Social media Advent calendar Day 24: Tweetchat

24: TweetChat

Tweetchat is a bit like Twinitor, the first tool I featured on this list in that the idea behind it is so simple, yet it makes such a difference when using it.

If you are a reporter covering a council meeting, live event or football match via Twitter and using a hashtag to update, then Tweetchat is the tool for you.

Log on using Twitter and tell it the hashtag you plan to use or follow – in the example above I have used #bcfc, the preferred hashtag for Birmingham City fans. It figures that anyone tweeting about Blues would use this hashtag at the game.

It then brings up all the Tweets relating to that hashtag, with a text box at the top where you tweet – it automatically adds the tweet you’ve chosen. You can reply to the tweets dropping in, set the refresh speed, change the font, and block people whose tweets you don’t feel you want to respond to. You can also set it up so that you only pull in tweets containing hashtags from people you choose – which can make it a handy tool for newsdesks on a big job, and much quicker than setting up a standard Twitter list.

Of course, some of this you can do on Twitter, but the lightweight-feel of the site makes it much more usable on the move, which is crucial for covering live events. In short, rather than just adding information to the hashtag – which is often what reporters find themselves doing – you are part of the conversation from the hashtag, all on one screen.

What’s this Social Media Advent Calendar all about then?


Social media Advent calendar day 23: Kurrently

23. Kurrently

I’ve blogged about Kurrently before, but I’ve decided to include it in this list again, not because I’m running out of tools in this advent calendar (honest), but because I’m still convinced it’s a tool journalists should know about and use.

There are plenty of social network search engines out there, but I think this remains one of the most useful, largely because of its simplicity.

It is produces results in chronological order for both Twitter and Facebook – an essential factor for journalists looking for information on an on-going news story and also opens up the chance to search via other search engines.

One everyone journalist should have bookmarked.

Social media Advent calendar Day 22: Tweriod

22. Tweriod

Here’s a simple question: When’s the best time to Tweet? Type it into Google, and you’ll find many posts talking about, generally, the best times to Tweet. There’s also a lot of advice on repeating Tweets to catch different timezones as they log on in the morning.

But tools which just tell you when you should tweet – which is where Tweriod comes in. It analyses the last 200 tweets of your followers and notes when they were online, producing four times of day when you should be tweeting to stand the best chance of catching them. It also breaks it down by day, so you get different times on a Saturday to, say, a Sunday.

The times it gives you are based on the timezone set for your Twitter account.

You can get regular updates for free, but much beyond the basic service and you’ll be asked to pay a subscription. A simple, but effective, tool all the same.

PS – it’s also the only Twitter tool I’ve seen so far which explains its name: “Pronounced as Twe – roid A service that improves the performance and effectiveness of your twitter posts.”

Social media Advent calendar day 21: twitcleaner


21. Twitcleaner

How much do you know about the people you follow and are you getting as much out following them as you thought? That’s the question which Twitclean seeks to answer – and the results can be quite fascinating.

It goes through the people you follow and assigns people whose traits it is worried about to certain categories.

So for example, people who get put in the ‘dodgy’ category include those who push out mainly app spam, post identical tweets, repeat the same URL or post nothing but links.

Of the 1,333 people I follow on Twitter, 32 (2.4%) are labelled under potential dodgy behaviour – and Twitcleaner gives me the chance to select through those people and unfollow them.

That said, looking through the list, many of the accounts listed I want to keep following because I want to see the links they are sharing, so Twitcleaner is just a starting point, and I then decide whether to take its reccomendations.

Other categories include ‘no activity in over a month’ – which then begs the question whether they’re worth unfollowing if they’re not cluttering up your timeline in the first place’ .

The one which catches my eye the most is the ‘hardly follows anyone’ category. A lack of people  always suggests to me a brand or person isn’t fully bought in to the point of Twitter, but even then, some of the links are interesting. This was by far and away the biggest category of people I follow – 16.5%.

It was also interesting to see a number of media brands I follow were confused as ‘bots’ by this service under the ‘not much interaction’ section. Can there be any greater failure by a brand to be so unresponsive as to be confused as a bot?

An interesting tool, and an established tool, but one which needs your decision on the value of a follow in the end.

Social media Advent calendar day 20: Memolane

20. Memolane

Memolane is a tool I’ve played with a few times and still is still filed, in my head at least, as ‘fun, and I’m sure there’s more to it than that.’

Plug your social networks into Memolane – and by social networks I mean more than Twitter and Facebook, as it does many more such as Flickr, as well as WordPress – and it presents all your entries on a timeline.

On a purely practical level, it’s a good way to find everything you’ve every put on all your social networks in one place. On a visual level, it’s also very cool.

But there is more to it than that. From what I’ve read – I’ve not tried it – it’s embeddable and you can create new ‘lanes’ and share access with others to build up timelines of specific events or time periods.

In one sense, it’s a lot like Tweetdeck in the sense that it has an obvious use, and looks good, but the more time you spend getting used to it, the more valuable you’ll find it.




Social media Advent calendar Day 19: Crowdbooster


I’m a sucker for a good visualisation of a social network, so was always going to be a winner for me.  But it’s more than just a pretty graph service. If you’re serious about your Twitter or Facebook presence, either personally or for a brand account, then it feels like a must have.

Dealing with the big picture above first – attach it to a Twitter account and it’ll tell you the number of people a Tweet reached, and the number of people who retweeted each tweet. In theory, the more tweets toward the top right of the graph, the better.

It does other stuff too. When you log in, it’ll flag up the tweets you’ve yet to reply to, and also list the most influential followers you have (generally the people who follow you who have the most followers) and, perhaps most usefully, the people who retweet you most frequently.

Over time, it’ll also build up a picture of when you should tweet to reach maximum audiences.

And it does some cool stuff for Facebook too, producing a similar graph for posts – impressions v likes, again, you want to be in the top right of the graph – and suggests when to post updates for the highest audience.

It also does something I’ve not seen anywhere else – tells you your top fans based by likes, comments and other interactions.

Social media Advent calendar day 18: Tweepsmap


This tool is a bit of fun, but also very useful if you are a regional journalist, or someone who manages the Twitter account of an organisation which is located in one particular area, such as a council.

Ask the questions “What sort of audience is really useful to me” or “What sort of audience am I really useful for”  and it’s likely the word ‘local’ will come back as one of the definitions. After all, there’s not much point being a reporter in Bradford telling people on Twitter about Bradford stuff if half of your followers are living in Texas. Yet that’s the scenario some people found themselves in when they tried to build up their follower volume quickly with one of the ‘get lots of followers quick’ tools. Big audience isn’t always best audience.

So, to determine how relevant your audience is to where you work, use Tweepsmap. It takes the location details of your followers and plots them on to a map. You can ask for country, state or city breakdown. In the case of the @birminghammail account, 75% of followers are in the UK, 67% are from England and 41% from Birmingham, which suggests the Mail is doing a good job of attracting the right sort of followers.

If, however, you were to find you had a very small proportion of people from your area, that’s when you’d turn to tools like Listorious, twiangulate, followerwonk or locafollow to start finding local, relevant, followers.