Twitter can be tough to get into if you're just using it from your computer. It doesn't have an intuitive search function, you have to refresh frequently and it's hard to follow conversations when you don't get alerts for @replies. Don't fret, though. There are plenty of apps to personalize your Twitter experience.
For your computer
Download TweetDeck or Twhirl to use Twitter almost like you use IM. The apps sit on your desktop and refresh throughout the day so you can instantly see any updates and get message notifications. You can also search, filter your tweets, shorten links, follow users and manage multiple accounts without ever opening your browser.
For your mobile
Don't let incoming messages flood your phone's inbox or push you over your texting limit; use a mobile app instead. For the iPhone, check out Tweetie or TwitterFon if you want a full-featured Twitter experience. For BlackBerry, Nokia and other Java-enabled phones, try Twibble to make updates, send photos to TwitPic and more. For Windows Mobile phones, try Twobile. And for any other web-ready phone, use Twitter's mobile site .
For your information
You'll want to track search terms related to your industry and business so you can pinpoint trends, offer help and meet like-minded people. Set up custom searches at Twitter search to get updates via RSS, or use TweetBeep to get hourly or daily e-mails for keywords or links. To track trends across Twitter, check out Twitscoop or #Hashtags for the hottest topics.