Spend much time in your Twitter home stream? Once you’ve grown your account to the point where you’re following more than a few hundred other Twitter users, it starts to become too busy to follow regularly.
Power Twitter users tweet so often, it can be next to impossible to make sure you see the tweets and information that matter most to you. And since the normal stream of tweets is simply reverse chronological of whatever everyone you’re following is saying, it can be a huge hodgepodge of personal and topical tweets – there’s no telling what you’re going to see!
This is just one of the reasons having a dashboard for Twitter makes sense. Dashboards help you monitor Twitter in a variety of ways simultaneously, and have those monitoring methods saved.
You can choose to monitor lists of users or a specific one, sets of keywords or hashtags, and so on – all configured to meet your specific needs. A dashboard can take the firehose of Twitter and turn it into a much more manageable drinking fountain of tweets and information.
TweetDeck is a great example of a Twitter dashboard.
What Is TweetDeck?
TweetDeck was launched in 2008, the brainchild of Iain Dodsworth, and was acquired by Twitter three years later. Support for other social networks has come and gone, with Twitter integration remaining the sole focus.
TweetDeck consists of a series of customisable columns, which can be set up to display your Twitter timeline, mentions, direct messages, lists, trends, favorites, search results, hashtags, or all tweets by or to a single user.
All columns can be filtered to include or exclude words or tweets from users. Tweets can be sent immediately or scheduled for later delivery. You can also monitor and tweet from multiple accounts simultaneously.
You can start using TweetDeck now for free, if you haven’t already, by clicking here and signing in with your Twitter profile.
Top Ten TweetDeck Hacks
It’s always nice to get tips about how to use a new tool from someone else. What could be better than 10 ways you can use TweetDeck even better from TweetDeck’s own Project Manager, Amy Zima!
Here are Amy’s best tips:
Prioritize Your Columns
With the addition of the new Columns button it’s now easier to arrange your columns to find the content most useful to you first. With the column drop-down button, simply hover over the “drag” icon to the right of the column name you wish to move, click and drag the column to its new position, then drop.
You can also click and drag the handle in the upper left of each column.
Mike’s take: As with other dashboards, it’s so easy to start using the tool with the default settings, we sometimes forget we can customize it to meet our needs. If you don’t need to monitor the Home stream, remove it! Move the other columns around so that they’re in the order you want to see them – and that sometimes means putting specific columns next to each other. Keep that flexibility in mind.
Start A Tweet Collection
With collections, you can organize Tweets according to topics, events, interests, conversations, and more, all in real-time. Add your collections as columns, and Tweet the URL to share it with others.
Create a collection to show partners how the Twitter community is discussing a new product or reacting to a launch.
Mike’s take: Grouping very specific tweets into a collection is a fantastic idea. Third party apps like Storify have given businesses that capability in the past, but TweetDeck offers an easier, more integrated way to accomplish it. Collections can be for your benefit only, or shared via link or embed.
Click on Add Column and select Collections. Click on Create collection to start your new column. You can change the name, and then add whatever tweets you wish. Tweets can be added by dragging from another column, or pasting in the direct URL (right-mouse click on any tweet’s date stamp).
One fun use is to track your top performing tweets over time in a collection. You can use these to pin to your profile, embed in relevant articles, or simply share again. Like this:
Monitor Your Competition
Tweetdeck allows you to see how other similar businesses are using Twitter.
Click on their Twitter handle in a stream and select Mentions from their profile to view your competitor’s interaction with other users on Twitter. You can also search for handles in the left sidebar.
Or, if you know the handle, you can click on Add column and select Mentions and put the handle in.
Mike’s take: Here’s what it looks like to open up a profile in TweetDeck, though Darren Rowse is a great friend and mentor, not a competitor. You can follow / unfollow, see their lists, bio, activity and more. I love that I can not only set up columns for the competition, but for friends and influencers as well.
Take Advantage Of Your Local Audience
Track your local audience’s responses through searching Tweets in a specific geographical location.
Mike’s take: This is brilliant for local businesses, but it’s a little complex to set up. Here’s a step-by-step:
- Decide what you want to search on, for instance, a specific keyword or hashtag. Here in St. Louis, if I were managing the St. Louis Cardinals Twitter account, I’d want to monitor #GoCards to be able to engage with our best fans. But, I might also want to limit it to a radius of, say, 50 miles – the fans most likely to be able to physically attend games.
- Find your geocode. Every location has a specific set of coordinates which Twitter (and TweetDeck) can recognize as your space in the universe. To find them, the easiest method is to open Google Maps and click on your exact location. You’ll see your coordinates in the address bar, like this: 38.6240487,-90.185642 (St. Louis Arch).
- Start a geocode search. Enter your search, starting with what you want to search on, followed by “geocode:” plus your coordinates. Add the distance in miles for the radius you want to search and you’re all set.
ex. #GoCards geocode:38.6240487,-90.185642,50mi
You can turn on alerts, filter by media, engagement, filter out words or users, whatever you need to create a great monitoring search of that area.
