Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts

Are you trying to manage multiple Twitter a/cs? Then this first post in the Digital Working Tools series is for you.

Turning the key
Turning the key

Many of us are the “only geek in the Lodge” or worse the only geek in several Lodges, Chapters etc. as a result we end up trying to manage several Twitter accounts.

If, like me, you have multiple Twitter personas, this post is for you. For example, it is not unusual to have:

  • A personal account for keeping up with friends
  • A work account – my employer trains us to tweet as part of the sales and marketing effort
  • A Masonic account – we are all proud Masons but mixing Freemasonry and work can be a problem particularly in the public sector
  • A role to play in our Lodge or Chapter accounts

I have discovered Tweetdeck, a free tool from Twitter that allows you to handle multiple Twitter accounts on screen at the same time. Tweetdeck was originally a third party tool but Twitter liked it so much they bought the company. The beauty of the tool is that all of the features are included in the free version, there is no constant frustration of trying to use a feature only to find that it is part of the premium version.

The tool allows you to add multiple accounts all of which can be visible at the same time – no more switching between accounts.

For example you can set up universal columns – one column that can be set to collate all of the @Mentions or DMs (Direct Messages) coming in from all of your accounts. It becomes like your Twitter inbox saving you from trying to scan across all of the individual columns.

Columns can be easily reordered by dragging them around to adapt to the way you use the tool.

You can schedule tweets to be posted at a future point. Many of us have time to tweet late at night or in the early morning (my insomnia certainly helps with that) but few if any of our followers want to read the tweet then. As Twitter is an “in the moment” medium it is important to schedule tweets when the audience is listening. A future post will look at how to know when is the best time to tweet to get the maximum attention from your followers.

Here is how to schedule a Tweet:

  • Sign in to your TweetDeck account and click New Tweet.
  • Confirm that the Twitter account(s) you would like to tweet from is selected.
  • Compose your Tweet. You can include an image with the Tweet by clicking Add image.
  • Click Schedule Tweet and select the date and time you would like the Tweet posted.
  • Click Schedule Tweet at [date/time].
  • You can view and edit your scheduled Tweets by adding a Scheduled column.

In a future post I will look at the use of another tool, Buffer, to schedule posts across both Facebook and Twitter from the same tool. Tweetdeck lost the ability to work with Facebook when it was bought by Twitter.

There are a host of other useful features included such as:

  • Mute – carry on following an account but stop seeing their tweets. This can be less offensive than unfollowing.
  • List management – lists enable you to monitor subsets of the people that you follow. For example I have created a BerksMasonic list which allows me to keep a track of those accounts.

It is a cross-platform tool with versions available for both Mac and Windows as well as a web version that can be used where you cannot install software. It is fast and automatically refreshes – no need to press a reload button to keep the flow going.

I started using the PC version but then I discovered that one drawback of Tweetdeck is that it does not support the use of emoji or those smiley face icons. If you want this functionality, there is an extension to the Chrome browser called Better TweetDeck that adds this capability but only if you use the website via Chrome. I only hope that Twitter sees this post and buys the function and adds it to the core installable tool.

The amount of data that this tool brings is best viewed on a large screen monitor.

Smartphones

Tweetdeck is not available as an app for your smartphone but the Twitter app for iPhone will allow you to configure multiple independent accounts which you can switch between. You can use your web browser to go to Tweetdeck on the web but the screen is too small to use a tool like Tweetdeck.

Better Tweetdeck will not work on the iOS version of Chrome.

Tablets

The larger screen size of a tablet means that accessing Tweetdeck via the browser is a more realistic option. However, for those with three or more accounts you will really need to use an external monitor.

iPad

As for the iPhone, there is no iOS version of Tweetdeck. You can use the Twitter application with each account set up separately and switch between them. You can also access Tweetdeck on the web.

Better Tweetdeck will not work on the iOS version of Chrome.

Windows 8.1 Tablet

As this is essentially the desktop operating system on a smaller device, Tweetdeck is usable but the screen size makes things more challenging.

Further Reading

Brilliant Social Media by Adam Gray – this link takes you to Amazon but I read it via my local library and then bought it.

Tweetdeck Pro Tips

© Hungerford Lodge 4748

Author: Hungerford Lodge

A Lodge of Freemasons meeting 6 times a year in the Newbury Masonic Centre. 3rd Tuesday October, November (Installation), February, March, April & 2nd Tues December. Consecrated September 1925.

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