One of the questions I get asked quite frequently is how to keep track on Twitter of a specific hashtag during a conference or Twitter chat.
The answer is to set up a search stream for your term.
Search streams are valuable for finding social activity around specific users, locations, hashtags or keywords. You have several options to monitor a search stream on Twitter but you’ll need to jump on a third-party tool outside Twitter to do it.
Here are 4 tools I use and recommend for the job.
Hootsuite is a very useful application for managing all your social media channels in one place. The basic Hootsuite plan is free. It enables you to view and monitor multiple streams in a single dashboard and allows you to keep tabs on key phrases, terms, keywords, brand mentions, etc.
Here’s a screenshot of a search stream I set up for a client recently.
For a step-by-step guide to setting up your Hootsuite account, read my previous post, How To Better Manage Social Media With Hootsuite.
Similar to Hootsuite, Tweetdeck is a Twitter client that lets you create several ‘columns’ in a single screen, so you can see everything that’s happening in one place. You can choose the type of columns you want to add, such as mentions, lists, messages, and search.
Here’s a screenshot of a column I have set up to monitor mentions of the hashtag #ePatient.
Primarily designed around Twitter chats, you can easily use this tool to also keep tabs on tweets from conferences and events happening in real time. Unlike Hootsuite, you don’t need any set-up. Simply enter a hashtag that you want to follow and the tool will instantly load all the tweets with that hashtag.
Tchat will update the stream with new tweets in real-time. What’s really cool about this tool is that you can pause the stream whenever you like, hide retweets, or switch between hashtags if you are following more than one topic.
Similar to Tchat’s features, you can use Twubs to monitor tweets in real-time, pause the thread, reply, retweet, favorite, and tweet directly with the hashtag automatically included. Here’s a screenshot of a hashtag I’ve been following this week for the #WhyWeDoResearch Tweetfest. One of the cool features with Twubs is that it gives you the ability to set the feed speed from fastest to slowest.
Do you use any of these tools? Are there other tools you would recommend?