I started out this week being completely overwhelmed by the amount of information generated by Twitter. Typically, after sorting through and responding to over a hundred emails a day I just don’t have it in me to take on Twitter (in addition to other social media platforms). This is why I’ve had a Twitter account for years but have only used it a few times. So if you find yourself in the same situation this post is for you. I made it my mission this week to better understand Twitter and how to manage the flow of information. This effort is broken down into two parts; making lists in Twitter and testing apps which combines Twitter with other social media platforms.
Part 1: Making lists in Twitter and Saving Searches
This is an important first step as I’m not always in the mood for all the information I follow. Sometimes, I want to not think and just look at tweets by comedians. Other times I want to see what’s going on in Healthcare. I rarely want to mix the two or any other topics for that matter. Therefore, I added my follows to only one group each; Sports, Leaders, Comedy, and Health News. I also saved the search of “Meaningful Use” and I can now refresh that search at any point to gather new stories on the topic. Between these two functions I can now get the information I want when I want it.
Part 2: Testing Apps which Combines Twitter with other Social Media Tools
In full transparency I’m not an “Apple Fanboy” which makes searching for useful mobile apps difficult. These may or may not be the best Apps if you’re using an iPhone. For Android I was able to find two fairly good apps which were able to combine multiple social networking tools into on App. Each has their pros/cons and I’ll describe my initial thoughts here.
Hootsuite allows you to add accounts for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The ability to also add LinkedIn is a plus of Seesmic. One really cool feature is that you can send out a single message to all platforms. I tried this out with a test message and verified it posted to all three platforms near instantly. Another cool feature is that you can customize what parts of each platform you’d like to see on your streams. I was able to add my Health News list and my saved search. A con on the saved search was that it didn’t pull that in from my Twitter account. I had to add that manually within the app. Another con is that there isn’t a great way to see all social media platforms together in a single feed if you wanted to do that.
Seesmic allows you to add accounts for Twitter and Facebook. The screenshots on the Google Play store also imply that you can combine the platforms in a single feed although I haven’t been able to figure it out yet. It also allows you to send out a single message to all platforms which is a pro. On the con side, bavigating between the platforms is a little more difficult than Hootsuite. Saved searches are also a little more difficult to pull off and it definitely doesn’t pull them in from the Twitter account. Lastly, Seesmic has ads which I’m sure you could get removed for a small fee.
In summary, neither app seems to do Facebook extremely well but Twitter is pretty good on both. Since Hootsuite comes stock without ads, it can do everything Seesmic can do, and it has better user experience — I’ll probably use Hootsuite in the future.