ROCKIN THE TWEET: Twitter Tools, Twitter Lists, Stats, Discovery #Twitter

It’s not the tool it’s how you manage it. So here are a few ideas I’d like to share around managing your social media status-sphere. It really doesn’t matter if you like Twitter, Facebook or Google+. What matters is how you use it.

First up: Twitter Lists.

What are they? Why you need ‘m. And why your Tweetdeck or Hootsuite lists are different.

So what I would like to ask you, as you are starting to re-frame your social media accounts is this, “If I can’t add you to one of my Twitter lists I probably shouldn’t be following you in the first place.”

There is a 500 tweep limit for Twitter lists. So beyond that you will have to create 2nd and 3rd lists to keep your “austin friends”  together in your lists. You will notice I have an “austin friends” and an “austin friends 2” lists. This is not an indication of favoritism, but merely a reaching of the Twitter List 500 tweep maximum. I suspect I will be giving up my “tennis” list or my “cats and dogs” list in the future to build an “austin friends 3” list. But not today. (grin)

RULE of TWITTER ADDITION: before you click “follow” figure out what list you are going to add someone to and then do both. 1. Follow; 2. Add To List.

RULE of TWITTER SUBTRACTION: if you are following someone and you can’t put them on a list, perhaps you should consider unfollowing them. 1. Examine who you follow; 2. Add all “friends” to a list; 3. UF, unfollow everyone you cannot place on one of your lists. (Why were you following them in the first place?)

Next: Twitter Tools

Fact: You can’t manage Twitter on Twitter.com. You need tools. Aside from the Twitter Tools Matrix, here is the shortlist for Twitter clients I recommend.

1. Tweetdeck; 2. Seesmic; 3. Hootsuite. And more recently, a Mac-only favorite is Nambu.

Next: Twitter Stats and Analytics

While following and being followed in Twitterville is interesting, almost as interesting and potentially more valuable is the tools that allow you to see what people are tweeting about. Example: during the SuperBowl 2010 the hashtags #nfl and #superbowl and #superbowlads were quite popular with tweeters who were rating the advertisements that were paying over a million dollars per 30 sec. slot. So if your ad didn’t “trend” within these hashtags you can bet the audience mostly ignored it, or forgot about it. And there were a number of unremarkable ads.

TERM: “Trending.” When something is trending on Twitter it means the Tweet volume is so large that it is showing up as one of the top twenty most frequent words being tweeted.

So what tools are my most used when looking at Twitter trends? Here are my top Twitter stats and analytics tools.

1. TwitterVenn (making Venn diagrams out of trends is fun and easy); 2. TwitterFall (a visual browser for seeing hashtags and searches) ; 3. Twitter Trends Map (see the topics that are trending worldwide);

Finally: Twitter Discovery Tools

Finding new people to follow, new trends to track and new hashtags to search for is all part of the beauty of Twitter.

1. Mr. Tweet (who you follow and who they recommend); 2. FriendorFollow (are they following you back?); 3. NearbyTweets (how’s close to you and tweeting?); 4. Twittoria (information about your flock)

Take the time to add value to your Tweets. Don’t just follow to gain followers. If you can’t put them on a Twitter List, don’t follow them. Lists will become the new marker of Twitter Authority.

No, you can’t ask me to add you to a list. I must discover you and add you manually. Yes, you can ask me, but I’m likely to… consider it first.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Finally an amazing image of some of the visualization tools linked off of VisualComplexity.

Explaining complex ideas with images and maps

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