Twitter 101 Series: Twitter’s 5 Best Friends — TweetDeck, Bitly, TwitLonger and More was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.
Whether you want to more closely examine your Twitter following, view multiple accounts, shorten a link or get tweeting inspiration, we recommend these five helpful Twitter companion apps and sites.
And as part of our Twitter 101 series, we’ve made sure these sites are all beginner-friendly, while still useful for twittizens from way back.
To shorten a link
140 characters isn’t the biggest of spaces and when you add a link to the mix, that space shrinks dramatically. That’s where Bitly comes in handy. Give a bitly a regular link URL and it will shrink it down to a bite-size portion, leaving you valuable room to # and @ to your heart’s delight. Bitly also lets you create bitmarks—bookmarks by bitly—that you can save, group and share with friends.
Using Bitly, this post’s link changes from “http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/2013/04/twitter-101-twitter-companions/” to http://bit.ly/17tue2f. Now which would you rather tweet?
To cheat the 140 character limit
TwitLonger also understands the challenge of the 140 character limit. So they came up with a workaround. On the rare occasion that your tweet can’t possibly be compressed to 140 characters, compose your tweet with TwitLonger. Anything that goes beyond the microblog limits will be contained in a link. The link leads to a TwitLonger page that provides the rest of your expansive tweet. Tweeting multiple tweets to finish a verbose thought is bad Twitter form, so using TwitLonger is a great option for times when 140 characters just doesn’t cut it.
To view multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously
TweetDeck is an incredibly helpful dashboard that gives you a bird’s eye view of your Twitter account(s). With TweetDeck, you can easily toggle between multiple Twitter accounts and customize feeds to show streams of who has mentioned you or interacted with you, what is trending, who/what your followers are interacting with, etc. With TweetDeck, you can also schedule tweets for different times, as well as issue the same tweet from multiple accounts simultaneously.
To better understand Twitter users
Followerwonk allows users to track, sort and search your social graph. You can search analyze your followers’ locations and bios; compare your Twitter health to that of your competitors’; and match your Twitter activities to gains and losses. explore your followers’ bios. Like TweetDeck, you can toggle between multiple Twitter accounts. FollowerWonk, which is an SEOmoz app, has a pro account and a free account.
To find great things to share
If you’re ever looking for something to share on Twitter, Stuff To Tweet is a good source for finding things that are making waves on the Web. Stuff To Tweet aggregates the top posts on CNN, the New York Times, Youtube, Lifehacker, TMZ, Mashable, Digg, Del.iciou.us Daily Motion, Craig’s List, Amazon and more.
For more from our Twitter 101 series, check out 10 Basic Steps to Increasing Your Twitter Following from last week! Stay tuned for more of the Twitter 101 series, brought to you by @KristiKellogg via the @BruceClayInc blog.