Biz Tips: Lists keep your engagements on target

Biz Tips: Lists keep your engagements on target


Lists keep your engagements on target

Social media is packed with noise. Between people talking at or about you, you need a refuge to sort out what you really need to know.

On Facebook and LinkedIn, that might be groups. On Twitter, there are lists. These are your own creation. You can have as many as you want. Use them however you wish. Whatever the people or topics, they are at your fingertips, thanks to lists.

Account manager Warwick Brown and marketing entrepreneur Madalyn Sklar talked about how people can use lists to maximize their impact.

Brown certainly needs clarity. He manages a host of accounts, which includes occupations such as salespeople, negotiators and analysts.

“We’re technical support, finance and marketers,” he said. “We’re problem solvers and project managers.”

Brown not only wants Twitter lists. He needs them. They help him grow his business.

“They’re so flexible,” he said. “They help you stay on top of breaking news, engage with your customers, monitor competitors and so much more. The fact they can be public or private gives them unlimited potential.”

Clear clutter

Marketers definitely need a way to sort through the clutter.

“Twitter lists are a powerful tool because it allows you to organize your Twitter feeds,” Sklar said.

If you keep your lists in clean categories, you know that when you go to particular lists, who will be there and what they generally are talking about.

“I use advanced search to look for keywords and phrases I’m interested in,” Brown said. “Then I create a list based on those and add people to it. I get very specific so that my lists are very targeted. Otherwise, it can get noisy.

“When I’m reviewing my twitter lists, I create moments to collect the tweets I want to save or read for later,” he said. “Often, I just leave it in draft because I don’t want public to see the stuff I’m researching.”

To keep up with or monitor competitors, make a list exclusively of them. You only need to look them up once as you create the list.

After that, just “tune in” to watch them tweet. Pick up on issues, and jump in with your answers.

“I love using lists for this,” Brown said. “Create a private list and add all your competitors to it. If you have a lot of them, you might want to create multiple lists — one for startups and one for major players.

“Check to see what they’re posting and the engagement it’s getting,” he said. “See who’s retweeted or liked any tweets. Follow them or add them to a new private list, such as fans of competitors.”

Better than stats

Lists can tell you more than cold, dry numbers.

“You get really great insights from lists that you just don’t find in analytics,” Brown said. “Scrolling through the feed gives you a real sense of what’s trending with competitors and what’s getting engagement.”

Although most lists are open for all to see, they don’t have to be.

“You can create private Twitter lists that are ‘for your eyes only,’” Sklar said. “This is super helpful for when you want to keep an eye out on your competition.”

Twitter Lists are ideal to engage with local businesses and brands.

When you see the businesses tweet, you can help promote them with retweets and quote tweets. The easiest way to find what these businesses are up to is through a list.

“Create a list of local businesses in your neighborhood,” Brown said. “Reach out to them with a tweet or a direct message. Encourage them to subscribe to your list.

“This is a great way to share ideas, give referrals and recommendations, and support each other,” he said.

Social and business

Sklar uses her lists for social and marketing needs.

“I use Twitter lists to engage with leading social media experts in my area,” she said. “They also connect me to area businesses.

“They best part about public lists is that people or brands get a notification when you add them,” Sklar said. “That is powerful.”

Lists can help you connect and share information with your customers. If they are on Twitter, create a list exclusively of them.

You’ll readily see what they’re talking about — even what their customers say about them. You’ll know the issues and can figure out how you can meet those needs.

“You can use a list as a staff directory,” Brown said. “List all the people in your company, so it’s easy for customers to get in touch.

“It’s great as a list of useful resources — such as other businesses or people who complement your services,” he said. “Create a list of your biggest fans — those who regularly retweet or comment — and make a point of checking in with them and asking how they’re doing.”

List members are restricted only by your imagination.

“I have private Twitter lists of my customers, my biggest fans — fans of my chats, of my podcasts,” Sklar said. “It’s an easy way for me to stay connected with them.”

Free subscriptions

Let people know you have lists, and they’re there for subscribing.

“Cross promotion on other social media helps,” Brown said. “For example, create a Pinterest graphic and have it point to your Twitter list.”

The best tool to help engage with your lists is an alarm clock. Have a reminder so you don’t forget about them.

Also look at who you might want to add or subtract. Remember, businesses don’t often engage, so don’t drop them if they’re not chatty.

Twitonomy is my favorite tool,” Brown said. “You can see and interact with all your lists in one place — even pin your favorites to your dashboard. Best of all it’s free.”

Sklar has her own favorite list managers.

“I use Hootsuite to listen and engage with my various Twitter lists,” she said. “It’s perfect for that. TweetDeck does the same thing.”

Twitter lists help keep you current with what’s going on in your general community or subsets of groups. Lists keep you in the loop without endless checking, which you might have done when you first got on Twitter.

“Twitter moves so fast that it’s easy to miss things,” Brown said. “With the algorithm deciding what you see and when, a list is a powerful way to stay focused on your community and easily engage with them.”

Sklar added these Twitter list maintenance tips:

  • Take time to add relevant community members into your list.
  • Review the list regularly.
  • Connect with members from the list.

About The Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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