Tweets in 10 – All Hands on TweetDeck!

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on February 02, 2011 in: Twitter Tips & Tools

In a previous post I talked about Twitter plug-ins for your browser. They are handy for when you are online and want to share something that you’ve read. In this article, I want to tell you about an application that I use as my primary Twitter interface.

It’s called Tweetdeck and it’s a Twitter interface that sits on your desktop and enables you to tweet and view the tweets of people you’re following… without having to sign in to Twitter.

When a new Twitter user first starts out, they use Twitter through the Twitter.com site. At first it’s okay because there are only so many people they are following and their sporadic tweeting is done easily enough through there. But after following more and more people, they realize that they can’t read everyone’s tweets all the time and a sense of connectedness to their Twitter network begins to fade. That’s where Tweetdeck solves the problem.

Installation is simple, just go to Tweetdeck.com then go to the download page and click “Install”. When it downloads to your computer, you’ll need to install it just like any other program and then add your Twitter information in the account settings section.

Tweetdeck lets users tweet without having to go online and sign into Twitter. They simply tweet from the textbox on Tweetdeck and click “submit”. And that’s it! As well, Tweetdeck provides really convenient automatic URL-shortening. Just write in the regular URL and Tweetdeck will auto-shorten it for you.

And, it gives users the power of columns to sort and view tweets in a way that is convenient for them. Each column displays tweets (in real time) based on the parameters of the column. For example, you might create a column of everyone (which would update all of the tweets of all of the people you are following). You can also create columns that pull specific types of tweets, or, columns of tweets from specific Twitter users. These columns allow you to see at a glance a variety of tweets that are conveniently sorted.

The columns you can create in Tweetdeck are:

  • All Friends
  • Mentions (when your @name is mentioned in a tweet)
  • Direct Messages
  • Favorites
  • Groups (A group column can be created so you can follow specific people)
  • Twitter Search (create search parameters and read tweets that mention those keywords)
  • … and more (including specific tweets about stocks or recommendations from Tweetdeck)

So, what does this mean for you? Simple: Rather than signing into Twitter and getting overwhelmed, you can create as many columns as you need, so that you can you can sort the people you’re following into far more manageable groups. Here are a few examples:

You might choose to use three default columns – one for everyone (“all friends”), one for mentions, and one for direct messages. And, you might want three customized group columns – one for clients, one colleagues and close friends, and one for competitors. And, you probably want to run a couple search columns – particularly for mentions of important keywords you’re paying attention to. When you invested in the TweetsIn10 MASTER KIT, you received a list of the top people to follow on Twitter, so that might be a good column to create in Tweetdeck, too.

Over time, you can refine these columns. You might find that your competitors aren’t worth following; maybe there’s another group of people you should be following instead. Or maybe you might find that there are additional keywords you need to add into your search column. (By the way, if you ever want to do some serious retweeting but are at a loss for what to say, consider keeping an ongoing search running of important keywords for your business and that will give you plenty of retweetable material).

Once you have all these columns, navigating between them is done simply by scrolling left and right with the scroll bar. If you have too many columns you might find it annoying (I generally have 7 or 8 but no more than that).

Tweetdeck was started to help users sort tweets for Twitter on their desktop, but Tweetdeck has even more value: You can also manage your Facebook and your MySpace account in Tweetdeck at the same time in a similar way. Just log in with your Facebook or MySpace username and password and you can post status updates. Tweetdeck also has an app you can download to your mobile device so you can tweet on the run in a familiar interface.
Watch for the next issue when I talk about a similar program that is web-based (instead of on your desktop) which gives other features you might find useful.

Bonus Tip:  Make it Eye Appealing

If you are anything like me you have a favorite color. TweetDeck lets you customize​ how your application looks. I forget exactly how it comes, but I think in a drab gray. Once installed in the upper right hand corner click the little wrench icon, then go to the colors/fonts option – you can customize the colors of your program. I have mine in an awesome blue and fuchsia – definitely easier to look at and prettier too!

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