Wednesday 27 March 2013

Social Media Tools - Part One

Over the coming days I'll be looking at a number of tools to help with the management of your social media accounts. Today the focus will be on a highly popular product called TweetAdder.

As you can probably tell by the name, it is orientated towards Twitter. I've used the product for some months now, but like all the tools available, it has its advantages, and disadvantages. As yet I haven't found that one piece of software which does everything I want it to do. On a day to day tweeting basis I use HootSuite (which I'll be discussing the merits of in a later post) but TweetAdder has a place in my social media arsenal.

As with any worthwhile product, there is a cost. With TweetAdder it is a simple one-off cost, with no monthly fees. Many social media tools are free, but they generally only give you the basic operations which Twitter themselves provide. To get the added value features, there is normally a cost involved. Let me first outline what TweetAdder can do, then I'll discuss the features which will give you a time-saving advantage. TweetAdder can:
  • Follow new accounts
  • Unfollow accounts
  • Identify accounts via bio key words
  • Send automated tweets
  • Send automated tweets via RSS feeds
  • Auto retweets
  • Automated tweet search
The entire list is far greater than I've outlined here, and details of the total functionality can be found on the TweetAdder website

The main feature I tend to use it for is to find suitable accounts to follow. One problem with having a Twitter account is that it can easily be suspended by aggressive following/unfollowing. TweetAdder gets around the problem by doing this process gradually throughout the day. Rather than follow 100 new accounts in the space of a few minutes, and unfollow a similar amount in the same manner, the following and unfollowing can be automated over several hours, with random times between each new follow etc. Also, to make the following less random, TweetAdder allows you to search for potential new accounts to follow using keywords. Type in the phrase 'avid reader', and it will find all those accounts, which you don't currently follow, with that specific term in the bio. Want to connect with more authors? Then simply use the keyword 'author' (or 'writer') and TweetAdder will find all the relevant accounts. Also, you can select 'recency'. This filters out all those accounts which haven't been active within the time scale you set - therefore you won't be following accounts which have been inactive for months. If the accounts don't follow you back, you can unfollow in the same gradual way, 'releasing' accounts over a period of hours, at random intervals. You can also automate when the unfollowing will take place. If the account, for example, hasn't followed back within, say three days, TweetAdder will gradually start releasing the accounts automatically after that time has elapsed. If you are new, or relatively new, to Twitter, it is important to understand their 2000/10% 'unwritten' rule. Details can be found on an earlier post here.

There are of course many other advantages to the product, but the above advantage is my primary use. One final point, TweetAdder will only 'unfollow' those accounts which it follows in the first instance. If you follow accounts directly via Twitter you'll need to use another tool to identify if they follow back. Again, my post regarding Twitters 2000/10% rule will provide you with details.

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