This is a huge list, so I’m not going to take a long time introducing it. Twitter marketing – and social marketing in general – are very involved, and any time you can automate some aspect of your work, you’re saving time and money.
Be warned, however; automation is a dangerous tool. Too much of it can lead to a loss of faith in your brand, and you run the risk of some #fails reel snafus if you let it run wild. Don’t overdo it on the automation front. Make sure there’s always a human presence.
Some of the tools below are strictly for Twitter. Many will work with a variety of different social networks. You won’t be able to or even want to use all of them. Simply consider this a directory of tools you can investigate and use at your leisure. If you know of a tool that’s not on the list, let me know and I’ll check it out to see if it’s worth adding.
That said, let’s begin.
These are the simple tools that help you with your advertising on Twitter. I put them first only because there aren’t many so you can determine if you need one quickly and move on to other categories of tools.
AdRoll – A retargeting platform for ads across several formats, including Facebook and Twitter. It helps save audience information and market to a core audience across numerous networks and locations.
Audiense – The tool formerly known as SocialBro. This tool is deep analysis and lead generation for your followers, and comes with a lot of useful features for creating and targeting Twitter ads.
These are your all-in-one workstations, designed to give you just about every tool you could want at your fingertips. Many of them include the features of several other tools on the list, including analytics, post scheduling, influencer marketing, lead generation and more. In exchange for that amount of value, they often have strict limits on their free versions and cost a decent chunk of change for their pad versions.
HootSuite – An all-around social media management dashboard that allows you to manage multiple Twitter feeds from one location, see different content streams in columns simultaneously, and manage contacts across platforms.
Social Oomph – A dashboard that allows you to manage multiple accounts with post scheduling and content management features. Also includes follower management tools, including a “mimic follow” that replicates the following actions of other key users in your niche.
TweetDeck – Twitter’s official alternative dashboard, free to use. Allows multiple content streams in columns, including direct messages, notifications, and lists. Excellent for viewing several feeds simultaneously in real time. Includes audio and desktop notifications.
Commun.it – An all in one dashboard with automatic tweeting and replies, influencer engagement tools, new follower thank you messaging, and more. Primarily useful for follower management suggestions that give you plenty of control, rather than an automatic filter that runs with scorched earth policies.
Buffer – An all around social media dashboard that includes a browser extension for quick and easy post scheduling of curated content from around the web. Has a wide range of features at different price points, including team management and the best optimal timing tool available on the web.
These are tools that help you manage and monitor your followers. While primarily this means removing valueless followers, unfollowing accounts that don’t meet certain criteria, and proactively removing bot followers, some of these tools have advanced features as well.
ManageFlitter – A tool to manage followers, primarily by automatically unfollowing accounts that are inactive or in some way useless to your account, and to follow influencers and users likely to follow back. Also includes post scheduling features.
CrowdFire – A follower management tool that includes automatic follow-backs, messages to new followers, and the ability to see a list of your most recent followers without relying on Twitter’s native sorting.
Twicial – A suggestion engine to find new followers and tweets to engage with by browsing through categories, searching for topics or users, or logging in and getting customized suggestions. Also includes analytics, post scheduling, and an advanced tweet search engine.
Socedo – A lead generation tool that searches Twitter for keywords in the bios of users. Find new users to follow, new people to network with, and new influencers to schmooze. Good Twitter lead generation cannot be underestimated.
StatusBrew – A follower analysis tool that gives you a breakdown of the crucial information of your followers and the people you follow. Allows you to remove the worst offenders with the click of a button. Make your own decisions.
TUNS – The Twitter Unfollow Notification Service. Downloads a list of your followers and periodically compares it with a new version of the list. Adds new followers to the list and notifies you if any follower leaves. This allows you to check accounts and see why they left.
These are the analytics apps. They’re added to a list of automation tools for two reasons. One is because they often include post automation features in their feature lists on top of their analysis. The other is because they give you information you can use for more robust automated targeting later using other tools.
SEMRush – The SEMRush Social Media Tool is a competitive analysis tool that allows you to track competitor performance and compare it to your own marketing activities. It requires a paid SEMRush account, however.
MediaToolkit – A notification tool that tracks when you’re mentioned anywhere online, similar to Google Alerts. Use Twitter-specific keywords for monitoring, such as username or branded hashtag to get Twitter-specific value.
FollowerWonk – A tool provided by Moz, made for analyzing your followers in detail. Find out where they are, what their active times are, and who to connect with to get the most beneficial new followers, all with great visualizations. Requires a paid account for most features.
Bitly – An alternative URL shortener to Twitter’s default. Paid accounts allow more than just URL shortening, including custom shortlinks and link click analysis. A surprising amount of information can be gained from simple link analytics.
Keyhole – Real time tracking for a variety of Twitter and Instagram feeds. Track hashtags, accounts, keywords, mentions, or URLs through a simple one-button search interface. Includes additional analytics and visualizations as well.
These are the general automation tools you’ll want to use if you have exotic needs, if you don’t have the need for a dashboard, and you already have the analytics you want to use. They cover a wide range of possible needs, including a lot of posting and post scheduling features that don’t involve dashboards and scheduling. This is where the meat of the list really is.
IFTTT – If This Then That, a tool that allows you to create on- and off-Twitter automation recipes. You can do everything from auto-reply to posts, to trigger a phone alarm when a certain user tweets you.
Mention – A social media monitoring and notification tool. Track different sources of information, such as @mentions, search results, or keywords, and receive notifications when activity happens in those areas. Works across multiple social networks.
Paper.li – A tool that allows you to curated and aggregate tweets, your own and those form others, into a single “digest” or newspaper-style publication. Extremely useful for creating and automating the distribution of a weekly “greatest hits” publication of your Twitter feed hits.
TwitterFeed – A simple automation tool that takes an RSS feed as input and automatically publishes tweets about content whenever a new item appears on that feed. Works for several different social networks and comes with analytics. Created and owned by Bitly. Note: This service will be closing towards the end of October 2016.
Zapier – Workflow automation similar to IFTT, with a wide variety of possible actions. Set triggers for anything and send actions to Twitter, or set Twitter triggers to create other actions. Comes with a workflow editor to create entirely new “zaps” as need be.
Hashtagify.me – A deep analysis engine for hashtags. Plug in tags and see sub-tags, related tags, and the content posted using those tags. Build a web and explore tags and influencers to find exactly what tags to use to reach the most interested people with every tweet.
TrendSpottr – A variety of trend and monitoring tools that cover several bases. You can capitalize on trends as or before they happen, you can target influencers right when trends indicate they are most engaged, and you can perform market research. Additionally, you can anticipate negative sentiment or actual threats building and manage crises before they start.
ClickToTweet – A script or plugin for your website that adds simple pre-created tweets. Users can click a button to tweet your prepared tweet so they don’t have to compose one of their own, including your link and hashtags, without ever leaving your posts. While limited, this is a free service.
TweetDis – A plugin similar to ClickToTweet, only with more features. You can add images, you can format it to fit your site more smoothly, and you can include profile images for retweets. The caveat is that this one is a paid tool, while ClickToTweet is free to use on you website.
Revive Old Post – A WordPress plugin that works similarly to any RSS-to-Twitter formula, including TweetFeed and IFTTT. However, in addition to publishing links to new posts automatically when they’re made, you can also set it up to tweet older posts on a given schedule, to keep them alive and getting traffic. While limited to WordPress, this is still a robust and up to date plugin.
Sendible – A powerful automation tool that, primarily, offers a feature where it monitors keywords in Twitter feeds and automatically sends replies when those keywords are used. Excellent for responding to certain types of engagement or to proactively reach out for customer service interactions.
TweetDrip – Direct messaging drip campaigns that can be made to appear not automatic. Send welcome messages and follow up with additional timed messages to keep users engaged and ask them for feedback. Ideal for getting around the typical issues with automated replies that can hurt an account with Twitter and get you suspended.
RoundTeam – A tool that allows you to create teams or specific sets of content, such as content using specific hashtags, and set up actions to trigger when something in your team triggers. Generally, this is made for automatically retweeting content posted by favored users or using specific hashtags. Just don’t choose something easily abuse-able or spammy.
Crate – A tool that automatically creates a digest of the most interesting and engaging content in certain niches, based on your own settings. Set up a crate feed of influencers, blogs, competitors, keywords, and what have you. It will find the best content posted in those categories and deliver a “crate” of that content to you for curation and engagement. Like Paper.li, except you don’t put it together and deliver it to others, it is delivered to you.
Archie – A tool that allows you to define your customer demographics, then goes out and scans for content posted by people who match those demographics and likes it. This seeds engagement for you and gets those people to investigate your account, where they may engage or follow you in return.
Narrow – Another automatic like engine. Plug in specific keywords and it will monitor them and automatically like content posted to those tags. Generally used for short-term campaigns or for ongoing bots, but can be used in general by any account to seed engagement and follows. Like Archie, but more transparent about what it’s doing.
TweetAttacksPro – Not linking this because it’s an incredibly black hat tool. Designed for creating and managing thousands of Twitter accounts at once, made for spammers selling engagement. I only even mention it because it’s interesting to play around with to see how these things are done. Don’t point it at yourself and expect to get anything of value, though.
So there you have it; a massive list of Twitter automation tools. Have a favorite I didn’t mention? Let me know and I’ll check it out.