5 Reasons to Use the New Twitter List Feature

Twitter added a new feature recently called Lists. I have to admit, at first I thought this was no big deal. I use desktop twitter clients like TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop to create groups and lists already, so what’s the big deal.

Once I started playing around with Twitter’s List feature I quickly became hooked and think there are some great reasons you could too. Check out this list of Small Business Experts – you can monitor the entire group with one click!

Quick overview of twitter lists

Any Twitter user can create a list and add anyone that tweets publicly to it. Once you create and name a list you can simply search for people to add using Twitter people search (once you find someone you want to add you simply click on the list button next to them and choose the list), or 3rd party search applications like Twellow or TweepSearch

5 Reasons to Use New the Twitter List Feature

1) Monitor without following – one of the things I like is that you can monitor a group of individuals in a list without having to follow any of the folks on the list on twitter. You may actually want to follow people you find on a list, but you may also want to monitor industry niche lists for a week or two while you’re pitching a new client in that industry. You can delete a list very easily, deleting hundreds of followers is harder.

2) One button list follow – the fact that you can find a list and follow the entire collection with one button makes it very easy to manage. I think this may become the chosen way to find people to follow. If someone you trust tells you about a list of people you should be following and all you have to do is hit one button to do so, you’re probably going to do it. I predict this feature is going to dramtically impact how people follow.

3) Promote your lists – this is such a great way for a group of people to promote each other on Twitter. You can promote your clients, your suppliers, your referral lunch group, you name it. Think about how great it would be to promote an event where you could follow all the speakers prior to the event, or what about all the attendees. You could create a list from sign-up details. In fact, what a great way to create collections of twitter folks that your employees should follow or even employee lists. The fact that it is so easy for people to follow a list by going to a URL – and that list can be edited by the owner at will, means a lot.

4) Filtered by an expert – Every business should consider creating a handful of Top 10 “fill in your narrow niche” to follow on twitter. By being the one that filters and creates easily sharable industry specific lists, you can add to your own credibility in the industry. (Did I mention you can add yourself to a list you create?)

5) Build a bigger following – Many of the ideas I mentioned above will naturally help you grow your own following. Creating a handful of useful list and promoting those lists in public places and to the members on the list will raise your exposure and lead to more follower.

Check out this list of Small Business Experts – you can monitor the entire group with one click!

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Indeed. You assume in the top of your article that someone, like you, is using TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop. I only use Seesmic these days if I 1) want to send an identical tweet from multiple accounts I manage, or 2) for tracking a real-time hashtag conversation. I use twitter.com the rest of the time.

    The timing of your advice is in sync with mine: http://ariwriter.com/twitter-lists-a-new-way-to-follow/

    • Ari – I guess you’re right I did make that assumption, but I really can’t imagine doing otherwise. Most of the conversations I’m having on Twitter come to my desktop and I do so much more with them then on Twitter.

  • Indeed. You assume in the top of your article that someone, like you, is using TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop. I only use Seesmic these days if I 1) want to send an identical tweet from multiple accounts I manage, or 2) for tracking a real-time hashtag conversation. I use twitter.com the rest of the time.

    The timing of your advice is in sync with mine: http://ariwriter.com/twitter-lists-a-new-way-to

  • Indeed. You assume in the top of your article that someone, like you, is using TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop. I only use Seesmic these days if I 1) want to send an identical tweet from multiple accounts I manage, or 2) for tracking a real-time hashtag conversation. I use twitter.com the rest of the time.

    The timing of your advice is in sync with mine: http://ariwriter.com/twitter-lists-a-new-way-to

  • One other use of lists, if a number of people at your company tweet, is to create one for “employees”. We’ve had a number of customers send us thanks for doing this (http://twitter.com/pragmaticmkting/tweeters).

    • Agree – I think I had that idea buried somewhere in idea #3, but you’re right, a company list is a great idea

  • One other use of lists, if a number of people at your company tweet, is to create one for “employees”. We've had a number of customers send us thanks for doing this (http://twitter.com/pragmaticmkting/tweeters).

  • Thank you for this. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around why this a benefit for me versus groups in my desktop client and this simple post is a great help!

    • You’re welcome – it took me a while to grab on to this too

  • Thank you for this. I've been trying to wrap my head around why this a benefit for me versus groups in my desktop client and this simple post is a great help!