Specify Your Search To Meet Your Exact Needs
Tweetdeck allows for specified search by a specific URL, allowing businesses to follow how people are tweeting about your link.
Filter through Tweets from the past by setting your search to a specific time frame.
Find the most popular tweets quickly by filtering for content with a minimum amount of Retweets, likes or replies.
Mike’s take: This is a great way to keep track of every time someone tweets a link to your content and doesn’t bother to mention your Twitter handle – which is most of the time!
You can also put in the full URL for the page or article you want to see and TweetDeck will return all tweets of that content, even if the tweets used shortened URLs. No need to track bit.ly or t.co or other shortened links separately!
Schedule Your Tweets
TweetDeck allows anyone with access to the account to make changes to a scheduled Tweet – promising you’ll always be viewing the most up-to-date version of the content.
Tweets scheduled through TweetDeck will be visible on ads.twitter.com and vice versa, ensuring you always have an accurate picture as to which content is being scheduled.
Mike’s take: Scheduling social media activity is a no-brainer requirement for businesses. While tweeting live and engaging with your audience is important, you also need to make sure that your account is regularly sharing great content. Not only does this keep your profile active and relevant, it also ensures that you’re sharing content when your audience is most likely to be using Twitter and see it (peak usage times). Tweeting when it’s convenient for you might not be as effective.
Click on New Tweet in the upper-left corner of your dashboard, compose your tweet as you normally would, and use the Schedule Tweet button to set your preferred time for publishing.
Create A List And Modify It Directly In Tweetdeck
A list is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list.
TweetDeck now allows you to create and modify lists directly from the platform, making it easier than ever to curate your Timeline.
Mike’s take: This is a real time-saving feature, as native list management can sometimes be cumbersome. And using lists efficiently is what sets power users apart on Twitter. You can click on Add column to either create a list or set up monitoring for an existing list. Once there, you can modify the list and list members at any time.
Set Up An Alert To Stay On Top Of Important Tweets
Set up desktop notification alerts so you never miss out on engagement.
Filter notifications to only show alerts from retweets or mentions or replies.
Mike’s take: My favorite use-case for this is when my team and I have identified someone in particular that we want to dramatically improve our engagement and relationship with – typically an influencer in our space. Normally, you’d check their account once a day or less, favorite a bunch of tweets, retweet one or two, and try to find some to reply to. Unfortunately, that kind of batch activity can be easily identified and seen as too intentional.
A more natural and organic method is to view and engage with tweets as they’re made. If the individual you want to engage with shares some interesting, and you have an alert set up, you can share and reply to that tweet real-time.
Set up monitoring for any user as a new column, click on the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of that column, and toggle Alerts on (Sounds and/or Desktop Notifications).
Link Multiple Accounts To Tweetdeck To Streamline Management
Unlike other social media pro-tools, you can track an unlimited number of Twitter accounts through Tweetdeck.
Mike’s take: How many Twitter accounts do you have? I have two – @Mike_Allton and @SocialMediaHats – that’s one for me personally and one for my brand. Many other businesses are the same, so being able to monitor multiple accounts is a huge benefit. Whether it’s the brand account, customer service account, and the CEO’s account… or it’s your agency and you’re using TweetDeck to manage multiple client accounts… managing all of those accounts within one dashboard is a tremendous time-saver.
Click on Accounts and then Add Account with the relevant username and password to add more accounts to your TweetDeck social media dashboard.
Create a Tweetdeck Team
TweetDeck Teams is a simple way to share access to your Twitter accounts without sharing passwords.
Tweetdeck Teams enables you to delegate access to as many people as you like, and remove accounts when they no longer need access.
Tweetdeck Teams make it easy for everyone in your organization to work together to manage media accounts.
Mike’s take: Once you’ve set up multiple Twitter accounts like we talked about a moment ago, creating a Team and designating different access levels is a necessary next-step.
Each time you add a new account, TweetDeck automatically creates a new Team for that account, like “Team @Mike_Allton.” Click on Accounts and then select the account you want to manage. You’ll see that account’s team name listed and when you click on that, you can add other Team Members by their personal Twitter handles. The next time they log into their TweetDeck account, they’ll see that Team’s profile.
Twitter continues to be one of the most relevant social networks for businesses and consumers, particularly when it comes to being active and engaging during real-time events. With a dashboard like TweetDeck, staying on top of your Twitter activity, and that of your competition / target audience / influencers becomes far more manageable.
For more information:
- TweetDeck Pro Tips via Twitter
- Tips And Tricks To Master All Things Twitter via Gizmodo
- The Ultimate Guide To Building Your Twitter Presence via The Social Media Hat
If you haven’t used TweetDeck before, definitely give it a try! If you have, what did you think? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. And if you have a Twitter Hack of your own, please share!