7 Creative Uses for Twitter Lists

7 Creative Uses for Twitter Lists

By: Michelle Mangen
May 31, 2011

Twitter Lists - Help Manage & Organize Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

Twitter lists are incredibly useful for many different reasons and can be an integral part of your toolkit when it comes to social media marketing. In addition, being listed can often be viewed as a “badge of honor” — or certainly as a testament to your credibility and/or knowledge and expertise within a certain field.

So, if you’re going to use Twitter for business purposes, whether for yourself or on behalf of clients, using Twitter lists is a great way to do a variety of different things.

The Skinny On Lists

Lists are really organization tools. If you list someone you follow, you typically do so in order to make sure you pay “special attention” to the content that person or organization shares. We use lists on a daily basis to help us identify individuals within niches that are specific to the clients we serve.

Lists are also barometers that can attest to credibility within the social media realm. If you are listed, it’s an indication that whomever listed you wants to keep you, and your content, top of mind.

In fact, it when it comes to credibility, it actually makes sense to pay less attention to number of Twitter followers and more attention to the number of Twitter lists an individual is on, as an accurate measurement of how that person is perceived in the realm of Twitter.

Each Twitter user is allowed up to 20 lists, which can be set as private or public, and up to 500 individuals can be added to a list. Have someone, like Shelly, charter member of Information Junkies Anonymous, who shares all kinds of great information that you don’t want to miss? No worries, you can add people to more than one list.

The Cool Stuff About Lists

Beyond using lists to stay organized, there are other cool things you can do with Twitter lists. Things that can actually make your life easier on a daily basis (woo hoo). Oh, I see, now I’ve got your attention.

7 Creative Uses for Twitter Lists

  1. Find similar people to follow. Because lists are typically human generated they are typically an incredibly useful way to find like-minded individuals to follow, providing the person who created the list is narrow in their focus. New Twitter users, in particular, can often benefit from these lists in finding others to follow who tweet the content they are interested in.
  2. Share your blogroll. If you respect the content written by the numerous blogs you visit frequently, consider adding them to public Twitter list to let others know who they are. This can also be another great way to find new, and possibly lesser known, blogs to read.
  3. Keep track of your clients (or prospective clients). Creating a private list on Twitter will enable you to keep up to date with your clients’ content without disclosing to the world who your clients are.
  4. Geographic focused. If you have a brick and mortar business and rely heavily on geographic connections, create a list of those individuals who are nearby.
  5. Follow without Following. Love NatGeo or CNN and they won’t follow you back? Add them to a list and rest assured you can view their tweets and you also won’t mess up your 1 to 1.5 ratio. If you’re not sure what this is, let us know in the comments and we’ll fill you in.
  6. Track your interactions. Reward those who engage with you most frequently with @ mentions or by retweeting their content.
  7. Track to manually vet your new followers. Manually vetting new followers is the best choice for some Twitter accounts. This type of list can support your desire to review a profile in depth prior to returning the follow.

Used properly, the Twitter lists you create and maintain can not only help you stay organized, but can also enable you to be seen as an expert in your field, as well as to help build community and brand awareness. The examples given are just a handful of the many different, and varied, uses for both private and public Twitter lists.

Stay tuned later this week for a post on using a third party application to automatically create and maintain the lists for items #6 and #7. Also stay tuned for a post about using Twitter lists for online reputation management. Can you tell – we love lists!

What other creative uses for Twitter lists have you implemented for your social media marketing? You know we always like to know!

Image credit: Buzzmrg.com

  • Wumpie

    Please fill me in on number 5.  How does this work and what is 1 to 1.5 ratio?

  • I keep a public list called “FollowsThenUnfollows” for people that follow me then just unfollow after a couple days if I dont followback, or that unfollow me right after I follow them back. I don’t think it really does anything but give me a little satisfaction in their slight public shaming. 

  • I keep a public list called “FollowsThenUnfollows” for people that follow me then just unfollow after a couple days if I dont followback, or that unfollow me right after I follow them back. I don’t think it really does anything but give me a little satisfaction in their slight public shaming. 

  • I am a *huge* fan of Twitter lists. My only disappointment is that through “Twitter” it only allows each user to have 20. Of course, there are other ways of aggregating folks by using HootSuite, Tweetdeck or other third party tools.

    Thanks for the post!

  • I’ve been cutting news feeds, things duplicated in my RSS or some unfollows to make room for new follows as I keep bumping the 2K cap; finding a few news lists is a great tip, thanks.

  • Sometimes I follow people because they seem interesting, but then after following them for a few days I realize they’re not for me. I hope that wouldn’t put me on your shaming list? 🙂

  • Only if your profile is how you’re going to make me rich or get me thousands of followers!

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  • Thanks
    for the great info about using Twitter. This will be helpful for my online business.

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