As many of you know, here at Catalyst Marketers, we absolutely love using Twitter for business. Twitter is a great tool for reaching customers and prospects, building relationships with those folks, educating your followers on your business values, products, and services, and ultimately driving sales. Hopefully you have been using Twitter to promote your small business. If you’ve been using Twitter, than you know that success on Twitter has a correlation with your time commitment to using the tool. There are ways to make your Twitter efforts more efficient. If you are looking for a more efficient way to manage your Twitter efforts, then you should check out TweetDeck.
TweetDeck is a social media browser. It allows users to manage their social media efforts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Myspace. If you’re using Twitter for business, you can use TweetDeck to manage your efforts. We use TweetDeck to manage @RyanTaft on Twitter. At this point, we are not using TweetDeck to manage our Facebook or LinkedIn efforts, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t. You can download TweetDeck for free and begin using it within minutes.
If you use TweetDeck, you can perform just about every one of the same functions that you can perform on Twitter.com. With that said, on top of those standard functions, TweetDeck offers additional features for Twitter management. A few of the main reasons why TweetDeck is one of the most efficient Twitter management tools are:
Column View on TweetDeck
TweetDeck allows for multiple views within the same main viewing window. TweetDeck achieves this through Columns. TweetDeck users can create columns for their followers, direct messages, mentions, a saved search on their business name or industry specific hashtags. TweetDeck users can even group their most loyal customers who follow them on Twitter into a column, which makes listening closely to what those key followers say, much easier. Column views allow TweetDeck users to see Twitter activity on multiple levels. This makes interacting with your followers much more manageable.
A prime example on how TweetDeck makes managing your conversations on Twitter is –> say you receive a direct message from a follower, without TweetDeck, you have to check the direct message through your email account. If you want to direct message back, you click the link in your email, pull up your Twitter account (login if you haven’t setup your browser to remember you on Twitter), and then craft and send your message. Through TweetDeck, if you have a direct message column (which comes standard when you download TweetDeck), you can send and receive direct messages right through one viewing window. A new direct message that comes in is populated in the direct message column. To send a direct message back, you simply hover over the follower’s image icon and click the direct message icon. The TweetDeck text input area opens and you are ready to craft and send your direct message. No more going from email to Twitter for direct messages. These are just a few of the reasons how Column Views on TweetDeck allow you to make better use of your time on Twitter.
Built in URL Shortener & Image Upload
Since Twitter’s inception a few years back, and much more so recently, people have been building tools to make Twittering more efficient, more fun, and more effective. TweetDeck is one of those tools. Tools like bit.ly, a url shortener, and TwitPic, a photo sharing tool, are other examples of Twitter tools. Many times, Twitter tools are stand-alone, in that you have to go out to a separate website (ie. http://bit.ly) to use the tool. What TweetDeck has done is integrated other Twitter tools into it’s platform, which is in part what helps make TweetDeck so effective.
Through TweetDeck, users can type or paste a full URL into the Twitter text input area and TweetDeck, through it’s integration with bit.ly (or other URL shorteners) will automatically turn your link into a short url. No more copying the URL that you want to share on Twitter, navigating to http://bit.ly in your web browser, pasting the URL into the URL input area, and then copying/pasting your short url into Twitter. Now, simply copy/paste your full URL into TweetDeck and everything is done for you.
TweetDeck does the same with photos. Simply drag a photo from your computer into TweetDeck and it automatically prompts you to upload and host your photo on TwitPic (or other photo sharing tools). TweetDeck then creates a URL for your image and you can tweet it to the world. Your followers can then click that URL and it will take them to your photo page on TwitPic. TweetDeck provides an easy way to share and view photos on Twitter.
There are other great benefits to TweetDeck. Some things require visualization for people to get the full effect. We are actually doing a webinar on TweetDeck this week. We are going to go into more detail on how to use TweetDeck and what the benefits are. After the webinar airs, we will be creating a video demo from the webinar and adding it to this post. Check back to this post in a week or two to watch the video OR subscribe to Catalyst Marketers blog to receive email updates each time a new post is published.
OH, and if you want information on attending the TweetDeck webinar this Thursday, then simply become a fan of Catalyst Marketers on Facebook. We have the TweetDeck webinar information on our fan page.
Another thing that’s great about TweetDeck is that you can use it on your mobile phone. Downloading TweetDeck for your mobile phone is free and really easy. TweetDeck is still evolving and definitely has its limitations. With that said, it’s one of the better Twitter management tools out there. Like other online social tools, TweetDeck will continue to evolve as user needs change. Definitely consider using TweetDeck to make communicating with customers and prospects on Twitter more manageable.