If you're using Twitter but you're not using Twitter lists, oh my god, you're missing out.

A Twitter list is simply a curated group of Twitter users that allows you to efficiently organize your users in various groups and to better manage your tweets. You can subscribe to a list created by another user, or, preferably, you can create your own. By creating your own list, you can easily follow the tweets of specific groups of users separate from the ones that follow you.

A common misconception about Twitter lists is that they can be used to send tweets to multiple members of the group, when in fact they provide an efficient means of reading tweets from the list's members.

How to Create a Twitter List

Creating a Twitter list is fairly simple. Simply go to https://twitter.com//lists, and then on "create new list." You can now create a name and description for the group and specify whether it is public, in which case any user can subscribe to it, or private. After saving your list, you can add members by clicking on their profile; moreover, you do not have to be following them to add them to the list. This is huge, as you might not want to show up as a follower of your chief competitor, but you might very well want to add them to a list to keep tabs on them. Yes, Twitter users get notifications when they're added to a list, but most users don't pay attention to these.

You can add or remove a user from a list at any time.

Ways to Use Your Twitter Lists

#1: Staff Directory List

You can locate all your employees on Twitter, and gather them into a single "staff directory." Doing this will incentivize any staff members not on Twitter to open an account, since the platform can provide a convenient way to share work-related updates and live feeds. A staff directory list also allows users outside your organization to better understand the culture behind your brand.

#2: Event Organization and Management

When it comes to events, Twitter Lists allow participants as well as those unable to attend a means of staying updated. Using a hashtag related to the event allows anyone interested to contribute to the topic at hand, and also provides an opportunity for people to keep in touch after the event. If it's too onerous to create a list of all your event's attendees, you can simply

#3: Competitors List

Creating a list comprised of your competitors' Twitter accounts is a smart business move: it keeps you up to date with any new products or changes in management, and gives you an opportunity to observe what they share on social media and the manner in which they engage with their customer base. A list of your competitors, of course, should be kept private.

#4: Extraordinary Customers

In any line of business, a customer is of immense value and should be treated as such. Twitter Lists allow you to show your gratitude to them for their loyalty. Every time you add an individual to a list, they receive a notification, and this is a great way to show your appreciation to a highly valued customer. A list of exceptional customers is basically a "recognize and reward" list that will come in handy while organizing community-oriented campaigns in which you'd like to engage some of your most valued customers.

#5: Users who Retweet You

User who often retweet you likely share similar opinions and/or are avid fans of your brand. Just as you have a list of your favorite customers, people who frequently retweet you warrant their own list. Name the list something more original than "Retweeters." Try to think of something that indicates the value they offer as a veritable marketing army for your posts. Similarly, share from their posts what you see as potentially useful for your brand, creating a win-win situation and incentivizing them to share more of your posts.

#6: Your Favorite Conversationalists

Your favorite Twitter users typically respond to your tweets while also adding their thoughts and opinions to the discussion. Chatting about engaging topics is a priceless way of getting diverse ideas on issues of interest. Creating a list of these users keeps you surrounded with people who can offer valuable insight and intriguing ideas that could help take your business to the next level.

#7: Industry Players

This list includes Twitter users who work in your specific field, and not just the ones with whom you compete for customers. This list is essential for keeping up to date with a dynamic industry and its changing trends.

#8: Prospects

Interested in striking up conversations with companies you'd like to work with? Use a premium social media management tool like SocialBro to search all of Twitter to find people who work at companies you're interested in, then add them to a Prospects list. Of course, name it something different--or keep it private.

#9: Close Friends and Family

Twitter is a social networking site, and basic networking begins with close friends and family. With a list consisting exclusively of your personal acquaintances, you can easily stay in touch.

One small caveat: people who don't employ lists are using too few, true, but it's also possible to create too many. If you do happen to create many lists, you'll notice that one to four of them you use often, and the rest will get used hardly ever, or only very infrequently.

Go ahead and use your account to its fullest by creating the lists that will be most useful to you and your brand.

Published on: Apr 1, 2015
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