Journalists who tweet know that sending out 140-character messages is the easy part. Managing the flow of information from the microblogging service is not.
Whether you're a longtime Twitter fan or are one of those journalists who were forced to start an account to keep up with the times, having easy-to-access information about your tweeps is key.
Enter SocialBro, a tool launched almost a year ago that is proving to be a great time saver and Twitter analytics tool.
Created by three software engineers based in Córdoba, Spain, the app has gone viral very quickly with 100,000 users during its short life span, including big names like Google, CBS and Greenpeace.
Simplicity is one reason for its early success. The main dashboard shows you new followers, recent unfollows and offers useful tidbits of information like the people who are not following you back or whom you are not following back. If you want to revisit the list of people you follow, the app shows you who isn’t really active on Twitter.
Among other useful tools, SocialBro features a “Best time to tweet” report, based on when most of your followers are online, so you can can see when you'll get more retweets and replies. (Keep in mind, though, that the report takes a few hours to generate.)
The “insights” feature provides a detailed snapshot of your followers: what languages they use, time zones, if they are verified users and privacy settings; it even generates a Google map showing the users’ location. Other features worth checking out: “monitor a hashtag” and “analyze your competitors.”
There are a few things that SocialBro could improve, like its "discover Twitter users” feature. This is an advanced search engine that shows, as first results, Twitter users who have the most followers, like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and similar Twitter juggernauts. (Twitter's own suggestions about whom to follow are more tailored, based on people you already follow and websites you visit.)
“It’s something we plan to improve,” said Javier Burón, cofounder and COO of SocialBro to IJNet.
The company is in expansion mode: the founders plan to open an office in London in a couple of months, Burón said. Expansion to the U.S., where 20 percent of its users are located, will come soon, according to the company.
SocialBro is still in beta, and you can use it as a browser extension for Chrome or download the app to your desktop. Just synchronize it with your Twitter account and voilà: You are ready to become a Twitter ninja.
Image: CC-licensed by luc legay in Flickr.