Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts

As anyone with more than one Twitter account knows, signing in and out of Twitter.com with different logins and passwords is a hassle. Fortunately, plenty of developers have created their own Twitter clients that allow users to tweet from multiple accounts easily.

We’ve tried out five different Twitter clients with varying levels of success. Following is a description and brief review of each. We’ll list our personal favorite at the end, but whichever one you choose will depend on your unique needs.

CoTweet

We started off with CoTweet and loved it — at first. CoTweet allows you to set up all of your Twitter accounts into one user interface. One of the most useful features is that you can schedule tweets for a certain date and time. If your tweet isn’t time sensitive, such as a link to an interesting article, it’s nice that you can set it up to go out in the afternoon instead of coming back to do it later.

However, it started to run very slowly and take forever to refresh and schedule tweets. It also took a long time to toggle between Twitter accounts. Frustration led us to try something else.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a little different than these other clients because you have to download the software onto your computer (the rest are web based). It also requires you to install Adobe Air. TweetDeck looks great–photos and white text on a black background–and is very flexible. You can choose which “columns” of information you want displayed, whether it’s your timeline, one of your account’s direct messages, a certain hashtag, etc., and the order you want them in.

It’s easy to reply to a tweet, retweet something, and add a new follower. If you enter a long link, TweetDeck will automatically shorten it into a bit.ly URL (or three other URL shorteners of your choosing). It’s really easy to use and looks very clean. We also just discovered the “reply all” feature, which is really helpful.

HootSuite

We tried out HootSuite for a day and sent/replied to tweets from three different accounts. Like TweetDeck, different types of information (your main feed, @ replies, and direct messages) are sorted into different columns. The default is to have different tabs for each of your accounts, so you have to toggle from one account to another unless you take the time to set it up differently.

The most frequently it will refresh tweets is every 2 minutes. The interface is a little busy for our tastes. HootSuite also uses its own ow.ly URL shortener and tracks how many clicks each link gets.

MediaFunnel

TweetFunnel recently became MediaFunnel to reflect its ability to manage Facebook accounts as well. We tried it for Twitter only. It only shows one column of tweets at a time. You can choose to view tweets for all accounts in one column, which can be helpful if you don’t want to toggle between accounts. But if you follow the same person from more than one account, their tweets are duplicated and you’ll see them two or three times in a row. With MediaFunnel you can schedule tweets, and long links are automatically shortened.

SpliTweet

We’ll just come out and say this was our least favorite of the sites we tested. SpliTweet shows only one column at a time, and it’d difficult to switch between accounts. Tweets don’t refresh quickly. We were viewing all of the tweets for  @atkinsonpr and replied to one, but had to check a box to say we were tweeting from @atkinsonpr before it would go through. That should be the default. You can see tweets from more than one account, but they all show up in the same main feed.

The Verdict

We have TweetDeck running all day during the workweek to tweet and reply to others. It’s very easy to track when someone mentions one of your accounts and to keep track of a hashtag of interest. We haven’t really missed not being able to schedule tweets, but if we needed to, we’d use HootSuite for that. HootSuite is our favorite of the web-based options. It would be a good tool if we had more than one person managing the Twitter accounts.

Have you tried any of these–or other–Twitter clients? Which one is your favorite? Let us know by commenting in a review of this article.

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