ManageFlitter Redesigns, We Review
We recently got the opportunity to check out the newly redesigned ManageFlitter–a Twitter management tool designed to help users efficiently communicated with followers and control account interactions. The service, which is based out of Australia, offers some interesting features that distinguish it from other Twitter clients.
From its unique PowerPost tool to topic analytics and and follower stats, ManageFlitter brings a lot to the table. But how handy is it? We took a look at each piece to determine just how useful it is from the perspective of both a casual user and someone looking to strengthen a business brand.
The first tool that is presented to a user is designed to enumerate accounts that you should stop following–and it is aptly named Unfollow. This tool displays specific data about accounts you follow: those that don’t follow you back, those without a profile picture, potential spammers, non-English tweeters, accounts that don’t have many followers, inactive accounts, talkative accounts, and non-talkative accounts. If you upgrade to a Pro account, you also get the options of seeing fake (spam) accounts that follow you, combine these filters in Ninja Mode, or create a whitelist of accounts that you don’t wish to modify. For anyone in these categories, you can easily unfollow, force them to unfollow you, or manage them with Twitter lists.
It’s a bit odd that this is the first tool that is presented to users of ManageFlitter. For starters, how often are you going to want to mass-unfollow a group of users? It seems as if you would only use this tool occasionally if you find that your feed is becoming too cluttered. From a strategic perspective, users often follow Twitter accounts with the sole hope that the account will follow them back. The Unfollow tool would be useful to prune out those accounts that did not return the favor, but again, how often would this be used?
From the perspective of social media marketing, it makes even less sense to highlight this mechanism. If you’re concerned with quantitative interactions it is unlikely that you’re going to want to mass-unfollow accounts or force them to unfollow you. If the idea is to spread the word about your brand or product, limiting your social connections feels like it is in the opposite direction of where you want to be heading.
The next tool, Follow, acts as the exact opposite of Unfollow. However, it is only available to Pro accounts. As you might expect, this tool is designed to help you figure out new accounts to follow. It contains filters that outline people who are following you but you aren’t following back, your verified followers, and popular followers. It also lets you see who other accounts are following and who is following them. And like Unfollow, the Follow tool lets you combine filters in Ninja Mode.
For the casual Twitter user, this feature is great in aiding the discovery of other users with whom to connect. In the eyes of social media marketing, it lends useful data about the users who are following your account. Many social media campaigns like to follow back their followers–it’s a nice gesture that helps build a customer-brand relationship. The Follow tool makes it easy to quickly follow back other accounts and find out who and what else your followers find interesting.
One of the downsides of this tool, and throughout the service, is that there’s no easy way to engage with your followers. You are simply given data in the form of a list. While quantitative data has its merits, quality connections are gold in social media. It is much more valuable for your brand to build a strong and meaningful connection with 200 users than it is to pass along surface content to 2000 users. This might seem contrary to traditional marketing, but social media is not traditional marketing. Two hundred devoted and engaged customers are more likely to share and recommend services to friends and family and other users will trust personal recommendations far more than typical advertising. Unfortunately, ManageFlitter doesn’t provide much of a mechanism to facilitate this.
ManageFlitter’s search tool is much more powerful and user friendly than the one built in to the Twitter website. Simply type in a search term and you can see what people are saying about it. Like the other tools, it allows you to mass select search results so that you can manage follow settings and lists very easily. It is also extensible to user profiles as well.
One of the nicer features is that you have the capability to order the search results. Twitter’s native search only lets you order by date. ManageFlitter lets you order by user tweets, lists, a user’s last tweet, how influential a user is, and followers. For both users and brands, the search tool is very powerful in finding out what others are talking about.
Analytics, like Follow, is another tool that is only available to Pro accounts. It is very similar to Search except it keeps historic data and presents it in a graphical format. To test, we searched for the term besttechie and observed the output. One of the most interesting features was the output of Tweet Clusters. This graph attempts to analyze both when and how people are discussing a topic–either through retweets or sharing of a specific link.
Other useful data about a topic is also available. You can analyze by language, mentions, author, source, hashtag, and url. Such information is valuable when trying to gauge how users are discussing a topic, such as your brand.
Our only complaint follows suit with the issues with Follow. While the data is nice, there is no immediate way to act on the data from within the tool. If I see that a lot of users are tweeting about a specific link on my website, I may wish to reach out to them to respond to their comments. As of now, there is no way to do that from within ManageFlitter.
The last, and most interesting feature of ManageFlitter is PowerPost. The name says it all: it is a powerful tool that allows you to strategically schedule tweets. The idea is that it gives you the ability to send out a tweet when the most users are likely to see it. You can tune it in terms of hours or days. You also have the ability to view statistics by location. If you live in Los Angeles but want your tweet to be seen by users in New York, you can pull the appropriate data to do that. And if you have a Pro account, you get additional features such as the ability to see when most of your followers are likely to be active.
PowerPost is an extremely smart tool to use when trying to get announcements out to your followers. While it would be impractical to try to use it for every tweet, it seems to be a perfect fit for “big news” types of announcements. If more people see your content, and the content is meaningful, it stands that more people are likely to share your content. This is a win in social media.
ManageFlitter certainly offers some unique and powerful utilities for gathering and analyzing Twitter data. Its user interface is intuitive and easy to use, and if all you’re looking for is raw stats, this may be the tool for you. However, if you are trying to launch an actual social media campaign, it would be worth your time to research other tools that are available. ManageFlitter falls short when it comes to bridging the gap between data and interaction. While both are important, you cannot build a true social presence without connecting to your users. ManageFlitter would benefit from somehow integrating this into their service. As a user, it would be very nice to take the data that is presented and dive right in to personal Twitter interactions. Perhaps ManageFlitter has plans for this down the road, but it’s just not there yet.