Social media management is not an easy task. It requires more than simply scheduling a certain amount of messages to go out at a preset time during the week. It also requires you to monitor your messages and notifications, reply to them and participate in conversations with your followers.
And when it comes to social media networks, Twitter is one of the most, if not the most, dynamic social network. If you follow a large number of people or if you manage multiple Twitter accounts, then you know that Twitter can be overwhelming. The home feed moves at a rapid pace and it can be cumbersome to switch between notifications, messages, and lists.
But, there is a better way to manage your Twitter accounts and make Twitter work for you. The best part is you won’t have to use anything else other than your browser and it won’t cost you a dime.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at TweetDeck—uncovering what TweetDeck is and what it can do for you. We'll dig into its features and learn how to use TweetDeck for your social media management. It's a relatively simple tool to set up quickly and start managing your Twitter engagements with. There's also a few powerful features it has that we'll review.
What is TweetDeck?
TweetDeck is a social management tool dedicated solely to Twitter. It offers Twitter users a very customizable and comprehensive way to manage multiple Twitter accounts.
Back in the day, it was available as a desktop client, as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS, and it could be used in a web browser. It also allowed users to manage their Facebook, LinkedIn, and FourSquare accounts on top of their Twitter profiles.
However, things changed significantly after Twitter acquired the software and the support for other social media networks was removed, allowing TweetDeck to focus on Twitter alone.
On top of that, in April 2016, TweetDeck withdrew the desktop app support from Windows and mobile apps, leaving Windows users no choice but to use the tool in the browser and rely on native Twitter apps on their mobile devices. While you can still use TweetDeck on the Mac and in Chrome, this change for Windows users is notable.
Even though it could seem like Twitter might slowly be killing off the app, that is not the case. By removing some of the original features and working more on the main version of the tool, the TweetDeck team can focus on making TweetDeck the best possible tool to facilitate Twitter management.
TweetDeck allows you to do anything you could normally do within Twitter itself: you can tweet, reply, retweet, favorite, send direct messages, as well as follow and unfollow users. However, TweetDeck also allows you to manage more than one Twitter account and you can set up customized streams in a single interface to stay on top of things that matter the most to you.
Another advantage of TweetDeck is the ability to schedule Tweets as far in advance as you want. You can also mute or block other Twitter users as well as see their complete profiles.
This is an effective way of managing not only your account but your company’s accounts or your clients’ accounts, once you’ve setup your profile and found your target audience, industry peers, and influencers to follow.
How to Use TweetDeck
TweetDeck is quite powerful once you learn to use and set it up to match your workflow. In this section, we’ll walk you through the necessary steps of leaning how to use TweetDeck, so you can get the most out of it.
To start using TweetDeck, all you have to do is launch your browser and go to http://tweetdeck.twitter.com. It will work in any browser and the setup process is the same in all of them. If you’re not logged into Twitter, it will ask you to login with your Twitter account, otherwise, it will automatically log you in.
Once you’re logged in, you will see messages that welcomes you to TweetDeck. Click on the Get Started button and you will be presented with a default set of columns TweetDeck already has set up for you. They include your home feed, your messages, mentions, and activity from users you follow.
Let’s break it down step-by-step.
1. Begin With the Dashboard Overview
The screen that you see serves as a dashboard of sorts. The black left-hand column is where you can manage your settings, add accounts, set up different columns, compose a tweet, and search for hashtags, users, and more.
The settings in TweetDeck are pretty simple. You can change between a light and a dark theme, set the width of the columns, and set the default link shortening service by choosing between Bit.ly and Twitter’s own URL shortener.
When you click on the settings button in any of the columns you can fine-tune the settings for each column. You can remove or configure them to display a specific type of content or all content, filtered by users. You can also set up alerts and configure content previews.
2. Work With Tweets and User Settings in TweetDeck
By default, TweetDeck updates in real time which eliminates the need to click ‘refresh’ or scroll to see the latest updates. If you find that the real time updates are moving too fast for you, you can slow them down by simply scrolling down and controlling the speed, or you can also disable them entirely by clicking Settings in the bottom left-hand corner and de-selecting Stream tweets in real time.
When you hover a tweet, you can easily retweet, reply or favorite it. You’ll also notice the three dots on the right which reveal additional options when you click on them.
From there, you can send Direct Messages, unfollow a user, flag media, add or remove people from lists, mute or block a user, report a tweet, get a link to the tweet or get the embed code to share the tweet on your blog.
Clicking on the individual Tweet will show you when the Tweet was sent and the tool used to send it.
