Quite a few tools are beginning to appear for companies to manage communications using Twitter or for using micro-blogging internally within their company.
I used to manage pushing the Marketing Technology Blog feed to Twitter utilizing Twitterfeed. When I ran into some timeouts when demonstrating Twitterfeed in a recent webinar, though, some viewers shared that there were some other great tools out there. I decided to take a look!
Twitter Management Tools for Companies
Cotweet offers the ability to handle multiple accounts, schedule tweets, cotagging the post with an author’s initials, post to multiple accounts and some workflow – the ability to assign a tweet to another company member. You can also add a message when assigning the tweet.
Promoting itself as a corporate solution for managing Twitter may be a bit boastful for Cotweet – features in this application are fairly light.
Hootsuite is a strong suite – including multiple users, editors, feed to Twitter automation, multiple accounts, scheduled tweets, post to multiple accounts, a URL shortener with statistics, Ping.fm integration and even the ability to include Adsense when the shortened URL is forwarded.
This is the strongest solution in this category. The single feature missing from this solution, though, is workflow management for assigning and monitoring tasks.
Twinterface is in closed beta and I wasn’t able to preview the solution at this point. Howard said they’re working through some issues in preparation for going live. I’m looking forward to seeing what Twinterface has to offer that’s different from the above packages. Currently, Twinterface is promoting multi-account and multi-user as their current features.
This is a category that’s sure to get competitive quickly, so hopefully Twinterface isn’t just catching up – hopefully they come to the table with some groundbreaking features.
Reputation Management on Twitter
Anyone who has set up Google Alerts to try to monitor Twitter will soon find that the alerts simply don’t come… and when they do, the timing is much too late.
Add to that the complexity of managing hundreds of tweets across countless accounts and confusion and poor execution are soon to follow. Radian6 is a social media reputation management tool that has a ton of features – including real-time monitoring of all social media sources, comprehensive workflows and automation.
Radian 6 is taking their platform up a notch by partnering with Webtrends as well. Merging off-site events and reputation monitoring with on-site analytics will be huge for the industry.
Automation across Social Media
If you’d like to not only use Twitter, but post to another 40 different networks, Ping.fm is the tool for you! Ping.fm includes the ability to integrate your social devices with mobile via SMS, email and instant messaging. The service also offers customized triggered messaging.
Ping.fm may be the swiss army knife of messaging automation in Social Media! Of all the applications listed on this post, this is the one application that no business should be without.
Internal Corporate Micro-Blogging
Imagine empowering your employees with the ability to have a secure internal micro-blogging tool. You now can with a couple of new applications on the market:
According to the Socialcast site:
Since 2005, Socialcast has been a leading provider of social networking platforms and solutions for both consumer-facing clients and enterprise customers. Based in Irvine, California, Socialcast is the only SaaS provider of private self-service corporate social networking communities. Our software unites traditional intranet features with social messaging technology to empower employees to expand, create and share knowledge across the enterprise.
Unique to Socialcast is the ability to ask and have questions answered, creating a great internal knowledge base for the company. Socialcast also claims a Social Business Intelligence? suite of analytics tools – but the visual appears pretty light on any intelligencia… it looks more like a simple report.
According to the Yammer site:
Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: ‘What are you working on?’
As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced.
According to the Present.ly site:
Present.ly gives your employees the ability to instantly communicate their current status, ask and answer questions, share media, and more with the revolutionary communications method pioneered by Twitter.
Presently appears to have some very robust capabilities, including Groups, Attachments, and a Twitter-compatible API.
Geographic and Keyword Targeted Marketing on Twitter
Unlike the other advertising mediums popping up on Twitter, Twitterhawk enables companies to directly respond to users, by keyword or phrase, as well as by geographic location. This is a system that I tested at great length and liked the features of.
Combine these features with email notifications (each time the system sends the tweet) and the ability to track shortened URLs (as in Hootsuite), and this would be a world class marketing application!
NOTE: 5/13/2009 Twitter just stopped displaying replies (@) to people you are not following, so this could have a significant impact on an application like Twitterhawk since Twitterhawk utilizes replies as a means to promote.
Make a Group on Twitter
Twitter lacks any group functionality, but you can take advantage of Grouptweet to overcome the shortcoming. GroupTweet allows a group to send messages via Twitter that are instantly broadcasted privately to only the team members.
Setting up a group for your company and your customers is an ideal means of broadcasting important messages quickly and easily!
There are quite a few tools out there promoting themselves as the premier enterprise management application for Twitter; however, most of them are pretty light on features. For any corporation, analytics and automation need to be a requirement. Every feature that is added to a business twitter application needs to ensure that it can be attributed to improving the return on investment on your employees’ social media efforts.