If there's a better Twitter client than TweetDeck, Twitter itself probably doesn't know about it -- the company paid about $50 million to buy TweetDeck in May 2011 [source: Valentino-DeVries]. It's easy to see why people use TweetDeck -- the client can be used on computers, mobile devices and the Web and offers a number of tools to make tweeting easier. Followed Twitter accounts can be split into different groups with unique notification options, posts can be scheduled in advance, and URL shorteners and media uploads are baked right into the interface. And, of course, there's the tool that gives TweetDeck its place in this article: Facebook support.
A TweetDeck account acts like a master account that contains your profiles for multiple services. You can easily just use it for Twitter, but it also supports Facebook, Google Buzz, LinkedIn, MySpace and FourSquare. Once logged into your account, you can post a message to multiple accounts simultaneously or choose which account an update goes out to. Want to post something to your Facebook friends but not your Twitter followers? No problem. In fact, TweetDeck does more than that -- it lets you bring most of the Facebook experience into the app. You can view the Facebook stream of updates and photos without ever closing the app.
TweetDeck's hardly the only application that merges social networks into a single, easy-to-use interface. HootSuite supports the same services, plus a few more, and offers a combined social media dashboard that allows you to manage all your feeds simultaneously, as well as mobile apps for iPhone and iPad, Android and Blackberry. Another TweetDeck competitor, Seesmic, offers the same widespread integration and the ability to post messages to a single account or multiple profiles. While all three programs can be installed as standalone applications on various platforms, they're also accessible via the Web. If you use TweetDeck, HootSuite or Seesmic, there's little reason to ever go to Twitter's official Web site.
Products like TweetDeck and Seesmic primarily exist to make life more convenient. Posting messages to Facebook and Twitter independently really isn't that difficult, but doing both at once is easier. Just remember that Twitter and Facebook are different social networks -- messages aimed at your family probably don't need to go out over Twitter. Know your audience, find the app that's right for you, and make sure you know how to post a perfect tweet. You're set!