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Last week I earned many of your eyeballs by sharing how I scored a 6-figure gig while using Twitter.

Twitter is definitely a viable method for communicating to prospects, clients, and business fans but, like many new social platforms, it can be overwhelming. Not just how it works, but also how to utilize all the handy applications that are available to enhance your experience and value gained with it.

Twitter is a microblog that enables real-time messaging to the world via your computer or mobile device. The only rule—your message must be under 140 characters.

Start slow and simple. Add apps as you get comfortable with it.

Here’s a rundown on some of my favorite Twitter tools and how I use them. If you have discovered a Twitter tool that really rocks, please share it in a comment on the Oddpodz blog, so others can learn about it.

1) Grade your Twitter profile. Try Twitter grader learn to see if your tweet power, authority, and reach are working for you. This grader not only gives you a score, but tells you how to amp things up.

2) Organize and manage your tweets Better. Check out TweetDeck. This cool tool is your personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now; connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, and more. TweetDeck shows you everything you want to see at once, so you can stay organized and up to date.

3) Analyze your tweets. Twitter analyzer is amazing. This is a great tool to see what type of professionals are following you, how many people you are reaching beyond your followers, who is tweeting about you, and lots more.

4) Track the Twitter addicts by location. Twitterholic lets you find people in a geographic area and also ranks you in the world of Twitterers. For example, since I live in Tampa, I searched with http://Twitterholic.com/top100/followers/bylocation/Tampa/ and learned how often Tampa folks were tweeting and who they were. I also learned that I am #52 in active Tampa tweeters.

5) How does your profile compare to others (like your competitors) and how do subjects compare. Twittervolume provides a great snapshot. Type in your handle along with competitors; Tweetvolume shows you the volume tweets. Want to find the best key word? Type in several like I did: sales, marketing, branding, and women business. Guess which ranked highest? I won’t tell—you’ll have to check it out.

A blog post on Twitter tools could go on for days. Every day, new and improved Twitter tools are hatched. If you need more good ideas, check out my pal Chris Brogan’s blog, he has a great post called “50 ideas for using Twitter for Biz”
Also see my other super-smart marketing friend John Jantsch of “Duct Tape Marketing,” at ducttapemarketing. John’s blog is filled with sound insight.

Have an awesome week! And don’t forget to check out Oddpodz Free Biz Findz. This week we are adding 20 new super, cool, and FREE items.

About the author: Karen Post, a.k.a. The Branding Diva® is an international authority on branding, marketing, and entrepreneurial matters. She has been featured as a business expert in print publications; on TV, radio, and on Web channels. Karen authored the best-selling book Brain Tattoos, Creating Unique Brands That Stick in your Customers¹ Minds and she is co-founder and CEO of Oddpodz.com.