Twitter Lists: An Untapped Gem for Your Business

From market research to competition monitoring, Twitter lists can be used in a variety of ways to strengthen your business building efforts. Easy to make and easy to use, Twitter lists are often ignored by social media marketers who fail to realize their potential. Our guide will walk you through the benefits, strategies, and steps of making effective Twitter lists.


What Are Twitter Lists?

Twitter lists are an organization tool allowing a user to group similar Twitter accounts into one area and see only the Tweets from those accounts (in contrast to the Twitter news feed, which shows tweets from every account the user follows). Individuals can add users to a Twitter list without following the account, and can make private or public lists. This allows the option for monitoring accounts without them knowing (which is useful for tactics like keeping tabs on the competition).

Lists can also be used to organize accounts you don’t interact with often, but still want a grouping of (such as a list of journalists for when you’re ready to pitch a story or a list of people from an event or trade show).

Twitter lists are a great way to keep track of accounts you want to engage with, while cutting down the clutter and noise of the news feed.

Ways to Use Twitter Lists

There are many Twitter list tactics out there. You can make a variety of lists, including:

  • List of competitors. Competition monitoring is an important component of any marketing strategy, and a Twitter list of your competitors is a great tool to gaining valuable insight. As you read through their posts, you’ll see their strategy for appealing to your target audience. You can find new tactics to adopt and find areas of opportunity to distinguish yourself from them. This is best used as a private list, so your competition won’t know you’re monitoring them.
  • List of leaders in your industry. Stay up-to-date with the latest industry research and trends by following accounts of the top thinkers and influencers. You can set aside time each week to scan through their posts and stay informed. Implementing a strategy of retweeting their posts can also cause a huge spike in your Twitter reach and engagement. This is best as a public list. It’ll show your followers you understand your industry well enough to identify the key influencers within it.
  • List of current clients. Reading posts of current clients will enlighten you of their interests, desires, and tweeting preferences. You can use this information to tailor your tweeting style as well as your sales pitches. It’s free market research. This list is best kept private.
  • List of those who regularly engage with your account. If there are Twitter users who regularly favorite or retweet your posts, put them in a list. Every other day or so you can go through and interact with your posts. The reciprocation will make it more likely they’ll continue engaging with your content, which helps improve your overall effectiveness. This list can be public (called something such as “rockstar accounts” or “top engagers”) or private, depending on your preference.
  • List of journalists. Make a list of journalists who may be interested in reporting on your organization’s activities. More and more journalists are turning to Twitter to scout for stories and interact with sources. When you’re ready to pitch, you can shoot them a Twitter direct message. This list is best kept private.
  • List of the top social media experts. A list of the best social media gurus can be a great way for you to see how the experts are using social media. You can find new types of posts and new tactics to make your posts more effective. This list can be private or public.

If Your Account is Added to Someone’s Twitter List

Anytime someone adds you to a public Twitter list, you’ll receive a notification. You can also see which accounts you’re added to by clicking “lists” and then “member of”.

When you’re added to a list, it’s a good strategy to engage with that user. Send off a direct message or tweet at the account a quick “thank you for adding me to your list name list” message. You can also include a link to a free download or link to a blog post relevant to the list.

How to Create Twitter Lists

Login to Twitter and click your profile picture, then select “list” from the dropdown menu. At the right hand of the screen, click “create new list”. Enter in the list name, optional description, and choose public or private. You can always delete a list if you later decide it’s not serving you well.

How to Add Accounts to a List

Pull up the profile page of a user you want to add to a list. Click the gear icon to the left of the follow button. Click “add or remove from lists…” and then select the list you wish to add them to. Follow the same process to remove someone from a list.

Implementing Twitter lists into your social media strategy can result in a host of benefits for your business. If you want help managing Twitter, or any other social media accounts, check out our social media services package. Our expert staff is ready to help manage and grow your accounts for you, so you can stop wasting time tweeting and focus your attention on leading your business!