To Tweet or Not to Tweet? Pros & Cons of Twitter – Free Tools + Resources

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When it comes to Twitter people are clearly divided. Some people hate Twitter, others love it. Both of them are right for different reasons.
Actually there are many reasons to use Twitter or not. Here you’ll find plenty of them plus resources to actually use it.

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Unlike Facebook where you just follow friends and family you already know Twitter gets used to follow mostly strangers you are interested in.

Follow me to get the latest insights on blogging, social media and search! Indeed I’ve been using Twitter since 2008 and it is a powerful link sharing plus social networking tool for me.

 

Humble beginnings

Twitter wasn’t my favorite tool from the start. It took me some time to get it or even to understand why I need Twitter and what the pitfalls are.


For those still undecided here are the pros, cons and Twitter tools to make the experience of tweeting much more convenient as well as productive.


Indeed Twitter is a lot like Facebook although it’s a different concept. Both sites do not necessarily result in significant direct traffic or other benefits you can measure easily unless you are very popular.

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I wanted to share my thoughts on Twitter and help you decide whether it makes sense or not so I collected  Twitter related tools and resources to answer the question: To tweet or not to tweet?

Also once you decided you want to use it, you will find plenty of ideas how to use it below:

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Reasons to use Twitter

As you might know there are plenty of reasons to use Twitter. It often depends on who you are and what you do for a living. Anybody in

  • publishing
  • journalism
  • blogging

will probably use it all the time. Many other business users probably also will but here already there are different opinions.

I’ve compiled links providing both actual personal stories of positive Twitter usage and some articles that cover benefits that are objectively there.

 

Reasons not to use Twitter

Twitter is indeed controversial to some extent even after many years of existence. That may be the reason why it never went mainstream like Facebook.

Here are some personal stories and also die hard facts that may discourage you from actually engaging on Twitter. Make sure to find out what the downsides are.

You need to know these things before you actually plunge in and take a deep dive on Twitter. I don’t want you to waste your time and resources in case you aren’t really convinced.

 

Twitter clients
Twitter clients are tools that access Twitter other than the website Twitter.com itself. These are the the most common or best Twitter clients.

I’ve used most of them all myself and still use two of them in one case (TweetDeck) daily. Twitter.com is a bit hard to use as you get easily overwhelmed with updates.

The first three clients are ideal for business use and marketing campaigns. Make sure not to over-automate though! Hootsuite and Buffer also work with many social media sites, not just Twitter.

 

Free Twitter scanners

One of the great things about Twitter almost from day one was the plethora of third party tools enhancing the user experience of the service.

Many tools have disappeared over the years. Twitter has made it hard for tool makers to stay afloat. Yet some of them remain stable and useful.

The tools you find in this list have been around for many years and have a working business model behind them. They allow you to scan your tweets for manifold reasons.

You can scan your content or your followers to find out more about yourself and others you interact with. It’s highly recommended. Otherwise Twitter might be a bit overwhelming.

  • Nuzzel looks up what links your friends and their friends tweet and creates a custom front page for you. You also get a mail digest once a day. It’s very useful for curation.
  • The Tweeted Times: A newspaper-like Twitter interface that collects links from your Twitter friends – Take a look at mine
  • ManageFlitter – An advanced Twitter account management tool, allows you to unfollow selfish people etc.
  • TweetReach shows your real impact on Twitter by displaying the number of impressions of your tweets and who contributed them

 

Twitter howto’s, tutorials and resources

When you finally decide to use Twitter and get serious about it you’ll notice that it is harder that it might appear at first.

It’s not just about sharing short updates and forgetting. You won’t have an audience just by tweeting. You need to treat it like a microblog and build an audience first.

When you use Twitter for business you will also realize that you can’t simply sell to your followers or that automation of updates won’t suffice.

Make sure to invest some time and effort into your Twitter account. Don’t just get frustrated after a few days or weeks. It might take a while before it works for you.

Twitter for business is actually pretty hard. That’s why I also offer social media management services for Twitter where I

  • engage
  • curate
  • build an audience.

on behalf of clients. It’s not unlike ghost writing but I don’t hide the fact that I’m a social media professional.

 

A colorful sunbird on yellow flowers and a green background.

How do you use Twitter?

Now of course the main reason why I use Twitter is to inform you of my eating habits!

No, just kidding, rather to indoctrinate you with my SEO 2.0 propaganda. It does only make sense when I have enough people to preach to.

OK, follow me now in case you are really serious about the SEO 2.0 cult!

  1. How do you use Twitter?
  2. Do you use a client?
  3. If yes, which one?
  4. What are you using Twitter for?
  5. What do you tweet about actually?
  6. What are you doing?
  7. What is your user name?

In case it makes sense I’ll

  • follow you
  • @reply to you
  • retweet you!

Did I miss some valuable links? Add them in the comments, this list will be updated in future. Want more? Try 101 tweets on how to use Twitter.

  • Originally published: April 30th, 2008.
  • V2 published on September 28th, 2010: 20 links have been replaced!
  • V3 published: June 3rd, 2015: Added 25+ new links, removed old ones. Replaced images.
  • Updated: October 7th, 2015. Updated: February 27th, 2017: removed defunct tools. Updated: March 20th, 2017: fixed broken links. Added new ones.
  • Updated: July 4th, 2017: added several new links and paragraph descriptions.
  • Last updated: November 14th, 2017: removed dead link.

Creative Commons images:

* (CC BY 2.0) Red-billed Leiothrix by Steve Wilson

** (CC BY-ND 2.0) Golden-hooded Tanager by Andy Morffew

*** (CC BY-ND 2.0) Motmot by Tambako The Jaguar

 

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