Twitter now has around 330 million users. It offers an incredibly vast network of potential people and brands you can connect with. The volume of tweets is also huge, around 500 million per day, so I do appreciate it sometimes feels impossible to keep on top of your feed and see the value.
If you are thinking of abandoning your feed or are struggling to find the true value, there is a simple way of organising your Twitter feed into targeted topics and keep up with the important conversations you want to tag onto.
No matter how many people you follow on Twitter, lists offer a simple way of organising and targeting. They allow you to engage more effectively and can help you keep secret tabs on your competition!
First things, first.. How to build your list.
- Log in to your account.
- On the left hand side, you will see a number of options. Choose Lists
- You will see the option to Create a list, so jump right in and Create a New List
- Add a name for your list and a brief description - upto 100 characters.
- You will also see the option to make your list private or public. A public list can be seen by anyone on Twitter. A private list can only be seen by you.
- Save your list.
To add people to your list, you can go to your current followers or following and click the three dots icon and choose the Add/Remove from Lists option.
You can also add anyone at anytime to your list by going to their user profile page, clicking on the three dots icon and chosing the Add/Remove from Lists option. You do not have to follow a person or company to add them to a list.
You can also delete people from your lits at any time by using the Add/Remove from Lists option.
To view your lists, click on our profile, go to the left hand side options and choose Lists. This will bring up your latest lists (if you don't see them immediately try refreshing the page).
Why use a list?
I find lists invaluable for a number of reasons. Using a list means I can collate useful contacts into one place and I can quickly keep up with their news. On my profile you can see the lists I have created.
Those which are invaluable to me are the Journalist and Bloggers lists as I dip into them all the time. They are the media contacts I have, or who might be perfect contacts for a client. It means I can keep up with their requests quickly and simply.
The Creative and Digital lists contain some of my freelance friends who work in these areas, or are people I like to follow.
As you can see my lists on this profile are locked as they are useful resources for my business.
I could add lists containing competitors or influencers in my sector so I can keep an eye on latest developments, or I could add sector lists so I can start to identify potential clients.
For another page I manage, I have a lot of open lists as the idea for this page is for it to be a useful local resource.
This Twitter feed is linked to a local directory called Newmarket Matters. It is for local businesses and community groups. Therefore, having open lists which people can subscribe to if they are interested, makes sense.
As businesses are added to the directory, they are followed on Twitter and other social media platforms. They are also added to an appropriate list or two or three! So, you can see there are 19 businesses added to the Education list and 92 businesses who offer home services in the local area.
If someone subscribes to your open list, they will see tweets from those businesses or people who have been added to the list.
Users of the this Twitter feed can nip over to the lists tab on the Newmarket Matters profile page, click on, say Home Services and quickly find local businesses who might be able to help them.
Lists are really about making Twitter useful - either to your own business, or to your followers or ideally to both of you.
Just to be clear, each list can be left open or made private as you see fit. You can have a mix of open and private lists and the privacy options can be changed at any time.
You can also share a list if you wish to promote it or if someone on your feed is asking a specific question which the list might solve. This could be the case on the Newmarket Matters feed. If someone was actively requesting ideas for a home services provider, I could share the list URL with them so they can quickly tap into these local businesses.
To find a list's URL to share
Go to the list you'd like to share.
Copy the URL that shows up in your browser's address bar. It will look something like this: https://twitter.com/username/lists/list_name.
Paste the URL into a message to anyone with whom you want to share the list.
I know Twitter gets a tough time when put up against other platforms, but I find it an incredibly useful source with some unique benefits, like Lists. As with any platform, it is about making it work for your business.