An online database of Twitter Apps called oneforty currently lists almost 2,900 third-party Twitter Apps. While some nonprofits have been early adopters of Twitter Apps, the vast majority are not. They may not even know the tools exist. Once you start browsing around and experimenting, you’ll quickly come to realize that there are a phenominal number of free Twitter tools now available to nonprofits – that can also be used to improve website, e-newsletter, blogging, and social media campaigns.
Once your nonprofit has mastered the intricacies of Tweeting, ReTweeting, Mentioning, and Lists, it’s time to move your Twitter campaigns up a notch. The ten Twitter Apps listed below are 10 of my 25 favorites:
1. Bit.ly: Bit.ly allows users to shorten, share, and track links (URLs). It is an absolutely must-use tool. Without tracking how many clicks the links you post on Twitter are receiving, you are Tweeting blindly. Make sure you create a Bit.ly account to get access to full statistics and an archive of all links. Bit.ly links are also great for text messages.
2. Tweetmeme: TweetMeme ReTweet Buttons are for website and blog publishers who want to encourage their audience to Tweet their content on Twitter. If folks are logged in to their Twitter account, all they need to do is click the button once and the ReTweet is posted. It works. Try it. Just know that the buttons place differently in different browsers.
3. Favstar.fm: Favstar.fm allows you to see the most favorited tweets across Twitter at any given time. It also allows you to track your own tweets to see who is favoriting them.
4. Twibbon: Twibbon allows your followers to embed ribbons, icons, etc. on their Twitter avatars, and then spread them throughout the Twitterverse. It’s an easy and effective first step for launching an awareness campaign on Twitter.
5. TwitPic: TwitPic lets you share photos on Twitter. You can post pictures to TwitPic from your phone or through the site itself. For an example, see UNICEF’s TwitPic Page: twitpic.com/photos/UNICEF. Alternatively, there is TweetPhoto.
6. 12seconds: 12seconds allows users to easily record videos with your laptop camera or cellphone, and then upload them to your 12 seconds video channel in order to easily post them to Twitter. Big Cat Rescue was a pioneer is using YouTube and they also have 12seconds channel: 12seconds.tv/channel/BigCatRescue
8. Screenr: Instant screencasts for Twitter. Now you can create screencasts for your followers as easily as you tweet. With Screenr’s web-based recorder, there’s nothing to download. Your screencasts play everywhere, even on iPhones.
9. Trottr: Trottr allows you to record brief audio messages with your cell phone that are then hosted on the Trottr website. After you record a message, you are given a URL for the message that you can post on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. For example, here’s my first message: trottr.com/74qcww.
10. TweetStats: Graph your Twitter Stats including – tweets per hour, tweets per month, tweet timeline, and reply statistics. Make sure you check out your Tweet Cloud too.