OK, so you’ve jumped on the Twitter bandwagon full force. You’re scheduling tweets. You’re pushing your listings with tweets. You’re engaging your audience, tweet by tweet. You’ve got multiple twitter accounts for you, your company and your blog. And managing it all is a pain. Enter CoTweet.

CoTweet is a service, currently in invitational beta, that helps multiple people manage multiple Twitter accounts. For example, if there are two or three of you at your brokerage who monitor the company Twitter account, CoTweet helps you coordinate responses via Twitter and e-mail.

Let’s take it for a spin.

Objective: Share management duties of the company Twitter account, so the person doing desk hours can help funnel questions, leads and prospects appropriately.

As I mentioned, CoTweet is currently in invitational beta. So you’ll have to ask to be let in and then wait for your invite code. Once you get your code you can log in.

Once your account is created you can add up to four Twitter accounts to manage. So you might want your personal account, your company account and your blog account, for example. In the rest of this review I’ll focus on that company account.

In your account settings you can configure your "CoTag," which is a way to let Twitter users know who is using the company account. The recommended setting is to use a caret symbol ("^" — it’s probably above the "6" key on your keyboard) and then your initials. For example, "^GD" would be my CoTag. This is useful because it helps put a little bit of a human face on a team-run company Twitter account. You can see an example of how this looks at the CoTweet Twitter page.

After that’s done, you’ll want to make sure your other co-workers have their accounts set up and enabled for CoTweet as well.

Time to get to work. You can view activity on your account by selecting your account at the upper left. In the account view you can view updates to the account’s Twitter stream (all of the people the account follows) as well as any messages (either direct or public reply).

For every tweet that is displayed, you can send a DM (direct message) to the person, a public reply, or retweet (to repeat or repost someone else’s Twitter post, also known as "RT" in Twitter-speak) — just like with the standard Twitter service. In addition, you can assign a tweet to one of your account holders. When you assign a tweet, you add a note and then the note and the tweet are e-mailed to the person you assign it to. …CONTINUED

An example:

Someone on Twitter mentions your company Twitter account and how they’re looking at a specific property from the outside and want some more info. The person monitoring the company Twitter account can assign that Tweet to the person who is marketing that property, which generates an e-mail notification. Why wouldn’t they just call for more info? Who knows. This is just an example.

When you make an assignment, it becomes visible in your account view on CoTweet. That way your Twitter-related items are all in one place. Pretty handy. If you want to notify people on your team about a tweet but those people don’t use Twitter, you can just e-mail the tweet to them without bothering with an assignment.

CoTweet also has a scheduling function. It has a nice clean interface and works like a charm. (For thoughts on why you might want to schedule some tweets, read my earlier column about Tweetlater.)

So that’s the account interface, and it’s good for messages that directly reference your company account. But you are probably monitoring specific topics on Twitter too, like conversations about your town or your property type or your favorite television show. You monitor topic-based conversation from the search view, which you select via the little magnifying glass in the upper left.

As you enter search terms, columns are created and populated with all the tweets that include your term. This is very much like the Tweetdeck interface. CoTweet remembers your columns so you can configure this to your favorite topics and leave it alone.

Just like in the account view, you can assign and e-mail Tweets. So you could monitor conversation about your town using your town name or the town hashtag (keyword) if you have one (Burlington, Vt., uses their airport acronym, "#BTV," as an example). When something relevant surfaces, you can forward it along to the right team member.

Using a tool like CoTweet can ease the burden of maintaining the company Twitter account by sharing the effort across multiple people.

Also, just as there are likely people in your office who are better at blogging or better at video, there is probably someone who is more familiar with Twitter. Using the assignment and e-mail functionality, that person can leverage their Twitter skill for the whole team.

Gahlord Dewald is the president and janitor of Thoughtfaucet, a strategic creative services company in Burlington, Vt. He’s a frequent speaker on applying analytics and data to creative marketing endeavors. He will speak during a Bloggers Connect workshop at the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 5-7.

Editor’s note: Daniel Rothamel, Inman News community manager, will lead a Twitter technology webinar, "Tweet Like You Mean It: A Deep Dive into Using Twitter For Real Estate," at 10 a.m. PST, 1 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 16. The webinar is free to Inman News premium members. Read Inman News for more details about this and other upcoming webinars.



What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.

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