As we all know, Twitter is becoming one of the main modes of communication. It’s free, easy and a lot of fun. You have the ability to chat with thousands of people at any time. As your follower list grows, so does the challenge of keeping up with specific people.
What happens when you have thousands of followers and you want to stay on top of what the people close to you are still saying? It’s time to turn to third-party application to manage your timeline. This how-to looks at using Tweetdeck to maximize your Twit-ficiency.
Download Tweetdeck. Visit www.tweetdeck.com to get and install the software. It runs as a separate application from your browser, so you have the ability to use it independent of everything else you’re doing. After it’s installed, spend some time learning how to send tweets and familiarize yourself with the interface.
Organize your groups. This step is the key to managing your followers. The idea is to set up groups for all of the people that you want to stay connected with, and the ones you want build a relationship with. The default group “all friends” should fill up with tweets that you won’t need to pay any attention to.
For personal use, start by assigning a group called “actual friends.” This is where the tweets from people that you have relationships land. Assign other groups for hobbies or activities that you follow twitterers from. Assign a group for celebrities. Assign a group for brands or companies that you follow. Filter all of the people that you want to talk to into a group, and let the rest pass by in the “all friends” column.
For business use, start by assigning a group for “customers” or “business contacts.” More ideas for groups are influential people in your field, potential customers, and most importantly your competitors.
This may seem like it takes a lot of time for initial set-up, but the time saved and not missing important tweets is well worth it.
Use the Move Column buttons to arrange the order that the tiles are seen.
Adjust the API to maximize Tweetdeck’s speed for your needs. Since Tweetdeck is a third-party application it has to call on Twitter to get tweets for you. Twitter has a limit of 100 API calls in an hour, so adjust yours to suit your needs. If you rely on direct messages a lot, boost that slider. Just make sure that the total is 100 or less to make sure that you don’t get the “Fail Whale” during peak times. See the picture for my settings, which work great for me.
Play around with the other features. Use Tweetdeck to update your Facebook status, or 12 Seconds updates. There is a great URL shortener and Twitpic updater from the interface.