By Frank Emanuele So you've jumped head-first into Twitter? Good for you! I'm totally addicted to tweeting, so I completely understand. I can't get enough of it. But once you become as serious about it as I am, you start to realize that simply sharing what you ate for lunch isn't enough anymore (that pizza was awesome, by the way). After a certain point, you begin caring more and more about engaging with the community you've built up around yourself. It can be difficult to do that when your only followers are 20 of your real-life acquaintances who don't have time to be active on Twitter, even if you do have lots in common. On the other hand, if you have 2,000 spam followers, you won't be engaging much with them, either. How do you block out the noise, but still reach out and interact with a large audience?
Trim the Fat
One of the biggest problems that Twitter hasn't been able to solve is spam. If your tweets are public (which they really should be), you can't even mention an Apple product in a tweet without being bombarded with "free offers" to win one. You can eliminate some of the unwanted attention by making your your tweets private, but then you'll also be cutting yourself off from the global conversations that are constantly happening. Enter TwitBlock, the best resource for blocking spammers before they start to annoy you. TwitBlock securely scans your followers and looks for signs of spam, assigning the most suspicious ones a number rating based on a set of predefined criteria. The higher the rating, the more likely each follower is a spammer. You can then easily block the offending tweeters and never worry about them again!
Timing Is Everything
Once you've removed spam from your Twitter experience, you'll find it much easier to engage in valuable interactions with your followers. But how can you be sure your thoughts are reaching the maximum possible audience? What if you share a link to an article that you want to discuss, or a photo that makes you laugh, but no one is around to react to it? Tweriod is really handy for these situations. After a one-time analysis of the tweeting habits of your followers, this tool will recommend the times of day when the majority of your followers are actively using Twitter. This offers you a personalized estimate of the times when your content will receive the most exposure. I usually wait until after 1pm Eastern to share links and other interesting content, but Tweriod tells me that my followers are actually most active between 4 and 7pm. You'd better believe I'll be saving my best material for those hours!
Don't Be Afraid, Be Ruthless
There comes a time when every Twitter power user has to ask himself or herself, "Why do I follow so many people?" Once in a while, it's a good idea to re-evaluate the people you've chosen to follow. People may sometimes get angry when you unfollow them, but if you aren't enjoying Twitter, what's the point? Theirs are the thoughts you'll be reading, and so they will determine the value of your Twitter experience. It may seem harsh, but sometimes you just need to purge your account of the users who aren't providing you with any value. ManageFlitter makes this dead simple. Sort the people you follow to see who hasn't tweeted recently, who tweets too much, or who tweets about topics that don't interest you. Eliminate the ones who don't make the cut, and enjoy a clutter-free Twitter stream! You even have the option to separate out Verified Accounts and popular users so you don't accidentally stop following your favorite celebrities.
There are literally hundreds of awesome tools I could sit here and tell you about. Twitter's openness makes it really easy for developers to come up with amazing utilities for every day users and power users alike. There is probably already a tool that helps you do just about anything you can think of with Twitter. And if there isn't one already, you might have a million dollar idea on your hands! If you'd like to engage with your followers more, these sites will get you off to a great start. Go forth and interact!
Do you have a favorite Twitter tool that isn't listed here? Are there any tools you'd like to see someone develop? Share your thoughts in the comments below!