I use TweetDeck to follow my Twitter conversations. I have over 5500 followers so it can be a challenge. There is no way that I can possibly keep up with what 5000+ people are saying. I’m going to share of the things I do with TweetDeck that help me with Twitter. In a later post I’ll do the same with Facebook.
One of the main reasons I choose to use TweetDeck over the other fine products on the market is the cross platform compatibility. I can create search columns with complex searches on my PC and then get the same search on my iPhone with couple of clicks. Saving my searches to the TweetDeck server is a great advantage in my opinion.
· Column Arrangement: The first 4 columns are the ones you can see on a typical screen so they are the most important.
o #1Mentions #2 Direct Messages- I want to first see if anyone is messaging me and expecting a response.
§ Important Note- Tweets with @ckieff anywhere in the body of the message will end up in my Mentions Column. If you put @ckieff at the beginning of the message, only you & I and people who follow BOTH of us will see the message. Power users often start a message with period + user name, like this “.@ckieff” this is so that all of their followers will see the message, not just those following both users.
o #3 Group BFFs- These are people who I often communicate with and whom I respect. I get much of my news from them. I also add people here who have great suggestions for blog posts to read.
o #4 Current Search- I usually keep the 4th Column on a search for a topic I’m watching now for a client project. Here it’s the #140Conference
o The second group of 4 columns is variable based upon your priorities
o #5 All Friends- this is the fire hose of information. With my 5000+ followers I can only occasionally dip my toes into this stream to see what’s up. If you want to get my attention or the attention of any Twitter user with over 2000 followers you need to mention our names in your tweet.
o #6 LinkedIn Network Updates #7 Facebook Status Updates- I encourage you to use the LinkedIn and Facebook connectivity to collect all of your messages in a single place. I’ll cover these capabilities in later posts. Thanks to @dariasteigman for this tip.
o #8 New Followers- This is a great place to see what’s happening with your account. You can also do some basic analytics to see what types of tweets gain you new followers.
· I have a few other columns, following multiple accounts which I manage, and some running specialized searches for clients. But these first two screens are where I spend the bulk of my time.
· Create Groups or Lists
o I prefer groups to lists, mainly because I found the list creation so tedious on the web page. Now TweetDeck supports lists in the same way the support groups so it’s just as easy to make either one. (But I still make groups out of habit.)
· Little known features in TweetDeck:
o Show Follower Count in Tweets- Notice the “5113” below Amanda’s avatar?
You can turn this feature on in Settings>Twitter>”Show follower count in tweets” Unfortunately it only works for people you are following, not in search columns.
o Look up user profile and recent tweets- Click on the User’s Name in the information line.
o Look up a single Tweet on Twitter’s website- Click on the Date time in the information line.
o Review a conversation between two or more people- this is my personal favorite because if you missed the original question you can catch up quickly by clicking the “in reply to…”
o And finally Amanda’s tip from the tweets above: Click your name off, before you start writing a tweet, this way you won’t send it till you’re sure you are ready:
o The last tip is to keep in mind that these functions in TweetDeck, and others like previewing links and photos all use your API quota. Twitter only allows each user to access their computers a limited number of times each hour. This is to reduce their work load and to slow down spammers. They recently increased the number of times (# of API calls) your computer can talk to their computer but it’s still not unlimited. So use these features with a little prudence or you could find yourself shut down till the next hour passes. If that happens you can always go to www.Twitter.com and use that, there is no limit there.
I hope I’ve given you some good ideas on how to use TweetDeck and Twitter more effectively. If you’ve got even 1 Good Reason on to use it better please leave a comment here.