A Content Marketer’s Guide to Twitter Lists

Twitter delivers when it comes to real-time updates and breaking news. But that means noise. And lots of it. With more than 5,700 tweets sent per second, it can feel nearly impossible to sift through the clutter that populates your main feed. That’s where an underutilized feature of Twitter comes in: Twitter lists help you sort your feed and keep the number of people you follow to a minimum. And when you start using Twitter lists, you’ll see how your main feed becomes nearly obsolete. Here are some ways any content marketer can use Twitter lists.

Understanding Public and Private Lists

Private lists are helpful for things such as tracking competitors and potential clients and keeping your personal life private (more on that below). You can also use private lists to keep track of people who have retweeted, engaged with, or promoted you and your content. When you add someone to a Twitter list, you don’t need to follow them. So it’s OK to add competitors to a private list—no one will ever know. When you create a public list, the individuals you add to the list are notified. You’re telling those individuals that you value their posts, and that can also be a conversation-starter for you. What’s more is that other Twitter users can choose to subscribe to your lists, increasing your visibility and credibility. Make sure you add yourself to your public lists so that subscribers will also see your tweets in the list feed.

Personal vs. Professional Lists

Create private lists for personal contacts, such as family, college classmates, your favorite public figures or friends in your hometown. This helps you get quick updates on what these people are doing, without having to sort through your main news feed. When it comes to your professional needs, use lists to see what industry and thought leaders are tweeting. You’ll learn what’s new in content marketing and stay up to date on the latest trends. And if you attend conferences or seminars, it’s a good idea to create a list for the people you’ve met at such events, making it easy to stay in touch and turn those contacts into meaningful professional relationships.

Using Others’ Twitter Lists

While it’s important to create your own Twitter lists, it’s also strategic to subscribe to others’ public lists. This gives somewhat of a nod to the owner of the list that she has compiled a list worthy of your subscription. The benefits of doing this include finding new people to follow or connect with, as well as a different look at the industry. Plus, the Twitter list owner does all the work for you, by adding new people to the list when appropriate, so there’s no maintenance necessary on your part. How are you using Twitter lists? We love new tips! Share them in the comments below.
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