The very first article I wrote in February, 2009 when I decided to become the Twit Pimp is an extensive listing of Twitter tools and applications. I quickly found that the number of tools was expanding so fast that I couldn’t keep up. Then, searchable databases of Twitter tools started to appear. You will find them all listed along with a lot of other handy applications in my TwitPimp Blog as Field of Dreamz… a Thousand Twitter Apps.
Best to watch this introductory slideshow in fullscreen mode…
The following post at Microgeist provides a great starting plan for the beginning Tweeter: 10 Strategies To Drive Quality Traffic with Twitter and here’s TechRadar’s 10 Twitter crimes that will get you unfollowed.
If you follow intelligent, thoughtful people you are cultivating a rich thoughtstream. You can find them by looking into the “following” lists of people who post tweets that you find valuable. You can find people in a niche similar to yours by using the directory sites: Twellow.com or justtweetit.com and follow them.
Virl is a URL shortening service and an aggregator who says, “These are the Top 250 People that are the coolest, most influential or neatest on Twitter. They also are very-very likely to Follow you back!”
Searching and Sorting out Tweets…
The Twitter search can be found in the fine print at the very bottom of your Twitter homepage under “Search,” or by calling up the following URL: search.twitter.com. You can do a simple search for any word or term and refine your searches by clicking on the “advanced search” link. Once there you can search for “All of the These Words” or for the “exact phrase” in the search bar. You can also search out any terms delineated with a “hashtag.” The Twitter community creates organic hashtags by including a (#) in front of any term within a tweet to categorize and create a set of easily retrieved Tweets.
Here’s a great post on automating your key words searches in Twitter: How to set up TwitterSpy in Google Talk.
Tweetdeck provides the means to categorize those you choose to follow and assign higher priority to individual holders. You cam also search on key words and keep another stream that contains just the replies to ongoing conversations are easier to track and respond to.
twhirl is a social software desktop client, based on the Adobe AIR platform which runs on both Windows (2000/XP/Vista) and Mac OSX. It has a number of nice buttons that simplify all sorts of regular tasks in the Twitterverse.
Seesmic Desktop, and the updated version of Twhirl, is the newest competitor to TweetDeck. Fans of TweetDeck will probably like Seesmic Desktop because it has similar features. The one thing that differentiates Seesmic Desktop from TweetDeck is that it allows you to manage multiple accounts where TweetDeck only allows you one.
Twitterfall facilitates key word searches.
Constructing Tweets of your own…
With only 140 characters, you will quickly learn to say more with less. Adding a link to the end of your tweet gives it greater value – as long as you are pointing to something you feel is important and not simply trying to continually sell something at a landing page – but links can be huge. There is a URL shortener built into Twitter, and many shortening services exist elsewhere. I like the Mozilla Firefox add-on called is.gd Creator that sits in the top bar of your browser.
Tiny.cc turns a ridiculously long URL into a tiny URL… and provides the ability to track how many times it gets opened!
The Twitter code…
@ sign: is used when you want to “talk” directly to someone and let everyone see your tweet. You can include more than one person in a “conversation” by adding multiple @ signs, each with their twitter name like some of mine: @by_designwise @doorcounty @twit_pimp.
# DM stands for direct message: It is the Twitter equivalent of a private e-mail. But, you can only send direct messages to people who are following you.
RT is short for “retweet.” When you read a tweet that you wish to share, you either find the retweet button in the application you use to manage tweets of put an “RT @username:” in front of the tweet and then send it on. This lets people know who originally started the tweet, giving them credit. It’s a good practice to retweet but only with valuable stuff. You may need to shorten your RT to make it fit into the 140 character limit.
The # sign is called a hashtag: This sign is used to brand messages. If you watch “American Idol” you can monitor and create real time tweets about idol issues with the hashtag #idol. For more information and to search hashtags, go to hashtags.org.
Anatomy Of A Successful Tweet is an article that dissects the essential elements of a good Tweet including an explanation of #hashtags.
How to Automate Twitter:
TweetLater schedules your tweets to broadcast on any schedule you create. People may wonder how you seem to be tweeting all day long.
You can also use it to automatically follow anyone who follows you or to automatically send a thank you Direct Message (DM) to your new followers.
Display Tweets in a visual stream, great for shows using… VisibleTweets.com.
Twitter Background Images:
Here’s a great basic how-to article… Make a Good Impression with a Custom Twitter Background
You can personalize your own custom Twitter background with the online tool at FreeTwitterDesigner.com. It will help you create free Twitter backgrounds that have the same look and feel as those done by professional graphic designers. It’s easy to use, and best of all, it’s Free! Give it a try!
If you like to work with Photoshop or other equivalent image software, here are some free templates to use as a starting point: