Special Feature

Take flight with Twitter

Whether you're a social-media novice or a hash-tag connoisseur, these expert tips will help you get the most from your tweets.

Sales & Marketing

These free tools enhance the look of your tweets and the efficiency of your twitter strategy

By Leah Golob |

Have you ever wondered how the marketing pros are consistently creating eye-catching, shareable social media content?

The Internet has plenty of tools available to enhance the online user experience, making it easier for you to ramp up your Twitter account with original designs, eye-catching photos and trending content.

Kirtarath Dhillon, social-media and public relations coordinator with Advisor Websites in Vancouver, recommends five tools for boosting your visibility on Twitter:

1. Canva (canva.com)
Canva is an online tool for amateur graphic designers who wish to create appealing images without actually hiring someone to do the work. On the Canva website, Dhillon says, you can create new images from scratch or enhance your own images.

"Stock photos in tweets are received the same way as Times New Roman on a resume," Dhillon says. They're unoriginal, so they're less likely to stand out.

Canva, on the other hand, lets you create high-quality social-media graphics (such as inspirational quotes or event posters) while also providing design support with tutorials and the site's blog, Canva Design School.

2. Unsplash (unsplash.com)
Although Dhillon recommends avoiding stock images whenever possible, if you are in a pinch, he suggests using photos from Unsplash. These free, high-resolution images also make captivating Twitter cover images, he adds. You can download up to 10 images a day and share them across all of your social-media channels.

3. BuzzSumo (buzzsumo.com)
If you are new to Twitter, BuzzSumo can help you share thought-provoking, well-read content. BuzzSumo scans various social-media platforms and shows content rankings based on how often articles are "liked" or shared.

"Advisors have the surety of knowing that they're sharing content that's creating a ‘buzz,'" Dhillon says.

To search an unlimited number of keywords, you will need to pay for an account. The potential downside to the site, Dhillon says, is that can take a few days for online content to generate interest. So, tweets may not be "hot off the press."

4. Topsy (topsy.com)
Topsy is a search engine for socially shared content, with an option of narrowing your search specifically for Twitter. This tool has been tracking Twitter activity since 2006.

"[Topsy] is a life-saver for the financial advisor who's starting from scratch," Dhillon says.

When deciding which topics to tweet about, you can search the prominence of hashtags or keywords across Twitter on Topsy's social analytics page.

"You can try a smorgasbord of terms to see what combination would be most effective," Dhillon says. For example, a search for "FinTech," "FinServ," and "Roboadvisors" creates a graph demonstrating that "FinTech" is vastly more popular on Twitter than the other two terms.

5. Bitly (bitly.com)
Bitly is an aesthetic tool that makes unsightly, long links look neater by shortening the URL on a tweet. This feature comes in handy when you're introducing a link to an article with a long URL. You can also create an account and track the performance of your Bitly links.

This is the sixth part in a series on building your business with Twitter.

Next: More tools to help your marketing efforts.