Here is my article which was first published on Social Media Examiner:
Twitter is a networking haven for businesses. But is there an easy way to draw the right people to you with Twitter?
The answer is yes and there’s a great Twitter feature that can help you: Twitter lists. Twitter lists can grab the interest of people you most want to meet, help you make a great first impression and can help you with marketing segmentation.
Below I’ll show you some unique ways to use Twitter lists. But first…
How Do Twitter Lists Work?
Twitter lists creates separate lists of people. If you haven’t already used Twitter lists, watch this video to see how you can get started.
There are two interesting points to remember about Twitter lists:
- You don’t need to “follow” people on Twitter to include them in your lists.
- You can have both public and private lists.
Now here’s a look at what you can do with Twitter lists.
#1: Listen with Private Lists
Twitter lists are great to monitor and listen to different groups of people. No-one else can see your private lists, so this is a good place to start using the Twitter list feature. You can create private lists to:
- Monitor your competitors
- Carry out specific market research
- Keep track of different networks of friends and colleagues
Private Twitter lists can help you segment the fire hose of information streaming in through your Twitter feed, according to Rohit Bhargava. Segmenting people into lists also helps you more effectively listen to and monitor your market.
John Jantsch says Twitter lists make it easier to listen to what others have to say.
And monitoring people without following them makes it easy to carry out specific market research or intelligence gathering. Once you’ve finished doing your market research, you can simply delete your list without making any changes to the people you usually follow.
#2: Craft Your Brand With Public Lists
There’s not much space to brand yourself on your Twitter profile page. You do have space for a few words in the bio box and you can add in background graphics. But you can also add another dimension to your branding by carefully crafting your public Twitter lists. Here’s how.
Choose appropriate names for your lists
Spend some time finding the best name for your list. There are a few things to keep in mind when naming your Twitter lists:
- Engage the right people. You’ll get more people interested in looking at your list if the name sparks their interest.
- Remember to communicate with everyone. Don’t limit your audience. The right name could help you reach more of the people you want to connect with.
- The SEO bonus. Another reason to think about how you label your lists is for search engine optimization (SEO). Look at the screenshot below. This Twitter list is in a good position in Google search results for a competitive keyword.
The bad news is that if you change the name of your list, the URL of your Twitter list changes too and you’ll lose the people following that list. So take some time to get this right.
Choose appropriate Twitter lists for your public profile
When creating your Twitter lists, you want to think of how lists help you:
- Connect with your Twitter followers
- Achieve your main goal for using Twitter
- Continue the story you began in your Twitter bio
As you build up a following on Twitter, your followers will be interested in your Twitter lists. The choice of Twitter lists found on your Twitter home page is important for engaging with people.
Choose the number of public lists
Remember, there’s a limited amount of space available for your Twitter lists on your home page. Although you can create a larger number of lists, only about 4 to 6 will appear on your home page depending on the character length of the names of your lists. Your audience will have to click on the “View all” link to see all of your lists if you have more than this.
So you may want to think carefully about the number of lists you want to create and the order in which you create them. Put your most relevant lists at the top.
Advertise your Twitter lists
Create Twitter widgets for specific Twitter lists and put them up on your blog or website to engage people and establish your areas of interest and expertise.
Better Marketing With Twitter Lists
Twitter’s list feature can add some extra marketing power to your Twitter strategy if you take some time to get it right. You also need to find the right way to make your lists work for you. This will depend on your goals for Twitter, your audience and how they like to connect with you.
A good Twitter list improves your visibility in your market. Here are a few more benefits:
- The people you follow in your public lists will appreciate the recognition.
- By providing a useful resource, you’ll increase your credibility in your market and attract more followers.
- As you become more popular, you’ll be listed on other people’s lists. This is another way to measure your social media influence.
What do you think? What are your thoughts about Twitter lists? How are you using them? Do you regularly follow other lists? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: International Social Media
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