  • Hi John,

    Overall, I’m on board with the Twitter List function. However, one thing that concerns me about it is the risk of accidentally excluding people. I know it’s going to happen and that someone is going to be insulted. Any advice for how to handle this?

    Kind Regards,

    Alexandra Levit
    Columnist, Wall Street Journal
    Author, New Job, New You
    http://www.alexandralevit.com

    • It’s a tough call and you will indeed miss people. I guess I would view it as using them strategically. Since you know the list will be public give some real thought to what lists you use this function for. The good news is that it’s very easy to add members to the list. I’ve seen some folks promote their lists as “works in progress”

  • Hi John,

    Overall, I'm on board with the Twitter List function. However, one thing that concerns me about it is the risk of accidentally excluding people. I know it's going to happen and that someone is going to be insulted. Any advice for how to handle this?

    Kind Regards,

    Alexandra Levit
    Columnist, Wall Street Journal
    Author, New Job, New You
    http://www.alexandralevit.com

  • It's a tough call and you will indeed miss people. I guess I would view it as using them strategically. Since you know the list will be public give some real thought to what lists you use this function for. The good news is that it's very easy to add members to the list. I've seen some folks promote their lists as “works in progress”

  • You're welcome – it took me a while to grab on to this too

  • Hello John,

    This new Twitter List Feature are indeed very usefull.

    I have add you to my Lists:

    http://twitter.com/Oberhauser/social-media

    http://twitter.com/Oberhauser/onlinemarketing

    Thank you for the interesting post!

    With kind regards from Austria
    Ortwin Oberhauser
    feel free to follow me on Twitter
    http://twitter.com/Oberhauser
    @Oberhauser

  • Agree – I think I had that idea buried somewhere in idea #3, but you're right, a company list is a great idea

  • Hello John,

    This new Twitter List Feature are indeed very usefull.

    I have add you to my Lists:

    http://twitter.com/Oberhauser/social-media

    http://twitter.com/Oberhauser/onlinemarketing

    Thank you for the interesting post!

    With kind regards from Austria
    Ortwin Oberhauser
    feel free to follow me on Twitter
    http://twitter.com/Oberhauser
    @Oberhauser

  • Ari – I guess you're right I did make that assumption, but I really can't imagine doing otherwise. Most of the conversations I'm having on Twitter come to my desktop and I do so much more with them then on Twitter.

  • John,

    Thanks for the timely post on Twitter lists. Twitter is an amazing small business tool IF used correctly. Twitter lists are just another way to increase your leverage on Twitter. Obviously, there are countless ways to tap into the power of Twitter lists. Great post!

    • You’re welcome and you’re right there are lots of ways – what are some ways you intend to use Twitter lists? Any thoughts?

      • I think that Twitter lists work best when you have public AND private lists. The public lists are fantastic ways to promote experts and clients. I do believe that when others come to your Twitter profile and you have a list of recommended experts, you are offering extra value to your followers.

        However, the private lists can be incredibly useful as well! You can observe your competition, keep track of #hashtags in your particular industry, etc.

        I truly do love the Twitter lists and will use them quite a bit!

  • jessicaswanson

    John,

    Thanks for the timely post on Twitter lists. Twitter is an amazing small business tool IF used correctly. Twitter lists are just another way to increase your leverage on Twitter. Obviously, there are countless ways to tap into the power of Twitter lists. Great post!

  • You're welcome and you're right there are lots of ways – what are some ways you intend to use Twitter lists? Any thoughts?

  • Great Post! I discussed Seesmic Desktop last week on my blog showcasing its superiority over all other Twitter clients! If your interested in updating Facebook “pages” this is your app!

    http://joeprovence.tumblr.com/post/232428201/seesmic-desktop

  • Great Post! I discussed Seesmic Desktop last week on my blog showcasing its superiority over all other Twitter clients! If your interested in updating Facebook “pages” this is your app!

    http://joeprovence.tumblr.com/post/232428201/se

  • MarketingTwinsRandy

    So I don’t see that TweetDeck has this feature ready, right? Looks like they are looking to integrate it soon. What about the groups I already have set up? Wondering what TweetDeck will do with those? Still learning the value in this one . . .

    • I imagine tweetdeck is fast at work on this

  • MarketingTwinsRandy

    So I don't see that TweetDeck has this feature ready, right? Looks like they are looking to integrate it soon. What about the groups I already have set up? Wondering what TweetDeck will do with those? Still learning the value in this one . . .

