If multiple users staff your company's Twitter account, coordinating updates can s become complicated and confusing. Twitter thankfully allows you to stay logged in at more than one location so that multiple employees can manage your Twitter feed at the same time. Still, without tools to track what's being posted, employees may tweet the same news multiple times, or worse, respond to direct messages from Twitter followers or @replies with multiple answers that annoy your customers.
You can avoid these scenarios by using tools that help users at your company keep track of the company Twitter feed and lets them post to it more easily to avoid confusion that can cause multiple identical posts. Twitter's popular TweetDeck client can alleviate some of the coordination headaches. Some users may even have access to features in Twitter itself, to help you manage multiple contributors to a Twitter account.
Add Contributors Within Twitter
Twitter has added a number of features over the last few years in beta testing for small business to make it easier for companies to work with the micro-blogging service. Twitter's new business pages, are only the latest in a line of features available to a small number of Twitter business partners. One of the earliest features in this beta, “Contributors,” lets you designate users who can add tweets to your company's Twitter profile without needing full administrative access to the account.
[Read: "How to Use Twitter Like a Pro"]
If you've already gotten access to Twitter's business account beta, then adding contributors to your company's account is easy. Open the drop-down menu next to the new tweet button on Twitter's menu bar and select “Settings.” From there, look for the new "Contributors" category on the left. Clicking on that will open up a new page where you can enter in the users you want to allow to post to your company's Twitter account.
After they respond to a quick confirmation e-mail, the contributors you add will be able to switch between their personal account and the company Twitter feed via a new “Switch accounts” section in the same drop-down menu along the upper right area of your Twitter homepage.
The contributor solution has a lot of advantages over simply giving the account password to everyone working with the Twitter feed. First, it allows you to be more selective with security. Contributors can post to your Twitter feed, but they can't access the profile or settings for your company's account. Second, Contributors themselves are able to switch quickly and easily among their multiple accounts thanks to the account switching drop-down option. This makes posts, especially for businesses that keep multiple Twitter accounts, that much faster.
If you want to add contributors to your company's Twitter account but don't see “Contributors” in your account settings, then your company doesn't yet have access to Twitter's new business tools, which are open to only a few hundred businesses at the moment. The company has promised to roll business accounts out to the general user base in the next few months, but in the meantime there are third-party services that make it easier for multiple users to update to your Twitter account.
Manage Multiple Users With TweetDeck
If you don't have access to adding multiple contributors via Twitter itself, you can approximate the process using TweetDeck, a simple download for your PC. If you need to use TweetDeck on another computer, Twitter launched a Web App Version of Tweet Deck late last year.
In exchange for having you ditch the default Twitter page, TweetDeck offers all kinds of features that vanilla Twitter lacks. You can schedule tweets to post at a later time, customize your feeds to let you view only the messages that are important to you, and manage multiple accounts at the same time.
Although it requires extra set-up steps, TweetDeck lets your contributors keep track of multiple accounts (including your business Twitter account and any personal twitter accounts they may have) at the same time, and it even integrates with Facebook to make cross-posting easier.
To get started, create a TweetDeck account--either from the desktop app or on TweetDeck's homepage; simply select an e-mail address and password to log in. Once you've logged into TweetDeck, you'll want to tie your Twitter accounts to the app.
To add an account to your TweetDeck profile, click on the gear icon on the upper right and select Settings. This should bring up a general Application Settings window. Select the accounts tab on the left and then click Add Twitter Account. This will pop up a quick authorization screen that will ask for your Twitter username and password. Click Authorize App, and TweetDeck should automatically keep track of your new account along with any others.
To help contributors track what others are posting to the company account, and prevent double-posting, tell your contributors to add a column that displays all your company's tweets within TweetDeck. To do that, press the Add Column button in the upper left area of your TweetDeck window. That should launch a new window. Although you have many other options to customize feeds, for now you'll just want to look at all tweets from one account. To do that click on the “tweets” option in the second row.
This will bring up another option window, asking which of your accounts you want to monitor Tweets from. Select your business account, and all your company's tweets will appear in a new column along the right side of your TweetDeck window. TweetDeck's feed of new messages on the company twitter account should update live whenever there's a new tweet, so unless you and another contributor are posting a new tweet at the exact same moment, your Twitter account should be safe from the risk of double posts.