The Quick and Dirty Guide to Twitter Lists

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When you think about it, keeping up with Twitter followers is a lot like managing your wardrobe.

If each item is neatly hanging in the closet or folded in a drawer, the pieces are easy to access. It’s simple to arrange and group the clothes – and you’ve made your closet a more efficient and organized place. There’s no question this beats trying to manage one huge, heaping pile of disorganized clothes (gasp!).

Keeping up with your Twitter followers is very similar. When you’re following and are followed by lots of people, it’s easy for good tweets and great content to get lost in the noise (the heap). That’s why creating Twitter Lists (the equivalent of folding and neatly hanging your clothes), is crucial if you’re serious about growing your online presence.

Twitter Lists enable you to segment your followers, as well as influencers, competitors, and prospects, into manageable “groups.” These lists could be the key to unlocking your Twitter potential for lead generation, and there’s only one catch: you have to build them the right way for them to be effective.
Why Twitter Lists are Worth the Extra Effort

Zeroing in on the Right People and Content

Don’t trudge through crowded feed, swiping past irrelevant and repetitive content that doesn’t appeal to you. Creating Twitter Lists lets you zero in on the right tweets by helping you closely follow only the people you care about – without getting weighed down with information you don’t need.

Sorting by Industry or Subject

It’s simple to quickly access fresh information on a specific niche or subject when you create a list that includes organizations and experts on an industry or theme. If marketing tweets are all you’re looking to read, you’ll love having a personalized “Marketing Experts” list with the latest content from respected influencers you follow.

Learn something new

Working with efficient and effective Twitter Lists means you’ll have a library of up-to-date, categorized information at your fingertips whenever you need it. Use your lists wisely to do some market research and listen closely to what your audience is talking about—what are their concerns or common issues? What solution would they like to see?

Twitter Lists will help you get involved in the conversation, connect with influencers, and learn new things about your audience that will help you grow your brand.

Which Lists Should You Be Creating?

The first lists you create will be a foundation you’ll continually build upon. Here are four basic lists to get you started:

The Competition

Keep up with your competition’s every move with a private Twitter list – without even having to follow them. You’ll be watching their posts to track trends, get ideas for your next blog post or white paper, and see what their latest features are.

Your similar audiences make this kind of information very valuable to you, so spend a little time curating good lists of your competitors – and you’ll never be blindsided by the competition.

Your Customers

It might sound like a no-brainer, but you’ll need a list dedicated to following and listening to your customers. Keep this list private—it’s for your eyes only. This list will help you keep track of what your clients are up to and give you a little more insight into their related interests.

Don’t create this list and leave it alone—check it often to keep a pulse on your customers’ wants and needs, joining in the conversation and retweeting or favoriting when appropriate.

Your Prospects

What are your prospects talking about? What’s important to them? How can you most effectively reach them? You’ll find out if you build a list of prospects and listen well. It’s important to know exactly who your target audience is to build this list.

Again, the most important part is not creating the list – it’s listening to the list! Check and grow your prospect list often, and engage with them, especially if they’re previously expressed interest in your product or service, such as signing up for a free trial.

Thought Leaders

Who are the most innovative and well-respected individuals in your field? Who do your colleagues follow for advice on the subject? This is an excellent way to find out who the thought leaders in your industry are. Build a solid list of the thought leaders in your industry to stay on top of rising trends, ideas, and changes that could impact your work.

5 Ways to Make the Most of Twitter Lists

Retweeting

It’s a great idea to create a list of users who regularly retweet your posts. First, it’ll help you keep an eye on who’s most interested in your updates. Second, it will make it simple for you to return the favor —and reap the resulting engagement—by retweeting those users’ posts. Give your list a clever name, like ‘Content Warriors’ or ‘Sharing is Caring.’

Following Trends

Stay abreast of the latest trends by creating lists that focus on the trends most relevant to you and your brand. For example, a health and beauty brand could create a list of users and companies tweeting about the coconut oil craze. Staying on top of trends means knowing who’s talking about them, what they’re saying, and how often it’s brought up.

Pitching Thought Leaders for Interviews

Because you’re following their Tweets, you know what topics are important to the thought leaders in your industry. You’re in a prime position to interview them and share their insights with your growing Twitter community! Reach out to the leaders that inspire you most and request a short interview via a tweet. You’ll be surprised at how many are willing to take you up on the offer!

Getting Ideas For New Blog Posts

Now that you’ve got your industry’s thought leaders, experts, and influencers all in one place, you’ve got a treasure trove of great content ideas. Take note of the topics and writing styles the respected people in your community are using and put your own original spin on it.

Quick Twitter Tip: Managing Lists

If you follow @ListWatcher on Twitter, you’ll get a direct message when someone adds, removes, or changes your membership status on a Twitter list. This makes reaching out to those who add you to their lists a cinch.

Twitter is an excellent social network for engaging with your customers, prospects and industry professionals. But if you can’t find a way to organize it and make it work for you – you’ll never see all of the benefits. Give Twitter lists a shot and start using Twitter like it was meant to be used.

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