If your business markets itself on Twitter in any way, you have no doubt spent some time looking into third-party tools to make your life easier. But when was the last time you actually asked the question of whether these tools help – or whether they hurt – your marketing efforts?
There are dozens of categories of Twitter tools out there, ranging from simple to complex, free to expensive. There are dashboards and schedulers that help you manage your team’s tweets. Analytics that help you understand your audience and how well your tweets perform. Content discovery tools that show you what’s trending or what hashtags are popular. Tools that allow you to display tweets on your website. Tools that manage Twitter chats. And the list goes on. And on.
With all of the tools on the market, it can be overwhelming to think about which ones you should incorporate into your daily or weekly marketing routine, and which can be ignored.
And I’ll make the argument that the number of tools you actually need is probably less than you think.
The decision to use a tool should be based first and foremost on your Twitter marketing needs. And these needs should be formulated as part of an extension of your Twitter marketing goals, which in turn should be tied to your overall business goals.
If your business goal is to generate x number of sales per month, your Twitter strategy is probably sales-focused. So that cool map that displays people who tweet about trending hashtags around the world? It might look pretty, but it’s debatable whether it contributes to your bottom line.
Too often marketers become enamoured with the “shiny new thing” and lose sight of the larger goals of their campaign. If a tool is distracting you or if it takes more time and provides no additional insights than using Twitter’s bare interface does, then it’s probably worth reevaluating.
Twitter tools overload can creep up on you. You might be inundated with pointless tools and not even know it. If you’ve been adding one or two new tools to your toolbox every few weeks, after a while you might find yourself spending several hours a day just checking into them. And sure, some of this time you’re no doubt sending quality tweets or learning about your audience, but it’s a good idea to take a step back and examine the actual results of all this tinkering.
Every few months, I recommend zooming out of your daily routine and thinking about each tool you use. Does it provide relevant insights? Does it make your daily routine easier? Does it provide functionality you can’t get anywhere else? Does it still work like it claims to?
A quick evaluation of your toolbox every once in a while will prevent you from missing the forest for the trees. Twitter is about building relationships with your customers, so if a tool gets in the way of that – even if it spits out pretty graphs and charts or is the most buzzed-about tool in the blog-o-sphere – it could be time to kick it to the curb.
(Multitasking businesswoman image via Shutterstock)