How to create order out of the chaos that is the Twitter tsunami

Because a number of business friends have asked me about how I use Twitter for business I promised to write these few notes here.

I use Twitter as a business tool. I’m also ‘social’ on it BUT I choose not to use it as a social-chat tool. My usage is 80% business 20% social business chat.

My tool of choice is Hootsuite These productivity pointers are written for Hootsuite. You can also look at Tweetdeck:

This is not a comprehensive exploration. I hope it is enough to get you going with it. The beauty of it is that it is pretty intuitive once you start with it.

You are very welcome to add your own experience and tips here. I don’t have all the answers.

OK, signup is straightforward and I won’t talk to that.

Once you sign up and are set up, you will see that all your Twitter activity is shown in Hootsuite. It integrates well with Twitter.

You will see that in your main ‘Tab’ you have a number of default ‘Streams’ showing twitter activity in different ways. And this is the part I want to specifically point out to you here.

You can create your own ‘Tabs’ and ‘Streams’ to organise your engagement with the people, businesses, market sectors, trends, news, thought-leaders etc that are important to you.

For example, I have ‘Tabs’ to organise Tweets through a shortened version of my sales contact classifications: Raving Fans; Clients; Hot Prospects and Prospects (see below for ‘Streams’ for each).

I also have ‘Tabs’ for various communities I engage with. One such is my ‘Local Networking’ ‘Tab’ where I have ‘Streams’ for physical and digital communities I engage with. The likes of #IoDSurrey #digitalsurrey #TVSMC SurreyChambers and others are found there.

I also have a separate Tab for Thought Leaders where the likes of TED and HBR tweets live.

You get the point, It’s simple. Here’s how:

  1. To add a new ‘Tab’ simply hit the ‘+’ sign to the right of your default Tab and overtype the ‘Untitled’ text.
  2. Don’t worry about the order you create your tabs in. You can move them left and right by simply dragging /dropping it to your preferred location.
  3. To add ‘Streams’ to your Tab you have a number of options: Search Keywords or List.
  4. You probably know that you can assign any contact to a ‘List’ on Twitter. Most of my Twitter lists are ‘Private’ (I don’t want people to see my sales pipeline!). In Hootsuite you can add people via your existing Twitter lists or create new lists directly inside Hootsuite. Remember to choose whether you want these lists to be private or public!
  5. Creating new Streams via Keyword is very straightforward. For my #IoDSurrey stream I simply enteres the word ‘IodSurrey’ in the dialogue box and hit ‘Add’.
  6. The ‘Search’ option is useful because you can include up to 3 search terms. Hit the ‘Show examples’ button to see some cool search terms you can use to refine your particular search  stream.

There it is, hope you find it useful. Call or mail me if you want to.

By the way, if you ever thought you would like to remove the twitter chit-chat that some people clutter our Linkedin home page with you will find this post useful

What can you add? Go ahead!

By |2012-01-30T13:42:17+00:00January 30th, 2012|Uncategorized|3 Comments


  1. Richard Maybury January 31, 2012 at 8:18 am

    To respond to an emailed question, respecting anonymity …

    I have some Tabs with 8 streams. There is a major LIMITATION though (apart from the columns getting narrower). I can only keep scrolling down my first 5 streams. From no.6 onward, the scrollbar returns automatically to the top of the stream.

    I, therefore place those streams with a lot of traffic (and therefore a need to scroll) within my first 5 in each tab.

  2. Richard Maybury January 30, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Good points Claire.
    One of the good things about Hootsuite is the capability to run multiple accounts from the same application. Making sure the right one is selected is key – especially if you run a business account alongside a more personal profile.

  3. Claire Thompson January 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Spell check everything, and make sure your software isn’t auto-correcting spelling for you (awkward!) and never, ever tweet when drunk. Even one drink can affect your judgement.

    And if you use Hootsuite for multiple accounts have a checklist before tweeting that includes unchecking all of the boxes and rechecking only the one you *really* want to tweet from.

    Mostly mistakes are harmless, but you never can tell…

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