I was thinking the other day about Twitter (check out MakeUseOf’s Twitter: Best Practices and Tips [PDF Guide]) and whether or not it would be possible to have more than one person tweeting from one account. There could be several uses for such a thing.
First off, a company could want multiple users on one Twitter account in order to share from different departments, etc. or to just split the time it would take to run a successful company Twitter account. A ministry may want multiple users on one Twitter account, too, to help communicate with the world about what’s going on. MAYBE a multi-writer blog would want each of the writers to contribute tweets so their Twitter stream remains active. There could be MANY reasons for what I call a “muli-twit” Twitter account.
There are several issues that could arise from assigning multiple users on Twitter accounts. A company or organization may have hesitations about relinquishing access to employees. There should be some kind of control over an organization’s brand. You’d probably want specific people or a specific department in control of PR or public relations. It only makes sense that those same people (or that same department) should be in control of what goes out in a company Twitter stream. So, how can we reconcile the need for a “multi-twit” Twitter account and the PR nightmare it could impose? Check out TweetFunnel (free while in beta)!
I like how TweetFunnel works. In fact it reminds me of how a multi-author blog operates. Basically TweetFunnel allows you to have three levels of twits: an Administrator, a publisher, and a contributor. The administrator creates the account and has the abilities to create users and review and publish tweets. The publisher can review and, you guessed it, publish tweets. And then there’s the contributor who only had the ability to write and submit tweets to the administrator or publisher for approval.
A publisher or Administrator has several options to choose from when a tweet is submitted by a contributor: approve and post, approve and schedule the tweet to be posted at a later time, hold until later posting or scheduling, or outright reject the tweet.
Let’s take this opportunity to see how this tool works! First, hit the “try out our free beta” button from this page.
Then, fill in the form.
You’re then offered the opportunity to sign into your newly created account.
The obvious next step is to add a Twitter account. You are offered two options — to use Twitter’s authentication method (recommended) or enter your Twitter account user name and password.
Once you add the Twitter account, you are now ready to get things set up. You’ll want to do things like activate the scheduler (it’ll ask for your timezone so timed tweeting will work right) and add bit.ly or bud.url URL shortner accounts (so you can track clicks on links tweeted).
Once that’s done, you can go ahead and hit the settings tab at the top right-hand corner of the site. Here you can make changes to your profile, manager users and their roles, and manage Twitter accounts including their credentials and scheduler settings. If your profile and Twitter account is already setup, hit the link to edit users and roles.
From here you can either invite a new user or add a new user. When you add a new user, just fill in the fields, choose the role, and choose the Twitter account the user will tweet on.
Once your user is set up, the screen will look like this when they log in.
For the sake of demonstration, I went ahead and added a contributor to my account so I can demonstrate how tweeting and moderating tweets works. When a contributor tweets, here’s what they’ll see.
As an administrator (or publisher if I had one set up), I’d head to Review Queue button to find the tweet awaiting moderation. You are then given the option to post immediately, post later, or to reject the tweet altogether.
As of right now, it seems as if you can designate a specific time for the tweet to be published. You can set at which increments future tweets are published. I’m hoping they’ll eventually allow administrators and publishers to edit tweet times, perhaps the order of future tweets, and if there’s a typo it would be nice to be able to go and fix it before it’s published (it seems once scheduled, there’s no editing possible).
Other than those issues, TweetFunnel could be an amiable competitor so some of the other web-based twitter applications such as HootSuite or PeopleBrowsr. Remember, they ARE still in beta so I’m sure there’s still some work for them to do and I’m sure they’d appreciate your feedback!