If you're new to Twitter, you might not have realized you have access to a tool that allows you to easily manage your Twitter account. TweetDeck lets you view your regular feed, messages, follower activity, and even schedule your posts in advance. It also happens to be free!
TweetDeck works using your existing Twitter log-in information (if you're already signed in on Twitter you don't even need to log in again). Just go to this link: https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/
Once you're in, you'll see a screen similar to the one below.
The blue box with the quill is how you create a new Tweet, but I'll get to that in a minute. The other columns are as follows.
- HOME is where you can view and interact with your regular Twitter feed.
- NOTIFICATIONS is for any update relating to your handle (retweets, new followers, mentions, etc.)
- MESSAGES keeps all of your Direct Messages in one place. You can respond and compose within this column.
- ACTIVITY is a stream of all activity from the accounts you follow.
For each of the above, you can also expand your display options by clicking on the Filter icon to the far right of each column (see below).
To the far left side of the header (the section with the black background), you'll see the same icons for the above columns (House, Bell, Envelope, Activity Line). Beneath that, you'll see a Plus sign. Clicking on the Plus will give you the option to add another column. It will pull up a list of options (see below) so you can create additional columns of your choosing for easier management.
Looking to the bottom of the same section with the black background, you'll see the following.
The icon with two people is what you want to click on if you want to add another account. This is very helpful if you're managing more than one Twitter account. It will pull up something similar to the below image.
The Gear icon above your profile pic is what you'll want to click on to bring up your Settings options and log out.
Let's return to the little blue quill icon and creating Tweets within TweetDeck. Clicking on the quill opens up the following screen.
Here you can see that I would have the option to toggle between either my personal or my business account (assuming I've added both through the options mentioned earlier). The green check lets me know which account the Tweet will appear from. The character counter automatically lets you know when you are reaching the 140 limit. Note if you add an image, you will automatically lose 20 characters.
Once you're done, you'll have the option to Tweet immediately or schedule for a future date and time. The Schedule option is what makes TweetDeck such a great tool if you find you're limited on time to post. You can compose multiple Tweets in one sitting, scheduling them throughout the week, month or year if you're feeling really ambitious.
Once you've picked your date and time, you just hit the "Tweet at..." button. Make sure you've selected the correct time of day (AM/PM), and then you're good to go.
If you're planning to schedule Tweets, be sure to add a Scheduled column using the instructions outlined above with the Add Column function (the Plus Mark). All scheduled Tweets will appear in that column, so you can tell at a glance what you or your team has scheduled. There is often a delay in recently scheduled Tweets appearing in the Scheduled column, so you might have to refresh to confirm things are the way you want.
And that's it! Easy to plan and execute. This can really help save time if you're not someone who can dedicate daily time to planning out your social posts. That said, you'll still want to post some Tweets in real time and interact with your followers, but at least this way you can easily keep your account active -- even if you're not always around to do it.