Managing Twitter with TweetDeck

There are two main contenders for applications that help you manage all your social accounts, likeTwitter, FaceBook, Linked In, etc. Tweetdeck is one of them, and another is HootSuite.You can also manage many streams such as newsfeeds, Twitter lists, replies, retweets, direct messages (DMs) and you can follow hashtags, which allow you to search for keywords. Today we’re looking at TweetDeck. Next post we’ll look at HootSuite.

If you only have a couple of accounts to track, say one Twitter account and one on FaceBook, TweetDeck could be ideal for you as you’ll have a wide view of your columns. Once you start adding more Twitter accounts, LinkedIn and other social accounts this becomes a problem. The TweetDeck screen works horizontally, so if you have more than five accounts, you will need to keep scrolling to the right or left to see the column you want.

If you want to simply monitor what’s happening to your Twitter stream in the background, TweetDeck has a pop-up function which will alert you when someone you are following tweets. This can be customised to alert you at time intervals of your own choice, and you can even post a retweet (RT) or reply from the pop-up box.

TweetDeck is easy to navigate and customise. It makes your Twitter life far easier to control. I’ve used it for some years, but it was only very recently that I decided to learn how to get the best out of it. The best way to use it is to leave it open all the time you’re on your pc. (Just minimise it.) That way, when you have a few minutes, you can click on the icon and quickly review all the accounts you want to. I only check FaceBook twice a day, and LinkedIn once – but I do a quick check of my two Twitter accounts at intervals during the day, limiting myself to a maximum of 10 minutes, sometimes shorter. Otherwise, I’m sure it could become addictive!

I also had to understand that you can’t get rid of the read items. You don’t need to. TweetDeck will show you what are the latest articles you haven’t read and you can glance over them quickly. If they really bug you, you can click on “clear” at the bottom and the posts will vanish – until next time you boot up your pc. Then they’ll be back. It’s really better to get used to them being there and don’t bother with them.

A recent addition to TweetDeck is the ability to schedule your posts to the different accounts. This is great.

A Few Disadvantages:

  • The application installs on your PC and then requires upgrades and downloads. It also doesn’t work alone. It uses Adobe Air. So you have to upgrade each of them.
  • TweetDeck runs in the background all the time. So it draws power from your pc all the time it is on.

In closing: I’ve spent a little while looking up comparisons between the two. Each system has its advantages, and each has its disadvantages. I only learned about HootSuite recently, and I currently have TweetDeck running on my desktop computer, and HootSuite on my laptop. I think I’m going to probably switch to HootSuite after a few days, but we’ll first take a closer look at HootSuite on Thursday, and then do a comparison between the two.

In closing, I must say that when I try to manage Twitter without one of these managers, I end up spending way too much time, hopping between Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn when I should be writing. I am now monitoring all five (two Twitter accounts, a FaceBook profile and author page, and LinkedIn) on both systems and finding they are both excellent time-savers.

If you can’t wait to find out about HootSuite, you can download TweetDeck here. Otherwise read the other posts on the topic before you decide.