A couple times over the last decade (!), I’ve written blog posts about what Twitter clients are popular or those that are heavily used by social media influencers.
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My objective in doing so was to uncover new or popular Twitter clients that you might want to consider for your own Twitter marketing.
Although the idea of “influencer” was less defined back then, it was still important to know what major Twitter users like to use. After all, who wants to try something that’s absolutely awful, much less stake their business success on it? However, times have changed a lot in the last couple of years, and much of the information from my old posts is obsolete. Some top Twitter clients at the time that were mentioned don’t even exist anymore!
Therefore, I decided to do a revision and see what Twitter clients social media influencers were using today. As part of my analysis, I used tools to find the most influential 35 influencers in social media marketing and then monitored their most recent 100,000+ tweets for which Twitter clients they were using.
The results are as follows:
Arguably, there’s nothing quite like the original.
When Twitter was a new platform, the only option for sending Tweets was to go onto Twitter.com and send your Tweet from a PC. If you may remember, Twitter was released more than a year before the first iPhone, and so Web tweeting is the original method. Now, there are many other ways to send Tweets, and yet directly through Twitter, or using an “official” Twitter app, is still the favorite.
My analysis found that all 35 users tracked use the Twitter client at some point to send 59.2% of Tweets, regardless of what kind of device they used.
Although all my top Twitter influencers all use the official Twitter clients, Agorapulse is the second-most used by percentage of Tweets sent (10.7%).
As an Agorapulse user myself, I’m well aware of its overall value for social media scheduling as a whole. After all, there’s a lot more to managing social media than just logging into your accounts once in a while. Agorapulse allows users to see what other people are saying about their business, or their client’s business. However, it’s even more important to note that Agorapulse has scheduling options, allowing Tweets to be sent even when the account holder isn’t online.
Add the legendary Agorapulse inbox to the list of features, and you’ll see why 11 users – almost 1 in 3 covered in the list – use Agorapulse even occasionally.
If you’re not familiar with how AgoraPulse works, check out this awesome video from no other than Steve Dotto:
Next on my list of popular Twitter clients is Buffer, used by 12 of the influencers I studied.
Buffer is a full-service social media management program, known for its smarter tool to schedule your tweets. Plan out all your tweets for a particular day, fill up your Buffer with your desired tweets, then Buffer schedules them for you. Have multiple Twitter accounts? You can manage all of them in one place, an option not available for the native Twitter client.
With Buffer, users can also design a post for each chosen social media platform using the same materials. This makes sharing a branded message in more than one place super easy.
Interestingly, although Buffer has more users in my study, fewer Tweets are sent this way (only 7.8%). Maybe these influencers make less use of Twitter than other platforms or send Tweets less frequently.
I’m almost surprised that this tool isn’t more popular, with eight users studied.
Originally developed independently, Tweetdeck is now part of Twitter itself. Back in the day, it is safe to say that it was the leading client outside of Twitter.com before the emergence of HootSuite. Based on its history, you might call it a midway point between using just the Twitter apps or website and going with a full service third-party social media manager.
However, far from being a “little brother” to Twitter, this app is intended to offer enhanced features not available to those who only use Twitter. For instance, Tweetdeck allows you to schedule posts in advance. It also helps you “compress” the contents of your posts to fit the character limit. Part of this is through the use of miniature Web links and hashtag management.
Overall, my studied users sent around 4.6% of tweets through Tweetdeck, demonstrating that it’s still a great way to experience Twitter. On the other hand, many other users seem to prefer either the full-featured management software or just plain Twitter.
Another popular choice is CoSchedule at 2 users and 2.3% of Tweets.
This application is also a full-service social media manager and marketing suite. One of the great things about this software is that it does a little bit of everything, saving time for the busy professional. For Twitter users, CoSchedule has valuable tools to not only schedule Tweets in advance, but actively monitor your account. They’ll collect Mentions and other brand-centered Twitter activity, and report back to you. Among marketing professionals, the analytics capabilities are excellent, as well. I think that one reason it isn’t more popular, though, is that CoSchedule is a “heavy duty” application. It’s made for marketing firms, while many of the influencers I studied are individuals. Maybe a lot of them would feel this application is overkill.
Tweetbot for iOS
For Apple users, Tweetbot is a relatively popular option to consider. My study showed that 3 influencers took advantage of this tool and used it to send 2.2% of the Tweets I tracked.
