Creating an effective social media presence for your business is all about connecting with the right people and sharing the right content at the right time. Using Twitter lists to organize your social media efforts is a way to do all of those things effectively in an accessible and efficient manner.
Creating and adding people to lists on Twitter is simple, but it’s what you do with those lists that counts. I’ve developed seven common categories that you can use to organize your own social media marketing efforts on Twitter, conveniently followed by an easy to follow set of instructions on how to create lists on Twitter should you need it.
1. Industry News
Included in this category would be any Twitter profile belonging to an organization, magazine, or blog who posts exclusive, “heard-it-here-first” types of content. These types of personas are your news outlets, networks, associations or chambers that share content specific to your industry and that could potentially share content proved worthy of “Re-Tweeting” to your own audience. You can use your “Industry News” list to view the latest Tweets from all of the newsmakers in one shot, proving beneficial when planning your own content and wanting to see an overview of the latest news, trends and events happening within your industry.
2. Thoughts Leaders
Taken right out of the dictionary, a thought leader is, “one whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential”. In today’s digitally-driven world, no matter what industry your business falls under, you’ll likely be able to find plenty of thought-leaders that apply to you. A thought-leader provides original, ground-breaking points-of-view and often maintains a large following on Twitter. Grouping these types of people into a Twitter list, again, allows for a quick overview of quality content and provides an easier way of targeting these kinds of people, should you wish to engage them for strategic purposes.
The difference between a “Thought-Leader” and an “Influencer” is that an Influencer can be anyone from the general public who happens to have a significant level of influence over people your business may be targeting. These individuals are active on social media, vocal about topics your own audience cares about and will either be likely to engage with you, or likely to share your content with their audience. More often than not, an Influencer has several followers, maintains a blog and can be seen actively engaging with brands they choose to purchase from. Maintaining a list of Twitter users who fall within this category is an excellent way to see what’s being said about your own brand, what Influencers within your target market are talking about on a regular basis, and it provides a snap shot of people who you would be wise to target in your online marketing efforts.
4. Clients or Donors
Social media for business SHOULD be all about engaging your customer base and developing lasting and meaningful relationships. Maintaining a list of clients, customers or donors you already have is possible for B2B, B2C businesses and charities or non-profits alike. If you’re a B2B business, simply explore your current Customer Relations Management system (or CRM) and go through your list of clients. Make note of whether they’re active in social media within your CRM, follow them and add them to your Client List on Twitter. You can also choose to follow the personal account of your client contact- if appropriate, sometimes providing additional insight and helping to develop a stronger relationship with that contact. Similar to a B2B setting, charities or non-profits can add donors or corporate sponsors from their own databases in order to help develop those relationships.
If you deal with individual customers in a B2C scenario, do a brand search and find anyone who has mentioned your business via social media. Add them to your list. Encourage customers to find and follow you on social media and as each of them do, add them to your list. Maintaining a list of customers provides you with an opportunity to later target your existing customers when promoting upcoming deals, or when you wish to simply remind clients that you’re here and available.
Creating a list of prospects is useful whether your business is in B2C marketing or B2B. Maintaining a list of potential clients or customers is a useful tool when planning content and developing marketing and advertising initiatives. It allows insight into what your target market is talking about and what types of content provokes them to share, all within one convenient and organized stream. It can also serve as a resource for a focused campaign in which reaching out to individual prospects is necessary.
Using Twitter lists to monitor your competitors is useful for not only keeping tabs on their social media marketing efforts. New product launches, current projects and processes are all topics that tend to be posted via social media platforms, providing you with a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening with your competitors. Don’t want your competitors to know you’re keeping tabs on them? Understandable, that’s why it’s completely possible to add a profile to a Twitter list without having to follow them (keeping in mind you make your “Competitors” list a private one). Check out instructions on how to do this below.
7. Active Followers
An active follower is someone who may not have the largest following in the world, but consistently and regularly interacts with you via Twitter. They Re-Tweet your content, make mention of you, and regularly “Favourite” your Tweets. These followers are valuable when wanting to widen your reach and are likely users of your product or service, making them excellent candidates when searching for brand ambassadors. Ever heard of the idea that it’s the “quality of followers you have vs. the quantity”? Well whoever said that was talking about your active followers. You can have thousands of Twitter followers but if none of them are engaging with your content, then what’s the point? Once you begin compiling a list of active followers, you can facilitate the growth of your relationship by regularly engaging with them and sharing their content. Make it a goal to grow your “Active Follower” list and think about rewarding such followers by providing them with discounts or free products.
Creating Twitter Lists
You want to get started creating your lists right away, so here is a quick rundown on how to do it step by step.