Friday picks: FreshMinds’ favourite Twitter tools and hacks

Every Friday we bring you the FreshMinds Friday picks – tools and hacks and ideas to help you make the most of digital technologies and to understand how they are helping brands to grow and innovate. This week we’re looking at our five favourite tools and hacks for Twitter – to help you find the right people to follow, understand what they are saying, share your content efficiently, and even to keep a secret track of your competitors.

1. Followerwonk

Followerwonk is free to use (with premium options) which gives you close analysis of your followers allowing you to connect with the best people on Twitter. It is one of the only tools which lets you search for users by their bio, meaning you can target certain people according to their location or job. Followerwonk teamed up with Buffer earlier this year to analyse the best time to tweet. So now you can tweet the most appropriate people at the right time.

2. Hedonometer

Hedonometer made its debut this year as a real time analytics Twitter tool. Simply put it is a happiness meter, measuring the positive and negative sentiment of around 10,000 words in 50 million tweets. Not surprisingly the happiest day of the year has been Christmas Day for the last five years running. Hedonometer acts as a social thermometer, measuring the emotion of the English speaking population through their online presence. It provides an interesting insight into how we all feel.

3. Twitonomy

Twitonomy is a multi-purpose account analytics tool. Offering both a free and premium version, it allows you to analyse not only your own Twitter data, but that of other users as well. It has screeds of information laid across multiple tabs, offering both a partial Twitter client, and extensive analysis of your own and other’s profiles. But perhaps the coolest feature is the one without any obvious practical application, a visualisation of mentions on a map. It really is quite mesmerising to watch.

4. Bit.ly

Bit.ly is not just a URL shortening tool, it is a fantastic way to analyse the efficiency of the links you share. It offers a dashboard which provides statistics, and can also be combined with other analytics tools such as Tweetdeck and Twitterfeed. The analysis it offers for tracking traffic from Twitter is phenomenal. And as the cherry on top, it also allow you to create a custom short domain, so that everything you post can be on brand.

5. Twitter Lists

Twitter Lists, found in the drop down settings menu from your homepage is a great way of finding and keeping track of large numbers of users. Lists can be created to be either public or private with both functions offering their own benefits. Private lists are a great way of keeping track of competitors online in one space, or following other sensitive groups. Whilst public lists are allow you to celebrate and endorse your favourite users. Sometimes there’s no need to fix what ain’t broke.

What are your favourite tools and hacks for Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.