I don't like to talk about Twitter follower tools much because they get into the spammy side of Twitter. Not to say that all follower tools are spammy, as you'll learn, but there are lots out there that are pretty much guaranteed to get your account suspended. So, in the interest of building, managing and mantaining your Twitter followers, I'm going to offer up some tools that will do just that. And some of them, when used creatively, will help you get more followers. I'm an elbow grease kind of gal, so expect some homework.
The follower tools out there range from innocent and silly to black hat and bad. I'll cover all of the ones that amateurs and professionals use, and we'll skip over the total black hat Twitter follower tools because they'll get your account booted. Cause what's the point of getting followers if you're just gonna lose them?
Who to Follow: Before I get into third-party tools, why not check out the auto-algorithm that Twitter set up to help you follow people with similar interests?
Popular Accounts: And on that note, they've also put together all the popular accounts in every category you could imagine.
Topsy: If you're doing research, or are a blogger looking for Twitter's reaction to a particular event, this tool could come in handy. If you type in a certain phrase or new topic, it'll tell you how many times it's been posted about, and over a period of time, and whether they were posts, links, photos or videos. This tool can help you build followers by helping you find popular hashtags and the folks that use them.
Fake Follower Check: Want to know if you have fake followers, or more interestingly, if your friends have fake followers? This is one of the many tools that will find that out for you. It'll tell you how many fake, inactive and real followers anybody has. If you want to buy fake followers, read this first.
ManageFlitter: Want to bring down the number of people you're following? Why not ditch the folks who aren't following you back anyway? On a similar note, ManageFlitter will let you unfollow up to 100 people who aren't following you back, for free. JustUnfollow is another.
Social Bro - Speaking of your followers, how about getting some stats on their followers. This is a very powerful tool and has a lot to offer free-of-charge.
Klout: Klout is how your online influence is monitored. You can use this tool to find out the Klout score of your followers, and also who you influence the most on Twitter. Some social media tools will include your Klout score (1-100) when users try to see your profile. By signing up with Klout, you can get access to freebies, "perks," that companies send to people with a certain level of influence (at their discretion).
FollowerWonk: FollowerWonk is a sort-of free app that has many more features when paid. In the free version, you can look people up and find out their basic stats and social authority. The paid version lets you compare yourself to other people, do in-depth searches, monitor your reputation, follow / unfollow and lots of other valuable things for pro-Tweeters.
Tweet Adder: I hesitate to add this one, but some of the smartest social media folk I know use this without shame. Tweet Adder is a tool that allows you to follow people based on keywords in their profiles, who's following a certain account and by other means. You can also unfollow the people who don't follow you back. It's proven to be a good way to get new followers, since lots of people follow back the people who follow them as long as you don't abuse it. Or, you can do it all manually, just like marketers did before Tweet Adder automated it.
Twiangulate: This tool will tell you what a group of Twitter users have in common and how they overlap in interests and followers
HootSuite: This tool is helped to manage your followers and your account. Since I manage a lot of Twitter accounts, Hootsuite makes it easy to manage them all in one place and schedule Tweets ahead of time. They also have a drag and drop interface on their calendar which makes it easy to rearrange scheduled Tweets. Beyond that, they have a bookmarklet that allows you to Autoschedule posts so that you can Tweet articles into the future without posting them all simultaneously if you happen to be flipping through one shareable article after another.
TweetChat: If you want to get more followers, try attending Tweet chats! When you want to attend a Tweet chat, use this tool. It'll help you manage the barrage of Tweets bound to get thrown at you through the firehose of the popular hashtag.
Have something more to add? Get in touch with me at @About_Tweeting!