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 apps can help you reach and engage a bigger audience

By Leah Golob |

There's no shortage of online social-media tools, and sifting through the available apps to find a tool that is right for you can be daunting. However, having the right tools at your disposal can help you increase your productivity and improve your visibility.

Kirtarath Dhillon, social-media and public relations coordinator with Advisor Websites in Vancouver, suggests some of his favourite online tools:

1. Giphy (www.giphy.com)
Using GIFs (short, video-like moving images) can do wonders for your engagement rate, Dhillon says, by increasing the number of "favourites" or "retweets" your tweet receives.

Giphy allows you to search, upload and share GIF-formatted images on your social-media platforms.

"The trick with using GIFs is to keep them funny," Dhillon adds. "Although humour is subjective, a GIF of, say, a tumbling puppy to signify a failure to convert leads, is universally amusing and unlikely to offend anyone."

2. Trendsmap (www.trendsmap.com)
Trendsmap enables you to find out which hashtags are trending, anywhere in the world. "It's a great tool for advisors looking to tap into a conversation and engage with users in a certain location," Dhillon says.

For example, current trending topics in Toronto are the Toronto Blue Jays (#BlueJays) and the Canadian Federal Election (#elxn42).

3. Click to Tweet (www.clicktotweet.com)
Click to Tweet is a tool that lets you share pre-written tweets for cross-channel marketing.

If you want your email, Linkedin or Facebook contacts to tweet specific content, you can create a "click to tweet" link that makes it easy for anyone to share your message on Twitter.

For example, Dhillon says, if an advisor named Barney wants to spread awareness of an upcoming webinar, he can formulate a tweet that says "Just signed up for @BarneyTheAdvisor's webinar on XYZ http://ctt.ec/0mElH+." Barney then includes that link in his LinkedIn, Facebook and blog posts. Readers can then click on the link to retweet that message. The link can also be included on the webinar sign-up page.

4. Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com) and Buffer (https://buffer.com/)

Hootsuite and Buffer are both scheduling applications that help you save time by planning your tweets in advance.

"[Scheduling your tweets] allows you to appear as if you're always keeping up with your social-media obligations," Dhillon says, "even when you would otherwise be unable to tweet."

For example, if you're spending all day at a conference or have a long flight, you can still share content based on your regular social-media schedule by planning them ahead of time.

Both platforms also provide access to analytics reports. However, Dhillon prefers Twitter Analytics to gauge his Twitter activity.

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