Ever heard of Tweetdeck? I have to admit, up until recently Tweetdeck wasn’t something I’d ever used, just noticed at the bottom of people’s tweets from time to time. It turns out that it’s fantastic for maximising your efficiency on Twitter, and reducing the amount of time you waste spent on the site.
How to get Tweetdeck
You can install Tweetdeck as a standalone program, but personally I prefer to use the Chrome plugin as I found the desktop version a little glitchy.
You can get a hold of the Mac/Windows versions of Tweetdeck, as well as the Chrome plugin, right here: https://about.twitter.com/products/tweetdeck
Once you’ve installed you’ll be greeted with a screen filled with columns.
Tweetdeck is ALL about the columns. You can set a column up for a number of different things; for notifications, activity, your homepage, your inbox, a search term, a list. Lots of different things indeed.
Lets start off by adding a new column:
Once you’ve chosen Add column you’ll be given a number of column types to choose from. For this example, lets go with User. And for the user we’ll choose @ExactAbacusLtd. Enter the details and then hit the Add Column button, it will appear just like magic:
A simple, yet very useful feature. At the top right of every column in Tweetdeck you’ll notice an icon with a couple of sliders. If you click this you’ll get access to a number of settings for that column.
Click on Alerts and you’ll see a checkbox and popups box:
This can be incredibly handy if you’re waiting for a tweet on a specific subject and you want to be alerted as soon as any appear on Twitter. This can be especially handy when combined with very specific search terms (see the Advanced section below)
Another tip for this one: At first I found that when I had notifications active they would pop up in an area of the screen that I found irritating. All you need to do is move the notification to where you’d like it to appear, and close it on its own. Future alerts will pop up in this new location.
One of the first things that I decided to do upon setting up Tweetdeck was to finally get myself round to setting up Twitter lists. All you have to do in order to set up a list is to click on the small version of your avatar in the top right, and choose Lists from the dropdown.
Here you can add/edit/delete lists, which you can make public in order to share, or private if they’re for your eyes only. On my personal Twitter account I have separated out my lists into Media, Comedy, Web Development, Music, Gaming and Philosophy. Every time I follow someone on Twitter nowadays, I make a point of visiting their twitter profile and clicking on the cog icon so that I can add them to the most appropriate list.
Within Tweetdeck, all you have to do is create a new column for a list. Choose the list you want to show in its own column and you’re good to go!
You can actually go pretty deep with advanced search terms using Tweetdeck. I’ll go over an example here so you can see what I mean.
First off, lets click to add a new column. Choose a search column this time.
Choose a search term that’s relevant for the coming weeks, e.g. Christmas deals!
After entering Christmas Deals, you’ll be given a choice of Tweets or Users. Go with Tweets, and then be prepared to click through the Content, Users and Engagement accordion tabs below:
In Content I’m going to select the following:
Showing: Tweets with links
Excluding: America (we’re based in the UK, so for this example we’re looking to avoid additional shipping costs and long waiting times)
Written in: English
In the Users panel you can choose to include tweets from specific users, or even specific lists!
In Engagement you get to set up the minimum popularity levels required to display tweets. I’m going to go with “At least 5 favourites” so that I know I’m going to see tweets that other people definitely like.
I’m sure you can already see how simple, yet powerful, these columns can be. My new column gives me results for non-retweet Christmas deal tweets, written in English with links, excluding the word “America” with at least 5 favourites. Excellent stuff.
The last tip I will give you is especially useful if you have a smaller screen, or a large number of columns!
At the very top left of each column you’ll notice a number. Now try tapping the corresponding number on your keyboard, and Tweetdeck will jump right to it! This is another handy one for quickly jumping around your Twitter content in order to find the latest info on the topic most relevant to you right now.
I hope you enjoyed this roundup on Tweetdeck. Hopefully it will increase your productivity and your interactivity with followers on Twitter.
by Paul Devine on 08/12/2014