One of the app’s distinctive features is easy GIF support, so hip millennials probably love it. Tweetbot also has support for all types of Apple devices, and is optimized to work well on all of them. Since the app is paid (unlike many mobile apps), there are no inline advertisements or other distractions.
Influencers who like to interact with their followers more often are great candidates for using Hootsuite with their Twitter accounts. In fact, I found that 5 of my tracked users sent 2% of Tweets using this social media tool.
Hootsuite is probably popular because the Twitter integration capabilities are first class, including the team reply feature. With this function, you can have a customer service group responding to Mentions from other users, facilitating both customer service and user engagement. Another great part of this tool is the ease with which users can upload media files to Twitter, including video. Influencers with a significant presence on other platforms can use Hootsuite to manage these, as well. However, when I last did this study, Hootsuite was at the top of the list, and Buffer has passed it. That means that Hootsuite’s share of Tweets has declined considerably, at least by social media marketing influencers. That being said, Hootsuite’s robust functionality is on par with any tool on this list – check out our post on Hootsuite features for more details.
While not everyone has heard of Dlvr.it, this Twitter client is used by two of the top Twitter influencers, who used it to send 1.8% of the Tweets in my study.
Dlvr.it allows bloggers, content creators, and influencers to publish, distribute and syndicate their content across various social media platforms, from Twitter and Facebook to more niche networks like Pinterest. Dlvr.it originally became popular as a replacement to the then dominant Twitter automation platform, TwitterFeed, because of its more robust filtering and analytical capabilities. Using this app, users can find quality content from around the Web and share it via Twitter and other social platforms. Once again, though, this is a platform for automated distribution of content.
Influencers who are more tech savvy can benefit from Social Oomph, and two of them in my study have used it (1.7% of Tweets). Originally known as Tweet Later back in the day, Social Oomph was one of the first Twitter clients allowing you a cutting edge way of scheduling your tweets to post in the future. Since then they have focused on building a tool that offers productivity solutions for social media users.
I say this is a tech savvy choice because this is one of the few tools that works with tech company and gaming community-favored apps such as Discord and Mastodon. Social Oomph is one of the first apps built with the Twitter API, so their technology is cutting-edge. However, it’s only for social media scheduling, and doesn’t offer any analytics tools. That’s probably why it isn’t as popular of an option for marketers.
A favorite tool for marketers, Sprout Social also did well in my study. Four influencers use it to send about 1.1% of the Tweets sent.
Built for teamwork, Sprout Social is one of those customer service-centered utilities. After all, you can set it up to manage multiple Twitter accounts and have several members of your marketing team. While you might be surprised Sprout Social wasn’t more popular in this study, I think it makes sense: Influencers are often solopreneurs, so they generally don’t have a large team. An assistant is all most of them tend to manage. Additionally, while influencers interact with their followers, there isn’t a customer service aspect with them like most other businesses. Which makes Sprout Social overkill for most of them.
Speaking of overkill, Sprout Social really does offer a complete software package for businesses which includes contact management, competitive insight, lead generation and more unique functionality that few Twitter clients on this page have.
Another newcomer to my list, SocialBee is a client that mostly focuses on automated posting and evergreen content. I found that two of my influencers used it, with 0.8% of Tweets coming through SocialBee.
For influencers who work with a lot of branded content, reposting isn’t usually something they do often. On the other hand, those who work organically are more likely to use a lot of evergreen content and enjoy using this type of automation to keep the feed busy. Its wide variety of integrations with other social media tools might be obscuring the numbers, so actual usage may be higher.
Not everyone knows this, but it’s possible to link your Instagram and Twitter accounts. This is done to allow the user to send their Instagram photos over Twitter. Doing this has two advantages: first, it allows for people who follow your Twitter but not Instagram to see your photos, and hopefully increase traffic. Second, the Tweet can be picked up by people following related hashtags, spreading the content everywhere. It’s a very effective technique used by seven of the influencers studied, for 0.6% of Tweets. Best of all, these influencers may have expanded their following on both social networks in the process.
Although this seems like a natural, organic solution, I recommend those of you who want to share your Instagram photos to Twitter to keep reading…
While most of the social media management tools mentioned here were designed for small businesses and marketers, Triberr is intended specifically for influencers and bloggers. Three influencers used it to send 0.4% of the Tweets in my study.
