We’ve found that you can get a much richer experience of Twitter and can even save time if you investigate the tools designed to enhance your experience of Twitter. Tools for using Twitter such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Buffer, as well as those named below, can all help you to be more efficient in social media. To help you to find the right tool for you, here are some of the things you could try using, in such a tool:
- Schedule tweets in advance. Maybe you’re anticipating a conference or publication, so you want to time certain tweets
- Draft tweets quickly, to send later. Maybe you just have 5 mins at a bus stop when you think of something but you’ll need to polish it later. You could schedule it for a week later but come back tomorrow to polish it, or look for a special capacity for storing draft tweets.
- Choose the news that Twitter brings you. You can watch a group of accounts, keywords & hashtags, rather than what Twitter brings to you from the people you follow in one amorphous stream. This is really useful if you want to follow what people are tweeting about a particular conference, using the conference hashtag. We blogged earlier about some twitter streams you could benefit from following, as a researcher.
- Collecting tweets about content you want to read later, and maybe retweet to your follows. You can use Twitter’s own “favourite”, or apparently Buffer is really good at this (see Inger Mewburn in this clip from the Digital Academic Hangout). We also like to collect tweets using Storify, sometimes along with other content from the web on the same theme.
- Connect with other social media channels. You might not want to duplicate the same content on every social media channel (see this nice blogpost explaining why!), but if you do want to set up links between accounts then you might be able to do it directly between channels, or IFTTT could help. And it also helps if you can manage multiple channels from one dashboard.
Having said all that, there’s Dave White’s advice not to professionalise your engagement with Twitter beyond the level at which you enjoy it. He uses Twitter and just accepts the flow of tweets that it presents to him. What about you?!