Welcome to Twitter Tuesday. Every Tuesday we will post about Twitter. Stop by for advice and how to's for marketing professionals. Every other week we will post our AppQuest Edition featuring a review of twitter applications.
What’s the best way to manage your Twitter followers?
The longer you’re on Twitter, hopefully the more followers you’ll gain. The more followers you gain, the more difficult it becomes to monitor who you follow and who follows you. Fortunately, there are lots of applications created to solve this very problem. It’s important to monitor your followers and the people you follow to make sure you’ve got the right audience. Finding the right online application will make doing this simpler and help make you even more productive on Twitter.
I sat down with my co-workers and created a wish-list of qualities that we as marketing people want in a follower management application. Of course, all the apps have to be free and have no downloadable client. Beyond that, we wanted to be able to:
- have an easy-to-use interface
- get the hang of it quickly
- see who we’re following
- see who is following us
- unfollow/follow people
- bulk unfollow/follow users
- see how active our followers are
- view profiles
- tag followers to better organize them
- add comments to followers profiles
- sort followers by Twitter activity
- offer suggest for new people to follow
The evaluation method was simple. I visited each site and registered. After my profile loaded, I took a screenshot of the interface and then spent about 10 minutes looking around the site. A decent site should be able to explain itself in that time. After using the application, I rated each site against my wish list.
The URL is Huitter.com but the site is also called Mutuality. You can find both names in various places on the web. It allows you to sign in using Twitter Authority, which is nice since you don’t have to create another account just for this site. Once logged in, you’re presented two options: Manual, for people with accounts with under 10,000 followers; and Auto for accounts with over 10,000 followers. The Manual version is free, while the Auto has a slight charge. Mutuality doesn’t do much. You can follow all who follow you and unfollow all who do not follow you back. It’s possible to make exclusions to these tasks but you have to know their Twitter name.
PROS: You can bulk follow or unfollow Twitter users.
CONS: That’s all you can do. This is the definition of a single service site. It does one thing and not very well. At the very least they need a way to view your users to find the accounts that you want to exclude from your action.
UnTweeps allows you to unfollow users based on the last time they tweeted. This is a great way to cut out the dead users. It’s very easy to use and uses the Twitter Authentication to login. On the downside, you can only use the site once every 14 days unless you want to pay for the service. You can get a 3 day subscription for $1.37 or a monthly subscription for $5, which can only be paid through PayPal. I would have taken a screenshot but after using it once I discovered I had to pay to get back in.
PROS: Easy to use and allows you to filter your followers based on how many days since their last tweet. The site is very straightforward and looks great.
CONS: The one time use feature is a huge drawback for a single service site. UnTweeps only does one thing and then charges you for it after you use it once. It’s even more limiting by the fact that you have to have a PayPal account.
Friend or Follow was my “go to” site to manage my Twitter account before I started researching this article. You don’t have to register with the site. You simply enter your Twitter username and it will pull in your following, fans and friends. The interface is very graphic. Each follower’s picture is lined up and when you roll over their photo, you get their name, followers, following, last tweet and the date the account was created. Because you don’t login, you’re unable to follow or unfollow from the site. When you click on a photo, it takes you to that person’s Twitter account. It’s also possible to sort users by A-Z ascending or descending order, most recent tweet and the date the account was created.
PROS: No login and easy to use. Easy to navigate and sort users.
CONS: You can’t follow or unfollow from the site. Looking at a bunch of tiny boxes can be hard on the eyes and makes it difficult to keep track of what you’re doing.
With its rainbow color pallet, Tweepular looks like it was designed by someone with a passion for Skittles. But this is the first site that really gets what Twitter follower management is all about. You can bulk follow and unfollow, see who you mutual follow, who doesn’t follow you and who you don’t follow back. The main display shows each follower and has their Twitter name, last update, date added, if you are following them, if they are following you and their follower count. Under their photo, there is a follow and unfollow button. There is a tick box that allows you to select multiple accounts to follow/unfollow. There is also the ability to sort by “tweepularity”, number of followers, date added, last updated or A-Z ascending and descending. Finally, they have a tab that recommends new followers to you. There is a warning window that appears when you first visit the site. After using the site several times, I never experienced any problems. I'm not sure what the reason for the warning is.
PROS: Tweepular has all the main features we want plus it suggests new people to follow. It’s easy to use and simple to understand. You can see who you’re following and see who is following you. Plus, it has the standard unfollow/follow accounts, bulk unfollow/follow users and allows you to see how active accounts are.
CONS: We can’t tag accounts or comment on profiles to better organize followers. It’s not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to have.
Refollow has it all. There are seventeen different ways to filter. Besides the expected follow/unfollow filtering, you can also sort by never followed, with picture, without picture, last tweeted, search for, users who are following other users, users who are followed by other users, users who have @mentioned you, and more. Sorting is available by last tweet, tweet count, screen name, follow count and friend count. You have the ability to bulk follow and unfollow. Moving your cursor over a profile brings up a window that shows their last tweet, any tags you’ve given and their entire Twitter profile. There is a details button that opens a sidebar with the person’s profile, the ability to retweet their last tweet, tagging options and comments.
PROS: WOW, this site hits all of our criteria save one – the ability to suggest new followers. I can’t recommend this site enough.
CONS: It doesn’t recommend new followers, but we can find those people though other sites if we have to.
Twitter Karma was my other “go to” site to manage my followers. It’s slow to load and times out if you have more a than a few thousand followers. The site allows you to see who you’re following, who is following you and who you mutually follow. It also allows you to bulk follow/unfollow and select individuals to follow/unfollow.
PROS: Simple to use and easy to navigate.
CONS: Very slow to load and refresh. It doesn’t do anything beyond allowing you to follow or unfollow accounts.
I also tried to use MyCleenr, Tweeple, Tweetscan, Mr. Tweet and Twitterless. Some of the sites simply required I follow them on Twitter, like Mr. Tweet and Twitterless, but then I never heard back on how to access the site. In the case of MyCleenr, it simply couldn’t handle accounts with more than 700 followers.
CONCLUSION: Refollow and Tweepular are the hands-down winners here. Refollow slightly edges out Tweepular due to the variety of filtering options and the ability to tag and comment on user accounts. This is a great site for beginners as well as super users. Tweepular’s colorful design, broad functionality and suggested user tab make it a strong runner up. This is still a wide open field as the top two sites are miles ahead of the rest. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more contenders in this arena soon that offer even more features.
Which Twitter follower management application do you use?
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Sorry all, had to shut down the comments because of too much SPAM.