Since Triberr is designed for influencers, it’s a tool that’s used for influencer discovery and engagement. This is a fairly crowded market, since we marketers are always trying to find the right influencers. However, for bloggers this tool is a real time saver. For one thing, you can link it to your blog and all social profiles, allowing for easy sharing between all of them. Twitter influencers, then, can use Triberr to Tweet links to their other types of content seamlessly.
tchat.io appears on this list as being the only Twitter client focused on Twitter chats.
That’s right, the tchat.io client essentially turns Twitter into a giant chatroom. All you have to do is link the tool to your Twitter account, pick the hashtag you want to follow, and start Tweeting. Tchat.io helps you follow the conversation by continually updating your feed, just like the transcript of a regular chat app.
In my study, I found that two users have sent Tweets this way, comprising 0.4% of total Tweets. As you can imagine, if you participate in a Twitter chat, you can rack up a lot of tweets in an hour.
Occasionally, a tool comes along that allows you to send out Tweets when specific things happen on your other social media accounts. With IFTTT applets, an influencer can automatically tweet out a link to their new blog post or Instagram story.
I always recommend others to use my IFTTT Instagram to Twitter recipe, which allows your photo to be published natively to Twitter instead of as a link as Twitter handles Instagram shares.
Because this tool is super convenient, five of my tracked influencers used it at some point during the study. Together, the IFTTT-generated Tweets made up 0.2% of the total. I’m not surprised that some of them have made use of such a versatile tool. After all, they’re a great way to increase your followers all over social media.
Which Best Twitter Client Do I Recommend?
Which Twitter client should businesses adopt for their social media marketing?
Based on the above, and for the fact that businesses need social media dashboards that cover a wide variety of functionality, the best Twitter clients to choose from would be:
If only publishing content is of concern, then you would probably want to consider, in addition to the above, the following:
I find that active tweeters often have very deep and passionate relationships with their social media apps, so now it’s your turn: What do you use for your Twitter client and recommend to the world? What do you think of the outcomes of my study of the top Twitter clients? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
All of My Clients
Hero photo by John Duncan on Unsplash
I’ve tried almost all of these, using Hootsuite as the main Twitter management tool. Hootsuite is definitely my main tool, including iPhone and iPad apps.
Everybody has to use what they feel most comfortable with, and if HootSuite works for you, no need to change!
Thanks, Neals for sharing.
I’m not a big fan of Twitter but I know that Hootsuite is an amazing tool.
I have used Buffer too and it worked perfectly for me.
Keep it up with the great work you are doing in helping small businesses across the globe.
Thank you my friend! Keep tweeting!
Can’t believe Tweetbot is not in the top 20.
Perhaps Tweetbot made the Top 30, but the data speaks for itself!
No mention of TweetBot. Nice work.
They didn’t show up in the list!
Hi Neal, Just re-read this. I’m so excited MarketMeSuite made the list and would love to show you around our new “Inbox For Social” :)
Yes – looking forward to it Tammy!
Tweet me and we’ll set up a time! @tammykfennell:twitter
My favourite are two, hootsuite and tweetdeck
As the chart shows, those really are the two big “gorillas” in the market right now.
I suggest you try other tools until you find the one that matches your needs!
Great post, we’ve been using “tweetdeck” for a while but have just started trialling “status people”, both have their advantages. It’s a shame that more solutions aren’t geared towards one man and his restaurant (ie, me!)
Great list, I use Winnow for iOS
Tweetbot is probably the best twitter app for iPhone I’ve used so far.
Thanks for sharing! I use Sprout Social on my iPhone…
I hardly believe that Tweetbot is not in the top 7
Nope – it wasn’t!
what about Seesmic??
Unfortunately Seesmic didn’t make it into the Top 20! Certainly Seesmic is one of the first platforms, and with their acquisition of Ping.fm, have promise. Time will tell to see if they can truly differentiate their product from the others.
The problem with the top 3 cross-platform clients, HootSuite, TweetDeck and SocialOomph, is that its still hard to manage your followers, even tho they make tweeting a breeze. In Tweetdeck and HootSuite you can’t even see your followers easily, so you need another tool.