  • I imagine tweetdeck is fast at work on this

  • jessicaswanson

    I think that Twitter lists work best when you have public AND private lists. The public lists are fantastic ways to promote experts and clients. I do believe that when others come to your Twitter profile and you have a list of recommended experts, you are offering extra value to your followers.

    However, the private lists can be incredibly useful as well! You can observe your competition, keep track of #hashtags in your particular industry, etc.

    I truly do love the Twitter lists and will use them quite a bit!

  • I really hadn’t thought of twtter lists like this until now.Thx John

  • nataliegiddings

    I really hadn't thought of twtter lists like this until now.Thx John

  • those are some great tips I am just getting out on twitter so anything helps at this point.

    thanks
    chris

  • affordablehealthinsurance

    those are some great tips I am just getting out on twitter so anything helps at this point.

    thanks
    chris

  • John,
    Thank you for sharing the ways that you are using this new tool from Twitter.

    Also, thank you for adding me to your Small Business Experts list…

    The Franchise King
    Joel Libava

  • John,
    Thank you for sharing the ways that you are using this new tool from Twitter.

    Also, thank you for adding me to your Small Business Experts list…

    The Franchise King
    Joel Libava

  • primaryworkathome

    Great post! I love this reading your article. Very informative.

  • primaryworkathome

    Great post! I love this reading your article. Very informative.

  • Agree, especially with the last part. I’m not utilizing this function nearly as much as I should, but I need to get my butt moving. One difficulty, I think, will be actually finding credible lists to follow. Many people on Twitter are already using the List function to promote their friends, or fellow pyramid-schemers. Trusting the person who made the list in the first place is key.

  • Agree, especially with the last part. I'm not utilizing this function nearly as much as I should, but I need to get my butt moving. One difficulty, I think, will be actually finding credible lists to follow. Many people on Twitter are already using the List function to promote their friends, or fellow pyramid-schemers. Trusting the person who made the list in the first place is key.

  • This seems like a nice resource for that Eric – http://listorious.com

  • The “One button list follow” is cool. It’ll make our lives easier. (Got to check this out).

    • Yes I think that will interest lots of folks

  • The “One button list follow” is cool. It'll make our lives easier. (Got to check this out).

  • Yes I think that will interest lots of folks

  • Hello !!
    I live in Hungary. I love to read.
    Fishing with my husband.

  • Hello !!
    I live in Hungary. I love to read.
    Fishing with my husband.

  • Love the way it’s distilled.
    Nice to have something else to play with your excellent introduction to the new twitter list.
    Thanks for sharing the insight.

  • Love the way it's distilled.
    Nice to have something else to play with your excellent introduction to the new twitter list.
    Thanks for sharing the insight.

  • John,

    Great points…

    Here’s another idea for Twitter Lists:An RSS Feed Widget on your blog or Facebook Page.

    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/twitter-get-a-widget-for-twitter/

    Haven’t tried it yet… will fool around with it this weekend.

    Has anyone else done this?

  • John,

    Great points…

    Here's another idea for Twitter Lists:An RSS Feed Widget on your blog or Facebook Page.

    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/twitter-get-a-widg

    Haven't tried it yet… will fool around with it this weekend.

    Has anyone else done this?

  • I really like the screencast on Twitter lists. As with all new features on the social networks, people are going to find new and creative ways to use the list feature. I love it just for organizing the people I follow into categories.

  • deborahrichmond

    I really like the screencast on Twitter lists. As with all new features on the social networks, people are going to find new and creative ways to use the list feature. I love it just for organizing the people I follow into categories.

  • Great rundown and video for lists… you explain it simply and directly.
    Great about Seesmic… I use it as well.
    Twellow… Ditto.
    Gave article a shout out…
    Another tool to keep in my Brain :) to share with the offline folks.

  • Great rundown and video for lists… you explain it simply and directly.
    Great about Seesmic… I use it as well.
    Twellow… Ditto.
    Gave article a shout out…
    Another tool to keep in my Brain :) to share with the offline folks.

  • Great rundown and video for lists… you explain it simply and directly.
    Great about Seesmic… I use it as well.
    Twellow… Ditto.
    Gave article a shout out…
    Another tool to keep in my Brain :) to share with the offline folks.