You’ve got your Twitter profile up and running and now you’re trying to figure out how to make it really work for your business. Well here are my top ten tools that could help you make an impact on Twitter;

1. Twitter Live Search – Find What are People Saying
twitter-searchThe Twitter Search website will show you the topics that are “trending” right now on Twitter, but more importantly it will allow you to drill into Twitter to see who is talking about you or the  things you are interested in. Use the advanced search to fine tune your search, in particular you may be interested only in conversations from people in your local area. For example, here is the live search result for what everyone based in Ireland is saying about Temple Bar.

2. Twitter Search Feed – Get Live Updates
rss-feedWhile this is part of the Twitter Search site it is worth identifying it separately. On the search results page you’ll see an orange box with the words “Feed for this query”. Click on this to get live updates into your RSS Feed Reader or on to your iGoogle (personalised Google home page) every time there is a new result for your particular search. Using the feed facility will really help you keep an eye on what’s being said, as it’s being said, about your brand or the things you are interested in.

3. Twitterholic – Find Influential Tweeters
twitterholicFind the most influential Twitter users in your locality using Twitterholic. Copy this URL into your browser address bar http://twitterholic.com/top100/followers/bylocation/dublin, ireland/ and see who in Dublin has the most followers, who’s talking most or who’s been on Twitter longest. Change the dublin, ireland bit to cork, ireland or just dublin or cork and so on. Only limitation with this search is that it is limited to exactly what people put in their Twitter biog, so if a user only puts in Cork in their biog, they won’t come up in the Ireland search results.

4. WeFollow Directory- Find and Be Found
wefollowFind other Twitter users and and be found by others with similar interests to yourself. WeFollow is a Twitter directory where individuals can submit their Twitter profile and add three tags or categories (words) that describe who you are and what you talk about. The most popular tags are on WeFollow are celebrity, tv, entrepreneur, socialmedia, news, music and politics. There are hundreds of tweeters with Ireland as one of their tags, so it’s another great place to find people to follow.

5. Short.ie – Add and Track Links in Tweets
short-iePutting links in your tweets is really great but many web addresses will use up most of your permitted 140 characters. Short.ie is a great webite that will shorten a link for you and allow you to tweet it directly from their website. Simply login to Short.ie using your Twitter username and password and paste in the long link you want to include in your tweet. The reason I really like this particular tool is that it provides stats and charts showing the popularity of the different links you’ve shortened.

6. Twitpic – Add Photos to Your Tweets

twitpicWhile you can use Short.ie to add links to videos or photos, Twitpic is one really useful service to upload a photo to and automatically tweet it. This is great for those photo opportunities that arise and you want to share them instantly. Simply take the photo (on your phone), log on to Twitpic, upload your photo, add your tweet and publish. MobyPicture is another popular photo upload site that allows you to add your photos with GPS coordinates.

7. Twibble – Mobile Tweeting

twibbleThere are lots of mobile Twitter clients, little applications that allow you to tweet from your mobile phone. You could simply go to m.twitter.com and tweet or you could download a client and you’ll have lots more functionality, such as easy upload of photos via Twitpic. My favourite is Twibble which has lots of nice functionality and is easy to use. If you have an iPhone, TwitterFon seems to be a popular application.

8. TwitterFox – Mini PC Tweeting

twitterfoxThere are lots of Twitter clients for your PC which offer more functionality than the main Twitter website. Tweetdeck is a full application that has a very rich interface. I prefer using TwitterFox which is a little icon that sits on the status bar at the bottom of your Firefox Browser. It is always there and you can have it popping up each time there is a new update or simply click on the icon when you want. Plus, you can run multiple Twitter profiles through it.

9. Twitter Widget – Share Your Tweets

twitter-widgetA nice way of getting more people involved in  your Twitter conversation is to make the conversation available elsewhere. Twitter provides a widget (a mini version of Twitter) that you can plug into your website, blog or Facebook page so that anyone who visits those sites can see immediately what you’re saying on Twitter. Plugging your Twitter content into your other social network sites is a really handy way of keeping the content fresh there for people who may not interact with you on Twitter.

10. Twitter Poll – Get Your Followers’ Opinions

strawpollAdd a little more interactivity to your Twitter conversation by running polls. Ask your followers their opinions on topics that might interest them and there’s a good chance they’ll get their friends to join in too. PollDaddy and StrawPoll both have simple Twitter poll applications that allow you to easily set up a poll in just a couple of simple steps.

I hope you find these tools useful. If you think there are better tools out there or I’ve got something completely backwards, please let me know.  Oh, and if you’re still trying to figure out what Twitter actually is, read my earlier post on What the hell is “Twitter”? and be sure to follow me at http://twitter.com/brendanhughes.