As I traverse across the country talking about social media, whether it’s with clients one-on-one or with conference attendees from a stage — the “I don’t have time” mantra is a common response to the conversation.
– Drew McClellalan of DrewsMarketingMinute.com
Drew, I totally agree. Here are some of my favorite time-saving tools.
And for more of Drew’s Twitter-specific time savers, visit his blog.
1. Use Delicious.com for bookmarking
Delicious for Firefox
Using Delicious, I can access my bookmarks from anywhere I have internet access, and it’s quick and easy to tag my favorites for later use. Download the Delicious toolbar for your Firefox browser and it’s a 1-2-3 process:
1 – Click TAG button your toolbar
2 – add your tags
3 – click save
You can then easily go back to find anything you saved under your own tags such as ‘B2BTwitterTips’ or view other peoples tags such as ‘TwitterBackgrounds’ or ‘SocialMedia’.
2. Twitter Time Savers
First, use a client such as HootSuite or Tweetdeck so you can view by topic groups (people who tweet about Food & Wine) or saved searches (#dmtweetup, “jennifer juckett”)
Twitter has the ability to create your own groups and saved searches via your own page at Twitter.com also. Drew uses this method.
3. Use HootSuite or TweetDeck
Both are great for business users, marketers, public relations professionals or anyone managing multiple Twitter accounts.
Both allow you to easily:
• Manage multiple Twitter accounts
• Create Groups, organizing friends or interests into different columns
• Easily add photos
• Automatically shorten URLs (to save space in your limited 140 characters)
Sample view of my Tweetdeck setup.
I use Tweetdeck to manage two main accounts: @jennjuckett and @sdnewsnetwork, along with a variety of client accounts. I find Tweetdeck easier for searching, and I also use the Tweetdeck iPhone application.
Hootsuite has one unique feature that TweetDeck does not – with HootSuite, you can pre-schedule your tweets. We use HootSuite to schedule certain time-sensitive news posts, and when I advise Marketing and PR professionals we use HootSuite so we can manage time-sensitive announcements
Why Schedule your tweets?
- Business or Power users – pre-schedule your tweets once so you can be visible throughout the day. This allows you to make better use of your “Twitter time” by monitoring for your brand, having conversations, re-tweeting and sourcing new content.
- Time-sensitive tweets – PR professionals know the importance of this – If you need to time an announcement, promotion, or and especially when you have business in other time zones and need to reach them when they are starting the workday, not sleeping.
- Control your content flow – if you tend to login 2 or 3 times a day then send a barrage of tweets one after the other, chances are this is annoying to many of your followers. Schedule a few of your posts to show up a little later in the day and use your time for other tasks.
- If you know your content is consumed at certain times of day – you can schedule your tweets to take advantage of this. PR or media workers familiar with Jack Shafer’s news cycle theory will understand this. More on this topic here.
My sample HootSuite setup
I think I continue to use Tweetdeck just because I started with it first, I really like the interface, it’s easy to use on my iPhone and I don’t have the need to schedule tweets for @jennjuckett. I find them both useful and easy to use.
Another key difference to consider: Hootsuite is a web-based application, which means you can access it anywhere – you don’t have to be on your own computer. TweetDeck is a download. But, if you have the app for your phone, you’re still mobile. It really just comes down to your own preference.