Managing your Twitter is a make or break experience. If you suck at it then you’ll never have the sort of pull you want with your followers or reach the heights of your account’s potential. If you’re great, then your brand grows and you become an authority to the people that follow you. You also have less of headache staying on top of things.
That’s why the guys over at Twitter HQ came up with a better way for you to manage and use your twitter account, or multiple accounts if you have more than one.
How? You might ask.
The answer would be TweetDeck; Twitter’s official attempt at giving you a much easier time of using their platform. It comes with a bunch of features to help you stay up-to-date on everything going on in your Twittersphere. The pick of the lot if you ask me, is the ability to manage multiple accounts and create a custom interface for viewing them.
We’ll go through everything you need to know to so you can check it out and see if it does what it promises to do, which is make things more convenient for you.
Getting started with Tweetdeck
To get started, you’ll want to head over to tweetdeck.twitter.com and log in using your Twitter credentials.
If you’re going to be managing multiple accounts with your TweetDeck it’s recommended that you login with an account only you know the credentials for. Logging in with details only you know will make admin and maintaining security a lot easier to manage.
Once you’ve logged in you’ll land at what I like to call your new “Command Centre’’.
Your dashboard will have 4 default columns to begin with. You’ll see columns for your Home feed; Notifications; Messages and a Trends section. We’ll return to these and discuss how you could really bring these columns to life. For now we’ll see how you can add a new account to your TweetDeck.
To the left of your screen on the control panel for your columns you’ll see “Accounts” at the bottom of the panel.
Click on “Accounts” and a new window will open up.
Select “Link another account you own” and a pop will open prompting you to add another account to your TweetDeck. Read the pop up carefully so you understand exactly what you are doing by following the prompts.
Apart from serving as an admin for another account you can also opt to add Team Members to your TweetDeck. Team Members you add to your TweetDeck will be able to operate your Twitter account as much as you can, they just won’t have your password.
To add a Team Member select “Manage Team” in the open Accounts window and you’ll open a section allowing you to add colleagues or collaborators to your team.
Once you’ve added a Team Member you can change their capabilities by clicking “Manage Team” and selecting a user. You can choose to designate them a “Contributor”, meaning they can only tweet using your handle or an “Admin” which would allow them tweet using your handle and also manage other team members.
Having the option to setup your TweetDeck like this is a great help if you’re a working with social media managers, or if you’re part of a team or organisation and you need members to be sharing and contributing their perspectives.
Working with columns
Now that you’ve got a handle on setting up your TweetDeck and the users for it we can finally get into another big selling point for the dashboard application, columns.
Columns allow you to manage how you interact with content. As stated previously you start with 4 default columns but you can add and subtract from these to build a dashboard more suited to your needs.
So, what columns can you add?
Here is a list of columns you can to your dashboard and what they bring;
Home: This will show the home feed for any account you select.
User: This will show tweets from a specific user.
Notifications: This will show notifications for a specific account. Think retweets, mentions, likes and follows.
Search: This will display results for a specific search term
Lists: You can set up list to view in this section or add ready-made list you follow.
Collection: A gallery of sorts for tweets you curate for sharing with your followers.
Trending: This will display trends
Likes: Tweets liked by a specific accounts will be displayed in this section.
Messages: This will display “DM’s” for one specific account
Mentions: This will display the mentions for one specific account
Followers: Folllower activity for a specific account will be displayed in this section.
Scheduled: This section will displayed your scheduled tweets.
Messages (all account): This will show all your “DM’s” across all the accounts you authorize
if you ask me, Columns are where it’s at as far as TweetDeck is concerned. The ability to control your viewing experience to this level is something the native Twitter web app is missing greatly. Columns allow you to have the content you’re looking for constantly within viewing range and nothing beats being able to have that kind of ease of use.
Customizable columns open up a number of options from tabs dedicated to an advanced search or keyword to a special series of tabs specifically for doing recon on the enemy. It’s no spy HQ but being able to keep the info you need close is a real added bonus.
