If you are using Twitter to market and promote your business, you're likely concerned about how much time you spend on the website every day. It's a bit of a catch-22 situation. In order to get the most out of your networking efforts, you need to carry on conversations with people and do more than just pop in long enough to make a comment and move on. However, if you spend all your time on Twitter working on building relationships, your business isn't going to be around long. So what's an entrepreneur to do?
No problem. There are several desktop applications you can utilize to communicate via Twitter without having to stay on the website all day. These handy little programs all work in similar ways, but some seem to be more popular than others.
One of the most popular Twitter applications is Tweet Deck. Tweet Deck offers the flexibility of using columns to break down your tweets into categories. You can set up groups of followers and label them, so only those particular tweets appear in that column. By default, Tweet Deck gives you three columns. One is for your Friends – meaning all the people you follow. One is for your @replies and will show every message using your user name preceded by the @ sign. The third default column for Twitter is the Direct Messages column, which shows all of the private messages you both send and receive.
You can choose to add new columns simply by clicking on the icons found at the top of the Tweet Deck page. When you click on the group button, for example, a new column is created as well as a list of your followers. You simply check off which followers you want to add to your group, give the group a name and voila! You now have a column exclusively for tweets from your chosen followers.
You can also add search columns to Tweet Deck. With the search column, you type in your keyword and you're off and running. Every time someone tweets with that keyword, it will show up in your column- whether you are following that person or not.
Tweet Deck is great for breaking your Twitter stream down into manageable chunks of tweets. When you are following hundreds or even thousands of people, it can be easy to miss the message sent out by your particular favorites. With the groups function, this is no longer an issue. It's easy to add new people to your group with Tweet Deck as well. When you see a tweet you like, click at the bottom of the little window the tweet is in. This will take you to a temporary column holding their profile. At the bottom of their profile, you have the option to follow them and to add them to a group.
Tweet Deck minimizes to your system tray and sends up a little pop up window to the upper right hand corner of your screen when you receive new tweets. You can set it to make a little chirp to notify you or you can turn the sound off.
Tweet Deck is a nifty little desktop application to help you stay in touch with all your Tweeple, without having to spend your day on the website filtering through messages you don’t need or want to see.