I do like TweetDeck because Twitter made it their free native client for ‘power users’ and I think they will keep developing it until it is as good as the best competitors clients – it doesn’t have as many features right now, but it is nice to use (HootSuite I find terrible). How long can it be til they add a buffer function, which several other apps have? SocialOomph has all the bells and whistles, but to get all the features, its too pricey for me (~$40pcm).
My favourite client so far is Pluggio which you should definitely check out. I use the free version, again the full version is not cheap. But even the free version has been great for helping me find lots of targeted followers, and the interface is the most intuitive of the bunch by far. It allows scheduling, buffering, url shorteners, RSS feeds, and has its own bookmarklet for easy tweeting.
But again, I cant see my follower list properly, and other things, so I still have to go with something like ManageFlitter to do various bits. (Why isn’t that on here too? Incredibly useful.)
I will certainly check out Sprout Social, altho I don’t really feel the need yet to pay for a client as there are so many free services available out there.
For managing followers, you should definitely check out my app of choice, Tweepi! TweetSpinner is also another option.
Thanks for the continued support Neal! When I first saw the tweet above, I meant to mention to you (but it slipped my mind) – Sprout Social is the only tool on that list that doesn’t have a free version – thus not surprised by the volume breakdown – the top 3 have millions of free users. Pound for pound amongst professionals I think we’ve got something specials. Thanks again for including us!
Sprout Social, Inc.
Appreciate your taking the time to comment here, Justyn. That alone says a lot about your company. In social media tools, it truly is becoming the case of you get what you pay for, and I believe those that use social as part of their marketing infrastructure will begin to realize that $20, $50, or even $100 is a small price to pay to support their social media “engine.” Keep up the great work!
any experiences with Roost?
MarketMeSuite is my fav for a number of reasons.. I have my top Social Media sites for clients all in one place. I can tweet to multiple accounts in one shot and can check followers, unfollow and set up various searches and so much more. There are still pieces to come on the new web app.
I wrote a blog article about MMS and did a short interview with their CEO Tammy Kahn Fennell..
Thanks Elaine for spreading the MMS love at TroolSocial!
Appreciate the extra info Elaine. I am still looking for what differentiates it from the others … guess I’ll have to take it for a test drive to find out!
So have you tried it out yet?
I have been tweeting back and forth with the founder of MarketMeSuite. While it looks like it has a lot of the functionality I am looking for, it doesn’t offer an iPhone app yet. I plan to take another look after that app is released ;-)
Thanks for including MarketMeSuite on the list. We just released our new web app “The Social Inbox” and I’d love to show you around.
~Tammy, CEO @MarketMeSuite:twitter
Thanks for commenting Tammy – and I’d love to take you up on your offer!
Hootsuite keeps me sane. Nice to see @Bufferapp also listed in the Top 20!
Yes! @BufferApp was a pleasant surprise! But I find @SproutSocial keeping me saner these days ;-)
I’ve tried almost all of these and at the moment, using Hootsuite as the main Twitter management tool. I spice it up from time to time with Marketmesuite and tweet here and there with some other tools, but at the moment Hootsuite is definitely my main tool, including iPhone and iPad apps.
Thanks Brankica! I’m very curious as to how you “spice it up” with Marketmesuite … care to comment? ;-)
Oh, I didn’t ignore Seesmic at all – they didn’t appear in the data! Yes, Seesmic is a good platform – but the data suggests that they may be losing out in popularity for various reasons.
When Twitter released new versions of TweetDeck for the desktop and iPhone, the company must have figured that the app needed to go on a features and capabilities diet. I’ve already switched to HootSuite for mobile; I’m hanging on to the last good “Air” version of TweetDeck until I can find a suitable replacement. Thanks, Neal, for this survey.
Yes, I do believe that TweetDeck has lost the leading market share that it used to have due to HootSuite adding the features that social media marketers want. As Twitter continues to integrate TweetDeck functionality, it will be interesting to see how TweetDeck can continue to maintain share.
You ignored seesmic, very good, complete and simple client
Interesting and informative, particularly as I am thinking of changing to HooySuite, the information was very timely.
Thanks for the comment Glen! I would give SproutSocial a drive as well…
Sprout Social also has a very responsive support team. Any questions you have, they get back within a couple hours.
So far I’ve been happy with Sprout Social support as well!
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