One of the reasons you may not have tried Twitter yet, or been successful with it is because you just don’t have time to sit and tweet all day. As a business owner, your day is filled with running a business, so the last thing you have time for is keeping up with the latest conversations on Twitter. Fortunately, smart programmers have developed tools that you can use to automate some processes and maximize your time with others.

Here are 10 favorite tools for businesses to get the most from their Twitter usage:

SocialOomph – This one’s a doozy. Not only can you schedule tweets for the future, must like you can schedule blog posts in WordPress, but you can also track keywords, vet potential followers and more.

TweetBeep – This tool will help you keep track of your @replies and @mentions so you don’t miss out on a conversation. Even better, it will email you the conversations that mention you, your product or your company.

Twibs – Add your business to this site so people searching for your products or services can easily find you. Naturally, you can find relevant Twitter users as well. You can even tweet from this site directly.

TwitterCounter – Are you more comfortable using email than any of this new-fangled social media stuff? With this service, you can send tweets by sending an email to an address the service sets up for you. They’ll forward the email to Twitter. Now, that’s just nifty.

TwitPic – This service enables you to upload photographs from your computer or your phone and share them on Twitter. This is perfect for a physical product seller who might want to show images of new inventory, a customer making use of a product or a demonstration of a product feature.

Mr. Tweet – This is a must-have if you’re trying to build your following. Mr. Tweet helps you find relevant followers, recommends you to others, computes your Twitter usages statistics and cleans your kitchen sink. (Just kidding on the last part)

TweetKarma – Started at the suggestion of a friend, this service enables you to get an overview of your friends, followers and those who you just follow.

Remember The Milk – If you live on Twitter and are having trouble remembering to go run your business, this service can be a great task reminder.

StrawPoll – There’s nothing like a good poll to help you understand your customers, the state of your industry or just have a little fun with your followers.

twtQpon – If you’d like to offer a discount code to Twitter users, this is a perfect solution. Not only can you fill out a simple form to create your coupon to send to Twitter (naturally, you have to have it setup in your shopping cart…) you can also use the site to search for coupons from other companies.

Twittertise – This service blends scheduled tweets with tracking so that you can measure your return on investment with each promotional tweet.

So, there’s an extra one to grow on. This list of tools will help you connect with the right people, manage your network of colleagues and customers and track the effectiveness of your messages.

In our next post we will discuss how to use Twitter for market research.

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