Twitter lists: what are they good for?

by | Jan 19, 2016 | Social Media, Twitter

Are you active on Twitter? If so, are you using lists to get your message out and engage with those who can further enhance your efforts?

If not, then let’s start with the basics: A list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own, or subscribe to lists created by others.

Once upon a time, the option to create lists did not exist. It wasn’t until December 2009 that Twitter introduced the lists feature, giving you the ability to group your users into specific lists. You can refer to these lists to quickly to catch up on tweets you may have otherwise missed.

Creating a Twitter list is easy. And following a select group of users can be very useful, and a great time-saving feature. For example, you can bundle users such as colleagues, news sources, competitors, clients, helpful resources, industry leaders into separate lists allowing you to gain insights, stay informed, keep in touch and of course reply or favourite when necessary. This way you can stay current on the subjects and users who are important to you, without having to wade through clutter.

Private vs. public lists

Try being a bit of a Twitter stalker when it comes to keeping up-to-date on what the competition is up to. Create a private list, add individuals or companies and gather some great ideas or inspiration, or simply observe what they’re doing (you don’t have to actually follow them on Twitter to reap the benefits of this feature).

Keep in mind tweets from your lists don’t show up in your primary feed. I mean really, you’re not technically following them, you’re just observing their public Twitter timeline. Right?

Private lists are also useful when you want to keep an eye on your client’s accounts, allowing you to jump in at any time and provide assistance when needed.

Curated lists

If you’ve created your own list and run out of people to add then you might want to consider subscribing to other public lists, or lists of which they are a member.

All you have to do is find people and brands you respect on Twitter, and see which lists they’re in. Before deciding to which ones you’d like to subscribe, take note of the number of members. Consider subscribing when you see a significant number, or the list contains some good influencers. This is a great way to find like-minded people with which to connect.

Keep your lists up-to-date

Ensure you visit your lists now and then and review. If you find that members of these public lists have added you and you’re seeing some real engagement, keep up the good work! If not then you might want to unsubscribe, or at least spend your efforts where you find a better return on the time you’re investing.

Like anything, the process of generating ROI from Twitter lists takes time, so be patient. Keep engaging and offering interesting, timely information and you’ll eventually notice that others will start adding you to their lists. Like all social media platforms, you need dedication in assembling a following. If you build it, they will come!

So what are you waiting for? Create a list,  find people to add and get started. Stay vigilant and you’ll see the benefits of this useful tool.

Whitney Zelmer
Whitney Zelmer is a content marketer and events coordinator. In her free time, she is an encaustic/mixed media artist.


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