Social Media: some useful tools

•• If you want to improve your overall social media experience, especially when it comes to the fast-paced Twitter, here are a few useful tools that will allow you to analyse and manage the accounts you follow and help you do just that. From weeding out spam accounts to seeing inactive ones, these tools will help you reduce your Twitter follow list in a meaningful manner.

Manage Flitter

As part of a much wider suite of paid-for Twitter tools, Manage Flitter's free package offers some useful functionality to view and manage the accounts you follow.

You can view the accounts that do not follow you back, which accounts do not tweet in English, accounts with high and low influence, talkative and quiet accounts, and accounts that have not been active for 30 days.

There is also a nifty setting that reveals who you follow that has a dubious, “fake” and likely spam following itself.

As you navigate through each of the options above, Manage Flitter lets you click to ‘unfollow’ any account that is picked up by the filters.


Timing tweets to maximise their audience and reaction is an often neglected skill. Buffer, however, makes it easy.


Yes, Google – the search engine. Why? Because if you want to find someone on Twitter, Google is usually a better route than hunting around Twitter’s own search options. That is because Google looks at a wider range of information and so does a better job of finding people, especially if their Twitter name does not match up that closely to their real name.



If you are a blogger, then generating tweets when new posts appears is one of the most effective tactics for increasing your readership. And if you are writing interesting pieces, it is also one of the most effective tactics for providing your Twitter followers with valued tweets. 

As WordPress is increasingly the dominant blogging platform, I have picked one of its plug-ins: WordTwit. I have tried out quite a few such plug-ins over the years and settled on this one as offering by far the best combination of features and reliability. Long a favourite of mine, it is now even better as the paid for version has become free instead.


iftt, or If This Then That, is a wonderfully powerful tool for automating actions. Automatic generation of tweets can be controversial and should always be thought about carefully, but tie-ups such as generating a tweet if you upload a photo to Flickr can work well. ifttt lets you tie up far more than just Twitter and that, as with Hootsuite, is a real bonus.


Web shorteners are essential when using Twitter, as otherwise you find too much of your tweet taken up with long web addresses. 

Despite a controversial redesign earlier this year, Bitly continues to give convenient and helpful statistics, which help you work out what is and is not effective when you send tweets with links in them.


A handy service when you are hunting out who is worth following online, FollowerWonk lets you specify two or three Twitter accounts and then see who is following both/all of them. There are plenty more features, including some paid-for ones, but this is the most valuable. For example, put in the Twitter names of some key relevant trade press journalists and see who is following them all. That is a great way to find out who is really interested in that topic.

Simply Measured

The free reports are a great way of quickly analysing Twitter accounts and how they are performing (along with other social media networks too).

Map My Followers

Part fun, part serious, Map My Followers shows you where around the world your Twitter followers are. 

Very useful to answer questions like “is my list of followers dominated by dodgy American spam accounts?” or “have I managed to attract an audience in Brazil?”

And that’s my 10. Ten is, of course, both pleasing round and arbitrary, so please do share what else you would have put in the list in the comments…




UnTweeps is a very simple service that will show you which accounts you follow have not tweeted in a while. It is an excellent way to free up your follow list of a few inactive accounts, paving the way for you to follow more active users that will bring more to your stream.

Once you have authorised the app, you can select a time period to concentrate on; the default is to list accounts you are following that have not updated in 30 days. 

This seems like a reasonable amount of time to assume that someone has lost interest in posting to Twitter.

Once the list of “stale” accounts has been generated, you can then click through to view more info, and check the box next to each account to ‘unfollow’.


You can use Tweepi's “cleanup” function to see all the accounts you are following in a grid-based list format. 

What is useful about this tool is that you can add or remove grid columns to see more information about the accounts you follow.

In addition to the basics such as bio, location and number of followers, you can view who has a verified account, how many times an account appears in Twitter lists and when they last tweeted.

Once you have added the columns you want, you can then sort each page of your follow list by this criteria. 

Finding out more about each account is only a matter of clicking the info button for more data, while ‘unfollowing’ someone can be done with another quick click.

• Sources: and

November 2013
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