Twitter Lists Enhancements: A Weapon in Your Twitter Arsenal

TwitterBirdChalkBy now you know that I love Twitter. It’s where I get my news and industry insights. But I also follow over 5,000 people. So you might ask yourself, how do I sort through all of the chatter? It’s easy. I do it via Twitter Lists. In the past Twitter limited you to just 20 lists per user account. But a few weeks ago in preparation for their IPO, they rolled out some pretty significant enhancements to Twitter Lists.

Twitter lists allow any user or brand to segment and curate Twitter followers into lists. A good example for a brand might be a list on industry influencers, people with a Klout score over 70, competitors, clients, etc. You can make your lists public or private. For obvious reasons, brands will probably make many of their lists private. But if you make your list public, it allows you to be a content curator on a topic that might be of interest to others on Twitter in which they can follow that list. This will create credibility for your brand in that area of expertise.

What’s new?

First, you can now create up to 1,000 lists. That’s a huge improvement from twenty.

Secondly, in the past lists used to have a limit of 500 Twitter handles per list you created. Now, you can add up to 5,000 handles to any one list. To me, this is not an enhancement but the antitheses of the whole concept of lists, unless you are curating content to publish and establish credibility and get followers of that list. I mean think about it for just a second: what is any different of having a list of 5,000 people or following 5,000 people in your industry? Seems like that would be like sorting through a hay stack to find a needle.

Best practices for Twitter Lists.

  1. Definitely create a few lists: industry news, industry influencers, competitors.
  2. Start out by making them private and then decide later if you want them to be public.
  3. Try to limit your lists to users who don’t post every 5 minutes or your list is going to be useless because it will be flooded with that user’s updates.
    Tip: Try creating a sub list of a list. For example, if you have industry news in one big list (unlimited users), maybe make a sub list of industry news [your local area] and limit that list to less than 50 users.
  4. Try adding people to a list before you follow them to see if you like their updates and how often they post. (again, this will help with #3 above). Yes, you don’t have to follow someone to add them to a list. It’s brilliant! Although, the reciprocal follow is always nice because you know, Twitter peeps are a friendly bunch.
  5. Subscribe or follow other people’s lists too, instead of creating a bunch of your own. Less to manage on your end.

Bottom line, Twitter lists are just another weapon in your arsenal to parse information and make the social network work for you.

Have you tried Twitter lists? What are your list ideas?  Get tips like this and more by subscribing to the blog.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.


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