Whether you are joining a Twitter party as a guest or hosting one of your own, TweetDeck is a useful tool for keeping up with the conversation. Not only does it allow you to track the party activity in a single stream, it has a number of other key features that make it perfect for parties:
- Quick retweeting for resharing the party questions without comment
- Quote tweets for adding comments to content you are retweeting (don’t forget to include the party hashtag in your comments so the tweet shows up in the party stream)
- Multiple column view so you can follow the party conversation and see your @ mentions easily
- Smart pausing so if you scroll down in a column, it stays there until you are ready to catch up to the live stream
- Photo tweets display the photo instead of showing the Twitpic link, unlike many Twitter chat sites
- Threaded discussions so you can go back in the conversation to see the previous comments.
If you aren’t using TweetDeck, you will need to download and install the app, and then get it set up with your Twitter login. Now you’re ready to set it up to party (and keep track of your everyday tweets).
- Set Up Your Columns — By default, TweetDeck comes with the very basic columns: Home (tweets of everyone you follow), Notifications (@ mentions directed at you) and Messages (direct messages), but you can set up any number of other columns by clicking the + sign. To set TweetDeck up for a party, you will need to add the hashtag as a column and if you would like, create a custom list of key party participants and create a separate column for them as well.
- Leave Your New Tweet Column Open — Chances are you will be tweeting a lot so it’s easier if you simply leave the new tweet column open. You can do that my checking the “Stay Open” box on the bottom right of the new tweet box. This feature is also useful if you have multiple accounts that you manage. For example, when hosting Twitter parties, I typically use my @MOMeo account to tweet out the questions and chat logistics and my @CarlaYoung account to interact with party guests.
- Schedule a Few Party Tweets — This feature is especially useful if you are hosting and know that you are going to get swept up in the conversation and forget to tweet out important reminders. All you do to schedule a tweet is compose a tweet like normal, but instead of clicking the Tweet button, click Schedule Tweet and choose a time when you would like the tweet to go out. If you do schedule tweets, it’s a good idea to create a column for your Scheduled Tweets so you can monitor what is cued up and what has been sent.
- Add Photos to Your Tweets — Make your tweets stand out by adding relevant photos to your tweets. All you have to do is compose a new tweet and before clicking tweet, select the “Add images” button and select which image you would like to use. Because adding a photo takes more time than simply tweeting, photo tweets are good candidates for scheduling.
- Alternate Between Retweets and Quote Tweets — Switch between fast retweets and quote tweets. I usually only retweet questions and party announcements and try to add a comment to whatever I am retweeting. Remember, you have to include the party hashtag in your comments when you quote tweet, otherwise your comments won’t show up in the party tweet stream.