by MaryKate Callahan
If you use Twitter, odds are you know what Twitter Lists are — but do you take advantage them? If your company is not maintaining Twitter lists, then it is not using the powerful social platform to its full potential. Twitter Lists are a great way to keep track of your audience, which is likely comprised of customers, competitors, and industry thought leaders you want to keep up with. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider creating and maintaining Twitter Lists:
- Lists help organize the people you’re following. By filing the people you follow on Twitter into Lists, it is easier to keep them organized in a way that makes sense to you. This helps with remembering why you followed them in the first place, and how you can interact with them in the future. Think of it this way: Why did you follow this person in the first place? Are they a potential lead? Do they offer relevant advice about your industry? Based on your answers to those questions, you can file them into Lists with other similar Twitter accounts so you know what to say when you need to follow up with them.
- Lists are easy to share with others. Once you’ve created a List on Twitter, you can send it to anyone else who wants to follow it (provided it is a Public list, not a Private list). This not only helps with internal initiatives, it also helps with thought leadership. For example, if you’re a travel agency that’s curated an exceptional Twitter list called “Best Restaurants Cape May, NJ” and you encourage your customers to follow it, they may find that list extremely valuable, which in turn helps your overall credibility (not to mention the goodwill you’ll generate with restaurants on the list!).
- Lists help with digesting the news. On any given day, your Twitter feed can be overwhelming. With all of the news outlets and information sources you follow saying different things at different times, it helps to be able to segment these accounts so that you can make sense of things more quickly. For example, if you’re interested in social media, creating a general “Social Media News” List will help you be able to make sense of the latest changes, such as the recent Instagram update that had community managers around world up in arms.
- Lists help you pay some extra special attention to customers! Your company likely keeps an internal client list and potential client list. You can use that information on Twitter, too! If a known customer interacts with you (favorites a tweet, retweets you, etc.), make it a habit to add them to a Private List called “Customers” so you can easily keep track of how your customers participate on social media. You can even go so far as to organize your customers into sub-lists that describe characteristics such as buying habits, location, or general relationships to your brand (hello, brand ambassadors!).
- Lists are great for keeping track of people you don’t want to follow. We all have people we want to check in with Twitter, but not necessarily follow. The same applies to businesses. While you might want to keep tabs on your competitors, that doesn’t mean you need to be following them! That’s where Lists come in. They allow you to quickly view selected Twitter handles in one, organized place without the commitment of actually following them. This also really helps when it comes to keeping your Newsfeed from getting overrun! If you’re sensitive to having a favorable ratio (number of people following you vs. number of people you follow), then Twitter Lists might be the perfect for you. You can keep track of accounts that you like to check, but not necessarily follow, with ease.
- Lists help with increasing your visibility in search. If someone has added your Twitter handle to a List they’ve created, it not only helps your overall web presence from an SEO standpoint, it also helps with general brand exposure (because somebody scrolling through that list will see you). People often subscribe to Public Lists, which makes being on Public Lists a priority. What’s the best way to get on somebody’s “Top Influencers” List? Add them to yours! (Tip: Always add your own handle to the Lists you create. That way, if someone subscribes to your list but doesn’t follow you directly, they are more likely to see your tweets!)
- Lists help with real-life communication, especially at events. Networking is the name of the game, and social media helps you play it. Twitter is especially useful for networking situations that surround an event, as there are often Twitter accounts, hashtags, and (you guessed it!) Twitter Lists associated with specific events going on. Say you attended HubSpot’s annual Inbound Marketing convention like we did this past year: by following Hubspot’s “INBOUND15 Tweeters” List, you can now see a curated list of people who attended the event or were interested in following it.
In the spirit of spring-cleaning, make it a project to go through your company’s Twitter account and groom the people you’re following into organized and well-defined lists. From there, maintaining and updating your lists will be easy and hopefully become a habit, helping your brand make the most out of its Twitter presence.