Do You Get Everything You Can Out of Twitter?

Every time I write about Twitter, I get a few more Twitter questions from business owners on how to use the platform correctly. It sure seems that Twitter is not as easily understood as Facebook and not as straight forward as say, Google Plus. In my most recent article, I addressed whether or not a business owner should have a protected Twitter account. Read it here. (btw the answer is ‘no’, absolutely NO!) Today, I’ll be talking about lists, more specifically, on how to go about getting listed on Twitter.

Before I dive into the ‘how to get listed’, let’s start with how lists work and why you want to be listed!

(and how to use Twitter lists)

The easiest way to explain Twitter (and then Twitter lists) is comparing the Twitter news feed to a news ticker, or the stock market ticker. There’s an overload of information coming at you, faster and faster! The more people you follow and connect with on Twitter, the harder it is to keep up with everyone and the information they share, and ultimately the individual messages you want to hear get lost…Until you use the magic of lists,that is!

Twitter lists filter the noise!

Twitter lists are designed so that you can group like-minded, like-tweeting, like-industry accounts together and thus listen in on just a few of the conversions at a time, picking and choosing what you want to read at any given moment.

In asking for input on Twitter lists, my colleagues gave some compelling reasons to use these lists and also some insight as to how they use them (and you surely can use lists like this, too!).

  • “I use lists to organize info per industry and influencers. I use both hidden & public lists” ~ A Man Called Robin
  • “When I don’t strictly want to follow, but want an easy way to access feed when I want to see it (celebs)” and “I list people who don’t tweet a lot and I don’t want to miss (ie: close friends, fam) ~ Crystal Coleman
  • “For content curation. Beyond curation, I also create lists of those with whom I think I might like to collaborate, for group articles or the podcast.” ~ Mallie Hart
  • “The private lists are for my own reference, but I use them to keep track of people I’ve newly connected with, people I have a relationship with, and people who I curate content from regularly.” and “Curation of a worthwhile group of people to follow, and my own list of people within a certain niche that I want to focus on.” ~ Anton Rius

As for myself, I create and use lists for many of the same reasons as lists above and then some. Here are a few additional reasons you should create and use your own lists.

  • For in-person networking – before, during and after live events
  • For SEO purposes (Twitter lists get indexed)
  • To check out and keep a (secret) eye on the competition
  • To monitor my teens’ accounts
  • To index by industry and then use as a research tool

(and how it benefits you to get listed on Twitter)

Next, I went looking for the answers on ‘Why should you try to get listed’ and ‘How does it benefit you to get listed?’

I went to the internet for some answers, but before I share with you what I found, here’s my take on how being listed benefits me and how it can benefit you as well.

  • Being part of a defined group, makes it easier for people to find you. For me, being listed in a group of ‘social media consultants’ ‘social media bloggers’ or ‘social media managers’ gets me more exposure on Twitter.
  • Being put into a defined group by one of my peers, gives me instant access to that group of people. Yes, of course; I could follow them without being put into that group/list, but being added to the group gives you a starting point for new conversations.
  • Being listed as part of a defined group, provides me with instant feedback on how I influence people; just the title of the list alone gives me good information on how they see me.

Once I started digging a bit, I found someone else who shared how being listed on Twitter benefits them.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the meat of this piece…

(and what you have to DO on Twitter to get listed)

So now that we know why and how we use lists, and we know the benefits of being listed, we can use that knowledge to figure out ways, as in tactics, to try to get ourselves listed on lists. The main idea is to stand out from the masses and to be creative and unique!

  1. Pump up your Twitter bio! “We keep a Twitter list of folks with super interesting bios. If someone takes the time to craft a witty one which catches our attention in 140 characters, we want to hear what else they have to say!” ~ SocialKNX
  2. Use (industry-related) keywords in your Twitter bio! If someone uses Twitter search to compile a (new) list, your bio will come up if the right words are used.
  3. Create lists with amazing and creative names! Once added to such a list, people take notice and will come check your lists (and you) out!
  4. Engage with influencers, colleagues and industry leaders! And I mean, engage with them on Twitter as in answer questions, RT and join conversations. You’ll be noticed and followed, which could easily lead to being listed.
  5. Subscribe to (VIP) lists! People love it when their lists get new subscribers. I often will tweet someone that ‘I just subscribed to your so-and-so list’. It’s a great way to start a conversation and to get noticed. It’s also a great way to connect with those VIPs on the list.
  6. Curate your lists to other platforms! Who wouldn’t want to be on a list that gets shared on Facebook, Google+ or in a blog post? Do this and if nothing else, you’ll be creative and innovative. Often, you’ll get noticed.
  7. Be creative, fun and conversational on Twitter! No, really! Yesterday I asked a question about Twitter lists and I got listed by someone. True story.
  8. Tweet out your own list links periodically! This works especially well for lists you create for events or collaborative projects. Invite others to subscribe ‘to make it easy to connect with attendees, sponsors and speaker of the so-and so event’. You’ve now provided a service and voila, you are someone they might want to list!
  9. Say Thank You! It pays to be nice people. You’ll get noticed… You might end up in a list of ‘friendly tweeters’ or ‘Tweeps who tweet my stuff’. Like this idea? Read this!

None of the above suggestions guarantees you getting on someone’s list. None. But without implementing any of the above mentioned suggestions, your chances of getting listed repeatedly are slim to none.

Then there’s of course one more way to get on a Twitter list. You can ask.

In Closing…

I really hope you enjoyed this article! I had a blast writing it. Be forewarned; I am digging and unearthing more Twitter secrets. Stay tuned.

Read more: How Twitter Beefed Up Its Engineering Services, Enhanced UI And Data Analysis For FIFA World Cup 2014