Twitter lists are a great mechanism for discovering social communities and engaging with prospective followers. Industry insiders and influencers have created tens of thousands of public lists to enhance their Twitter presence.
Read on to learn more.
Twitter Lists - A Primer
Twitter lists allow you to curate a group of Twitter users. You can then see a stream of tweets from those users on the list timeline. Anyone with a Twitter account can create upto 1,000 lists, each of which can have a maximum of 5,000 members per list.
Lists are a great way to read tweets from a select set of people. They are particularly useful to create an alternate timeline without following users. Even if you are following them, its useful to organize users into lists by topics or interests for convenience and efficiency.
A Twitter list can be either public or private. Public lists can be viewed or subscribed to by anyone. If you are added as a member to a public list, you will get notified via Twitter. This allows you to be aware of the list, understand its contents and check out the membership.
What if you could search by members by keywords in their bios? Would you like to know when competitors add new members to their list? How about building your own spreadsheet with data from multiple lists?
Here are details on creating and using Twitter lists from various clients and devices.
Benefits of Twitter Lists
Twitter lists can provide multiple benefits for a wide range of purposes.
As an organization mechanism, you can use Twitter lists to maintain groups of people by their interests, industry involvement or your personal categorization scheme. These lists and the associated timelines are seamlessly accessible from the desktop and all your devices for on-the-go usage.
Segmenting Twitter users into lists can help you be more efficient and productive. For example, you can keep up with important list of people daily to ensure you never miss their tweets amidst the bustle of your general timeline. At the same time, other lists can be checked once a week, or less frequently as needed.
Adding a member to a list is an act of curation. You are signaling to the world that you consider that set of Twitter user as key contributors or experts in the topic which the list is intended to reflect. Naturally, Twitter notifies users when they are added as list members. This encourages interaction and reciprocation.
Within a company or agency, Twitter lists can be used to help with marketing campaigns. This makes it easy to build and maintain tailored audiences based on a variety of criteria. This can benefit in terms of better engagement via Twitter Ads or other promotional efforts.
Public lists on Twitter are a great way to discover communities and gauge influencers. You can start with well-crafted, highly subscribed lists to find key members. Or you can view list memberships for a particular Twitter user, optionally considering the profiles of those who listed them.
Twitter Lists - Use Cases
As you can imagine, given the benefits, there are innumerable uses for Twitter lists. Below is just a small sample of how you can use Twitter lists:
- Never miss tweets from colleagues or clients. Scan important list timelines and catch up quickly as part of your work flow.
- Monitor your competitors’ tweets using a private list. This lets you track their activites through the list timeline without “following” them.
- Connect with other attendees and speakers before getting to a conference. Especially useful to plan when re-attending next year.
- Get the important news stories directly from respected institutions or people and journalists on the ground.
- Build a list of people for outreach: bloggers, industry leaders, brand managers, digital influencers, etc.
- Pay it forward by recommending people you know for specific skills or roles, either in a particular city or globally.
ScoutZen and Twitter Lists
ScoutZen makes it easy to gather all list members and understand more about them. Simply enter the list slug or URL of any public Twitter list to get started.
Within a few minutes, you can explore, search and sort all the list members. More importantly, ScoutZen will continually track the list, automatically getting new members added to the list on Twitter.
You can either export the full list of members, or just a subset by filtering on profile data such as bio, location, name, etc.
The exported CSV file can be easily opened in a spreadsheet and contains a wealth of data including website URLs where available.
You can also combine results from multiple list scouts to quickly build a comprehensive spreadsheet. This can be a huge timesaver for your campaign tasks.