Ciao, SEers. I thought today would be a good day to discuss social media management. Specifically, Twitter management. I’ve heard a lot of people swear by HootSuite, and I have used it on occasion. Our own Mae Clair has even discussed the advantages of it. But for my money (actually, that’s a poor turn of phrase because it’s free), nothing beats the functionality of TweetDeck.
TweetDeck is like any other app that syncs with Twitter. You need to give your authorization in Twitter for the two to work in tandem. Go to tweetdeck.twitter.com and you will be prompted to log into your Twitter account. Once you do that, though, the fun begins.
First, let’s talk about settings. If you click the gear in the left sidebar then select “settings,” you will be taken to this screen.
You can play around and choose which options work for you. I like the light theme rather than the dark, and I chose medium column and font sizes. I would have made these as large as possible (my eyesight is less than desirable), but the bigger they are, the less I can see on one screen. Then I tried the smallest, which gave me the most information, but you guessed it… I couldn’t make anything out. You need to adjust this for your comfort. I just wanted to tell you where to find the setting.
Next thing you want to do is add columns. As it happens, I have a lot of streams I like to keep track of.
- Mentions (people who refer to @stacitroilo in their tweets)
- Ones I contribute to:
- Story Empire
- my pen names (for right now, that’s just Keira Beck)
- publisher AIW Press
- Then there are the people I like to follow (these are called USERS):
- all the SE contributors
- some of my friends
- some of my favorite authors
- And you can’t forget relevant hashtags (these are just some of mine; you have to choose what works for you):
Here is an example of just some of the columns I have. (If I continued scrolling right, you’d see a lot more.)
Adding a column is easy. Just click the “+” in the left sidebar, then select the type of column you want to add. And there are several options.
Some columns require nothing more than clicking the icon (like the messages icon—that will result in your DM stream being added). Others require a bit more work. For example, if you select the “user” icon, you’ll get this screen.
You need to type in a person’s Twitter name to add that column. For example, if you want to follow me, type “@stacitroilo” and a column with all of my tweets will be added to the far right of the screen. If you type “@storyempire” then our Twitter stream will be added.
You need to follow a similar process to follow a specific hashtag. Click the “+” followed by the “search” icon. Type in the hashtag in the upper left corner, then hit “return” or “enter” on your keyboard. Then the column will appear.
As I’ve mentioned, columns add to the far right, so if you have a lot of columns, you may have to scroll a while to find the new one. If you want it to have a more prominent position on your screen, click and hold on the three tight vertical bars in the column’s heading (under a small numeral indicating what column number it is) then drag the column left until you have it positioned where you want it.
There’s no point in setting up all these streams if you can’t actually Tweet from the app. Of course you can. And it’s simple.
Click the quill icon at the top of the left sidebar. A screen like this will appear:
From there, you can type your tweet, add an image or video, schedule the tweet for another time… even select which account you want to tweet from. Ahh… that’s something we didn’t discuss yet.
This is one of the biggest reasons I prefer TweetDeck. Take a group like Story Empire. We should all have access to the Twitter account, not just one of us. Sure, we could all share passwords, but you know the potential pitfalls of that.
TweetDeck allows the account holder to invite other users to participate and to select the level of participation.
To create a group, click on the “accounts” icon in the left sidebar (it looks like two people), click the account you want to add user(s) to, then click the “manage team” button. Type the name of the user you want to invite in the “add a team member” field (make sure you use the at-sign: @stacitroilo), then click “authorize.” They will receive an invitation to be a contributor. To give them full access, just click on the “change role” hyperlink and click the “admin” button to upgrade them. You can always move them back to “contributor” later if you change your mind.
Once you have your account(s) set up the way you’d like, you can like, retweet, or respond to people right from the streams. If you, like me, are managing different pen names or are a contributor or admin of a group account, you will have a default user (I make that me) but you can always select a different user to like as or reply or retweet from.
Clicking the three little dots at the bottom right of any tweet will bring up this option:
All you have to do is select a different account to like from, and it’s done.
Retweets are even easier. Click the “retweet” button just like you would in Twitter. If you don’t have other accounts, proceed as normal. If you do, select the account you want to retweet from, then proceed.
So, there you have it. A quick look at the main features of TweetDeck. You can get more detailed, but I’ve found these basics are more than enough for me to manage Twitter (and all my accounts) in one efficient app.
If you have any questions or a different opinion, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below.