The Elusive Twitter Monitoring Tool

The Elusive Twitter Monitoring Tool

I have tried them all, or it feels as though I have tried them all.  I have been looking for such a long time for a monitoring tool, desktop or web-based which I can use to monitor all my social media accounts, in particular Twitter.

I don’t have a lot of followers/friends but I do like to keep up with mentions and retweets and I need something which will show me ALL of these, not just a selection.  I have had various problems with all of the applications I have tried, they each have their own different issues.

Before I mention all the ones I have tried, I want to let you know the things I need this tool to do:

  • The ability to post a tweet
  • The ability to see ALL mentions and reply to them
  • The ability to see ALL retweets and reply to them
  • A keyword search where I can easily respond to tweets and follow new people

It’s not a long list is it?  So why can’t I find a tool which does all this?  Even Twitter itself sometimes doesn’t show me all retweets and mentions.

In no particular order, here are the tools I have tried and failed to get what I want from them.


I liked Tweetdeck but it didn’t show me all my mentions and retweets.  I’d get a notification on my iPhone Twitter app but nothing would show up in Tweetdeck.  I would have probably stuck with that if I hadn’t been recommended something else, and it hadn’t crashed so much, locking me out of my account and generally failing me on a daily basis.  I’ve not attempted to use Tweetdeck on my Mac, I might give it a try as I liked the set-up.

Tweetdeck Screenshot


I was recommended Pluggio via Twitter when I was tweeting about how useless Tweetdeck had become.  I like Pluggio, I like the interface and the ability to reply to retweets all at once.  Say 10 people retweet the same tweet over the course of it’s life, I can hit reply and thank those 10 people all at the same time (as long as it fits into 140 characters). I still use Pluggio mainly for this feature.  But again, some of the mentions and retweets are missing – although out of all of the tools, this has to be the least frustrating.  I also like their Dripfeed function, in fact while writing this piece I realise that so far this is the best of a bad bunch.

I did an interview with Pluggio about my business, it was called Need Help Running Your Business? Jo Talks About Being a Virtual Assistant, and What She Can Do For You, in case you’d like to read it.

Pluggio Screenshot


Again I like Bottlenose, there are lots of features on their but like the others, mentions and retweets get lost.  I also find the interface slightly too busy and often even when marking everything as read it reverts back to unread so it’s difficult to keep track of the tweets you’ve seen/not seen.  The main issue for me with this is it’s not easy to see retweets, you have to look in Notifications which is full up of people following you and favouriting tweets.  I would recommend using this for the other features, but not for 100% monitoring of your Twitter account.

Bottlenose Screenshot


This is the most recent tool I have tried, and I had high hopes for it.  I noticed quite a few Twitter users were using it while analysing my followers in SocialBro.  I signed up for free and started to use it as I would any other monitoring tool.  I soon realised I couldn’t respond to retweets to say thank you.  I could see the retweets but there was no way of replying to the users that so kindly retweeted my post.  This is a major downside of using GrabInbox.  The notifications for new mentions and messages is good, but without the ability to reply to retweets is a definite reason for me to stop using it immediately!

GrabInbox Screenshot


Nimble is slightly different because it’s technically a Social Relationship Manager (Social cRM) and I signed up to this because I was looking for a way of keeping all my contacts in one place.  The added bonus was I could track them on social networks and keep up to date with mentions and retweets.  It was great, but again some of the mentions and retweets wouldn’t show up.  I always had to have Twitter open to double check I was catching all the mentions.  In fact with most of these tools I always have Twitter open to double check.  If you’re looking for a Social cRM this is great and I wish I had the time to put into it as I am sure it would have proved more valuable for my business.  It’s something I might go back to using eventually.

Nimble Screenshot

Twitter iOS App

Even the app on my iMac doesn’t show me retweets, for mentions it’s great but for anything else it’s rather lacking.

iOS App Screenshot


I use SocialOomph for automation and scheduling, I find the monitoring side of things ok but certainly not on a par with live updates from the other tools I have used.

SocialOomph Screenshot


It’s a mobile app, so although I like using this on my iPhone, when I’m at my desk I don’t want to be sat on my iPhone monitoring my account, I want a nice desktop or web app to fill the screen of my lovely shiny iMac! But I would definitely recommend this for mobile users.

Tweetcaster Screenshot


I signed up to Hootsuite for automation purposes and didn’t find it as user friendly as others I had used, so I didn’t really test this out for purposes of monitoring my Twitter account.  If anyone has any good experiences with Hootsuite then please let me know in the comments.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I think I have managed to mention all the tools I have tried, although I have feeling I have missed a few… it feels as though I have tested hundreds, not just a handful.  I will keep searching for that elusive tool that does the four things I need 100% of the time, but until then please tell me in the comments what you use and what problems you’ve encountered?  And if you have found a tool that shows ALL mentions and retweets, please let me know!

If you’re looking for a tool to analyse your Twitter account, check out another of my post’s 5 Ways to Analyse Twitter with SocialBro.


  1. Wow, so many different applications – I have much to learn and no time to learn it!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a great round up – I have used many myself and drifted off again…
    I’ve used MarketMe Suite for a while now, the paid downloaded version and it’s great most of the time – keyword searching/following, follow/unfollow FB pages, groups and personal, Twitter lists, mentions and DMs. There’s a free browser based version too – I don’t know if it has all the features, not played with it much.
    I am tempted to shift over to Hootsuite simply for the G+ posting, but like you, I don’t find the interface particularly user friendly

  3. I’ve tried several and always come back to Hootsuite. It lets me post to FB and Twitter (across 2 accounts) and to LinkedIn as well. I see *almost* all of the RTs and mentions, all DMs, and have searches set up too. It also allows scheduling, which I find invaluable. I personally wouldn’t be without it. I use it on my laptop, though, and not on a tablet or smartphone, and don’t know how good it is on those devices.

  4. Thanks for this list Jo. A number I haven’t heard off. Now I’m off to check out Pluggio!

  5. Try old Tweetdeck. The new update to Tweetdeck has been causing me problems so I have reverted back to using the old version of Tweetdeck before they were bought out by Twitter.

  6. I love Hootsuite and use it for scheduling and keping an eye on what’s going on within all my accounts. But you’re right that it doesn’t show retweets – for that, plus mentions and new followers I rely on my iPhone: Twitter: Connect. It shows everything that’s happening and makes it simple to reply and thank people for following. :)

    • I rely on my iPhone a lot Renée, and just this last week Pluggio seems to be picking up most mentions/retweets so that is my tool of choice currently. :)

  7. Wow! A long list to try out (while you keep searching for the ‘ultimate’ one :)). Wish you luck, and I hope you’d let us know when you find the perfect twitter tool. Thanks for sharing, Jo.

    • Thanks Oludami, lots to try… Pluggio is top of the list at the moment though, it seems to be picking up most mentions/retweets now!

  8. I use Hootsuite a lot for monitoring my Twitter feed. The downside is that it doesn’t have an noise alert when someone messages/retweets you so I have to rely on my email alerts. It’s far less annoying when trying to get some work done though

  9. Great article!
    It would be great if you can elaborate on twitter monitoring tools such as twentytweet or twittercounter.

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