I have found websites that claim there are over 300 social networking sites, and I cannot help but think they are at least 50% right. Although most businesses do not utilize every single social media site, the “popular” networks still count out to at least fifteen. This may not sound like a lot next to 300, but try managing them all! In the end, creating a presence and keeping it on even just a few social media platforms can become a bit overwhelming.

Fortunately, Twitter agrees. Twitter has created a few Twitter dashboards, or applications, that allows you to access your Twitter accounts (and a few others) all in one place.  There are two types of dashboards you can utilize:

  1. Desktop—You can run a separate desktop client, but expect it to require updates.
  2. Web browser—This will allow you to keep everything within one Web browser, but probably works best for those somewhat technologically savvy.

If you have decided that organization is what your small business needs, it comes time to dive into the many different dashboard choices. Consider my favorite desktop and web Twitter dashboards to help get you started:

Dashboards for Your Desktop

  • TweetDeck—TweetDeck is the most popular dashboard for a reason. The TweetDeck allows you to follow accounts, unfollow accounts, track hashtags and keywords, and even allows you schedule tweets (my personal favorite). This dashboard also has a pop-up notification feature that can help you stay updated on a specific keyword or topic, and this feature can be turned off easily if necessary. Although TweetDeck is somewhat new (Twitter acquired this in May 2011), its Android app gets the best reviews. The dashboard also helps you manage Facebook, Myspace, and Foursquare.

  • SocialBro—This dashboard is great because it allows you to connect with your followers on a more advanced level. With this program, you can see your Twitter community on a map, see who is following you back, and see if influential people follow you. This dashboard also lets you know when the best time for you to Tweet out information is based on your followers, and can even back up your information on a local database. The downside: it cannot yet schedule Tweets.

  • Mixero—Mixero has what is called an Avatar mode to help you from getting overwhelmed. The Avatar mode will let you hide the program except for a little icon on top of your desktop that will show you when new items are received (much like an inbox). This program also offers chat rooms and works well with Facebook.

Dashboards on the Web

  • Hootsuite—This is another very popular dashboard choice for small businesses. It can also schedule tweets, monitor keywords, follow accounts, and unfollow accounts. The best thing about Hootsuite is it includes free analytics that will actually track the links that you tweet. It also measures your online influence and helps you manage Facebook, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, WordPress.com, MySpace, and Foursquare. There is, however, a difference between the free version and the $5.99 per month Pro version in terms of perks. Analyze your company and then decide whether or not some of the more advanced analytics are worth the money. In most cases, I think you’ll find that $5.99 is a small price to pay for such a powerful tool.

  • Twimbow—As the name suggests, this program is all about color coding specific tweets while using a separate screen to track keywords and searches. With Twimbow, your small business gets 24 slots where you can schedule specific tweets.  This program also allows you to organize Facebook and Google Plus.
  • Brizzly—This is great if you’re looking to use Twitter to help keep you up to date on the latest news, which is done through a feature called the Brizzly Guide. You can privately exchange links, photos, and comments with people you follow, get a pop-up notification when you send a message, and you can mute a follower without unfollowing them. While the benefits are many, this site unfortunately does not let you schedule tweets.

I can only assume that the Twitter dashboards are just the first step to many more social media organizational tools to come. By getting in on the action early, you will be one step ahead of many small businesses who will be floundering in a sea of social media content in the near future. In many cases, the success of a business depends on the organization. In other words, start now before social media expects even more from your company.

Photo credit boxug.blogspot.com

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