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Summary:

It can be hard convincing anyone that Twitter is a worthwhile business tool, even yourself. This is especially true if you’re business-minded and like to attach numbers to something in order to ascertain its value. It’s hard to get solid figures on the value that Twitter […]

It can be hard convincing anyone that Twitter is a worthwhile business tool, even yourself. This is especially true if you’re business-minded and like to attach numbers to something in order to ascertain its value. It’s hard to get solid figures on the value that Twitter provides, as it’s about hard-to-measure concepts like connections, reach and influence. There are some tools out there, though, that aim to provide figures to help you with some Twitter metrics.

Who

Knowing who to follow, and when to communicate with them can be instrumental in making your Twitter interactions more effective and meaningful. Effective management of these two things can massively increase the likelihood that you’ll generate professional opportunities with your tweeting.

picture-6To know who to follow, you can keep your eyes open during browsing, pilfer names from the lists of friends and colleagues you already follow, or you can have them delivered to you via Mr. Tweet’s convenient service. Mr. Tweet automatically generates lists of potential connections to take some of the hunting out of finding new Twitter contacts. All you have to do is follow @MrTweet, and he’ll provide you with a link to site where you can view a list of matches made based on your tweeting habits and profile. Mr. Tweet ranks Twitter users based on a number of criteria, and provides solid numerical ratings concerning their follow/followed ratio, how often they post, the degree to which they actually converse, and how often they post links.

When

Once you’ve established who to follow, you need to know when the best time is to contact them to guarantee meaningful communication. Even when cold calling, you could at least leave a message and/or talk to an assistant or someone else, but with Twitter, you can send a message and people won’t hesitate to never give it even the slightest acknowledgment. Some of this might be people ignoring you on purpose, but it might also be the timeliness of your communication.

picture-5Tweet O’Clock crunches the numbers for you so that you can quickly and easily find the time during which someone is most likely to respond to contact via Twitter. All you have to do is type in a user name, and it spits out the day of the week, and the time during that day when they are most likely to be monitoring and responding to tweets. It pegged mine pretty good (I tend to slack on Fridays).

How

This tool actually gives you a whole lot more “Who”, which enables you to make some educated guesses at “How”. It’s called Twinfluence, and it measures, as the name suggests, how influential any given Twitter user is. It does this by analyzing their connections, and their connections’ connections.

picture-7Of the tools I’ve covered here, this might be the most useful for convincing others of Twitter’s value as a business tool. With it, you can point to some solid numbers about your potential reach and connections. Even if the person you’re trying to convince doesn’t rate net contacts very highly, the sheer volume of people Twitter makes available to you should prove hard to ignore completely.

I won’t deny it, Twitter is a circus. A fledgling circus with too many acts and not enough ringmasters. But, with a little care, it can be put to productive use in a professional context. Hopefully these tools will help you figure that part out.

What tools do you use for measuring Twitter’s value?

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  1. These tools are so key to being an effective twitter user. I am sure they will help me a great deal to promote my business and my site on twitter without annoying anyone.

    Thanks again for a great post.

  2. Great stuff Darrell, thanks! I’ve become a fan of Twittercounter.com. Followers is a pretty raw way to track influence, but it does give you an idea of the soaring popularity of the site (you can watch the Top 100 list grow dramatically each day) and their charts are fun.

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  4. Silvana Avinami Friday, March 6, 2009

    Darrell – BIG thanks for these tools. I’ve been looking for Twitter-guidance and you’ve done a great job at showing me the light. Got any other tricks?

  5. Internet Strategist Saturday, March 7, 2009

    I’ve found MrTweet extremely useful for finding Twitter users in specific niches. I highly recommend using it, especially when you wish to create a Twitter account with a particular following.

    Another really valuable app for locating niche Twitter users is Twellow. I have written posts specifically on how to use Twellow and Twitter. They are linked from the post I’ve used in this comment for my Twitter and FriendFeed Quick Start.

    Anyone seeking information on how to get started and who to follow will benefit from reading those posts.

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  9. We use twitter quite actively. I am sure these apps would help!

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