As soon as the first Twitter clients allowed for multiple column views I was on board. I bounced between Seesmic, TweetDeck and HootSuite but always came back to TweetDeck. So while these clients can achieve similar functionality I will be talking about how I specifically use TweetDeck.

Managing Multiple Accounts

The main reason I started using TweetDeck was to manage multiple accounts. I use it to manage JonDBishop, SocialMediaComm, BostonWP, SocializeWP and a few others I use for testing.

The first column in my TweetDeck is my public stream for JonDBishop. I try to check this regularly because, well, that’s the point. Or at least that was my original intent. I’ve tried to keep the number of people I follow down to a reasonable number but it still becomes hard to manage. I just try to remember it’s there and from time to time I still engage in a conversation or click a link I find interesting.

Search Terms

My number one advice for people learning how to use Twitter is to learn how to use Twitter Search. There are terms you can add to your search query that filter your results based on location, sentiment, date and more.

How to Use Advanced Twitter Search

You can also generalize sentiment and context pretty well with Twitter because of the way we progressed from texting and chat rooms to micro-blogging. As pointed out in “How to Use Advanced Twitter Search” you can use punctuation marks and emoticons to find people asking questions, complaining or falling in love.

I use all of this to create columns within TweetDeck that are extremely focused and service specific purposes.

For example, I have one column that looks for people looking for help with or talking about WordPress, WordPress plugins or WordPress themes.

(wp OR wordpress) (help OR need OR know OR plugin OR theme) -filter:links

To be honest, I used to use advanced search queries a lot more than I do currently in my day-to-day. There are still times where it comes in really handy like when you are participating in or going to events.

Twitter Lists

Most of my TweetDeck column are custom Twitter lists I’ve curated over time. The main benefit of lists is that you don’t have to deal with all the noise and spam from the public stream. The key is to continue to add and remove people as needed to keep your lists relevant.

I use about 8 lists in my TweetDeck and have another 8 I will swap in and out. My core ones consist of people I work with, friends and family. Then I have two lists for Boston; one for people I think are influential and one for news. Then I have a few lists for my different online and real life networks.

Publishing

When I’m not sorting through my different TweetDeck columns, I’m probably posting something … or working. I usually use Buffer to schedule posts but having the ability to schedule posts within TweetDeck is nice because the free version of Buffer only lets you work with one account.

Overall I will continue to use TweetDeck as my desktop client mostly because I’m familiar with it. Please share your favorite feature of your favorite client in the comments below.

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