Clicking on a user’s name will let you see their profile and allow you to see their tweets, mentions, lists, and likes. You can also add individual users to a column of their own which comes in handy if you want to establish a relationship with an influencer in your field.
3. Add All Your Accounts
Now that you know how TweetDeck works, let’s get it set up by adding all the accounts you manage. To do so, click on Accounts which will open up a screen where you can enter the details for a different Twitter account.
Add as many accounts as you want to keep track of. Once’ you’ve done that, you can select the default account which will be automatically chosen to send tweets unless you specify a different one.
This screen also lets you look at details of all your connected accounts, including follower numbers and recent tweets.
Composing a new tweet will let you choose which accounts should post the tweet by clicking to highlight the ones you want which also allows you to send a tweet from several accounts at once.
You can also follow others from multiple accounts at once, simply by viewing their account and clicking on the follow icon and then select “follow from accounts” from the drop-down menu.
4. Setup Multiple Timelines and More With Columns
One of the best features of TweetDeck is the fact that you can customize the dashboard to include columns that best match your own workflow and social media goals. Let's look at how to use TweetDeck to do that.
There’s no limit to how many columns you can add and you can even add several of the same columns, each tailored to a specific list, person, hashtag, search or more.
To add a new column in TweetDeck, click the + sign at the bottom of the left-hand menu. You can see all the different types of columns in the screenshot below:
Once you’ve selected a column, you can then customize it. The example below includes a search column for the hashtag #socialmedia. Clicking on Content allows you to fine-tune the search.
You can choose to show:
- All tweets
- Tweets with images
- Tweets with videos
- Tweets with any media
- Tweets with links.
You can also add keywords that should be included or excluded and you can exclude or include retweets.
Clicking on Engagement allows you to specify the minimum amount of retweets and likes for that hashtag. You can also edit the details further by showing all the tweets containing your search term by all users, only verified users, and more.
Finally, you can also set up alerts that will notify you of new tweets in any of the columns you add. This is really useful if you want to make sure you don’t miss important tweets.
5. Schedule Your First Tweet
Now that you have it set up to your liking, let's explore how to use TweetDeck to send and schedule tweets.
When you send a tweet, you can add up to four images and schedule them to go out at a later time, even if you’re not online. It’s worth mentioning that TweetDeck will automatically shorten any link you add to a tweet, depending on the link shortening service you selected in the settings.
To schedule or compose a tweet, simply click on the New Tweet button in the top left-hand corner. On the screen that expands, you can write the contents of your tweet and have several other options. You can add images if you want to include an image, you can schedule it to go out later, and you can also send a Direct Message instead of a tweet.
Click on Schedule Tweet and then scroll down to see the calendar where you can choose the time and date for your tweet. Choose the desired time and click on the blue Tweet on [your-date] button.
You can easily keep track of your scheduled tweets by adding a column to see them.
Bear in mind that if you share an account with a co-worker or another employee, they will be able to see your scheduled tweets and you will also be able to see theirs.
6. Muting Words or Users on Twitter
There are times where Twitter simply blows up with certain trends. This usually happens during big sporting events or viral topics and can be distracting if you’re trying to see all the tweets relevant to your industry.
In that case, you can mute those hashtags or even users who appear to send one tweet after another, flooding your feed. This prevents you from having to block them or unfollow them and it’s easy to unmute them after the event is over.
To mute certain words or sources, click on Settings > Mute. Here, you can choose whether to mute words or sources of the offending or distracting tweets and then click on the Mute button.
You can also mute individual users directly from their tweet by clicking on the three dots under the tweet and selecting Mute @username.
This feature is incredibly useful since it allows you to manage your entire Twitter stream more efficiently by removing the distractions temporarily without hurting anyone’s feelings in the process. It also helps you stop Twitter spambots at the source or simply muting users who do nothing but retweet others.
Setting Up TweetDeck is Simple
TweetDeck might seem simple on the surface and if your primary or only focus is Twitter, you might be wondering if it’s even worth signing up for it. However, once you dig into its features, you’ll see that TweetDeck allows you to create a completely customized and streamlined Twitter experience.
It facilitates conversations and it also enables you to keep track of the things that are relevant to you. The different columns you can add are perhaps one its most important feature which is especially useful when you want to monitor Twitter for mentions of your company or even participate in Twitter chats.
Considering it’s completely free to use and available on every browser, we highly recommend you give it a go for managing your social media on Twitter. Discover more social media management tools or dig deeper into our multi-part, Kickstart Social Media Guide for Small Business.