Another pretty cool feature TweetDeck has is that you can add filters to your columns and control the flow of content you get through them.
Above is an example of how you could place filters on your columns.
To use filters simply click on the filter button at the top of the column. The drop-down like the one in image 1 above will open. This will give you the option to filter content in the column by “Tweet content” or “Tweet author”.
Filtering by Tweet Content will limit results displayed in your column to content containing keywords you select or it will remove all content including a keyword you pick. You can use this filter to stay on top of what people are saying about you or keep informed about mentions of your brand’s products or services. You could also even use this filter to find new opportunities for your brand in real-time.
You could also limit your results to tweets with images; videos; GIF’s; any media or links in them from the “Tweet content” filter.
Secondly, you could filter your column’s content by “Tweet authors”. This will limit the tweets displayed in that column to tweets from a certain user or tweets mentioning users you select. If you’ve got favorite follows or you’re collaborating with other users; filtering your column’s content by author will be a really helpful way to monitor the content their sharing or the work you’re doing together.
From the filter drop-down you could also move your columns to the left or right by clicking on the arrows in the bottom; clear the content in the column or choose to remove the column entirely.
You can find new people to follow by running searches on keywords or for specific users if you know their handles.
if you come across a user whose content you’re a fan of you can follow them by clicking on their profile. Once you do that a pop-up like the one below will come up on your screen.
From this pop up you’ll be able to see the user’s bio, some info on their account and even all the lists they’re included in. You’ll also see a number of options on how you could interact with them at the bottom of the pop-up.
You can choose to follow the user from just the main account or click on the overflow menu (three dots) to follow it from multiple accounts linked to the main user.
As displayed in the picture below, the overflow menu on a users profile will also give you the option to Mute, Block or Report any conduct you feel may violate Twitter’s policies.
Lastly, once you have brought up a followers profile, each of the five buttons at the bottom of the window will give you the option to create a column for that user dedicated to the function you select. You can create columns that will show you the users tweets, mentions of their account, a collection of tweets they’ve created or tweets they have liked. if the user has any public lists you’ll also be able to go through them .
Sharing Content on TweetDeck
Now that you know how to set up your TweetDeck for maximum viewing pleasure, you probably want to know how you can get about delivering your content to your followers.
Sharing your tweets on TweetDeck is pretty simple.
1. From your dashboard, click on “Tweet” at the top of your Control panel to the left of your screen.
2. This will bring up a window for you to type out your tweet.
3. You can then draft your tweet including any media you might want to share.
4. Once you’re satisfied with your tweet you can tweet it out or schedule it to be posted at a later date and time.
We’ve put together everything you need to know to schedule tweets with TweetDeck here.
You can also send Direct messages from the tweet window. To do so, you select “Direct Message” and it will bring up an address bar for you to add a recipient for your message.
While being able to send tweets and DM’s from Tweetdeck isn’t anything to write home about it does make it a lot easier to stay connected with your audience and enjoy greater functionality on your Twitter and at the very least that is something to be happy about.
To start a collection you’ll need to create a new column. Once the column is set up, you can add the tweets you want to share by dragging tweets into the column or entering the tweet url into the column. Once your tweets are all set up in the column you can share the collection with your followers in the following of ways;
1. Tweeting about the tweet collection, or
2. Embedding the collection as a tweet grid into your website, blog or place where people could interact with it outside of your Twitter.
And there you have it, TweetDeck, Twitter’s attempt at giving us a better way to manage our accounts and experience on platform.
All in all TweetDeck does what it claims it. The customizable interface and everything you can accomplish with the columns in your TweetDeck are a massive improvement and compliment to what you can do away from the native Twitter apps.
You should definitely give it a go if you find yourself limited by the functionality on your mobile device or the web app. And last but certainly not least TweetDeck is absolutely FREE!!! And, that’s pretty solid from Twitter.