Once you have started using Twitter as an information source and have set up Twitter searches to watch for items that interest you, you will probably find yourself wanting more flexibility than the Twitter website gives you. Twitter tools such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite offer features that make your Twitter usage more efficient.
If you have more than one Twitter account – perhaps one for work and one for personal use – these tools can manage all of them simultaneously, eliminating the need to log out of one account in order to use another.
These tools display – as multiple columns in a single window – the streams you want to monitor all at the same time, making it easy to watch your Twitter home feed, notifications, mentions, direct messages, Twitter searches, and Twitter lists without having to navigate from screen to screen in order to check each stream for updates. At most, you might need to scroll horizontally if your window isn’t wide enough to display all of the columns at once.
If you find yourself tempted to tweet, you’ll appreciate other features, such as tweeting from more than one account at once, scheduling tweets, and different styles of retweets.
Tweetdeck runs either in a web browser or as a separate Windows or Mac application. There is also a compatible mobile app. The Windows or Mac version has an independent window on your desktop that won’t get lost among your open web browser tabs and won’t be closed accidentally along with some other web browsing session. Although Tweetdeck was originally started by an independent company, it is now owned by Twitter.
Hootsuite runs in a web browser. There is a mobile app as well. It offers a free version as well as two paid levels with premium features. Hootsuite can manage profiles from several other social networks in addition to Twitter. Hootsuite is an independent social media company, not owned by Twitter.
Using either Hootsuite or Tweetdeck can streamline your Twitter search experience so that monitoring the news, professional blogs, and your organization’s strategic environment can become a comfortable part of your routine.