How Your Organization Should Be Using Twitter Lists

Until recently, I hadn’t been taking full advantage of Twitter lists. Even if you haven’t used them, you might have received a notification because someone added you to their list. Twitter lists are an underutilized feature that your organization could be using to stay ahead of the game and in the know. Let’s talk about what it means for your organization.

Twitter Lists—What Are They?

In short, lists allow you to organize your feed and manage how you look at tweets. You can click a group and read tweets from only people you’ve added to the list. You can’t, however, send tweets to just that group.

A Twitter list is a customized feed of tweets filtered by your preferences. You can create a list, give it a title and begin adding users’ tweets to the list.

Here’s the catch—you don’t have to be following someone to add them to a list. That means if someone adds you to a list, they can see your tweets in their customized feed without actually following you. Twitter lists have been referred to as the “new follow.”

For this reason, lists add a level of value to your account. However, you have to do some digging to find out which members belong to which lists.

You can also choose to make lists either public or private. If your list is public, others can subscribe to it. Making a private list won’t notify people and other followers won’t be able to see the list. This makes it a powerful marketing tool for your nonprofit, because you can discreetly keep up to date with what others are up to without them knowing you’re keeping an eye on them.

How to Make a Twitter List

  1. Go to your profile and click the “Lists” tab.
    Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.28.25 AM
  2. Click “Create List.”
    Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.28.39 AM
  3. Name and describe your list. Decide if you want it to be public or private.
    Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.28.50 AM
  4. Save.
    You can add and remove people from your lists from their Twitter profile page.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.29.07 AM

In addition, with public lists, you can simply share the URL of the list you’re viewing to share. To only view Tweets from a list, click on the “Lists” tab from your profile and click the list you wish to see.

Where to Use Twitter Lists

There are a lot of good uses for Twitter lists. Here are seven ideas to get you started.

  1. Staff Page
    Create and share a Twitter list that includes all the Twitter feeds of the members of your staff to share with followers. That way your organization’s account can be humanized and those who follow your company can get an inside look at the culture of your organization.
  2. Event Attendees
    This is a quick and easy way to place a lot of people into a list and gain new followers and subscribers. There’s a good chance that of 100 attendees, at least half of them aren’t following you on Twitter. Yay new followers!
  3. People with Similar Interests
    This will help you gain an understanding of what people in the same niche are up to on social media. It’s okay to mimic things other people do that are successful. Stay in the loop and stay current.
  4. “Competitors”
    Keep up to date on what your biggest competitors are up to (and do it better). Pro tip: make sure this list is private if you decide to call it “competitors.
  5. Influencers in Your Industry
    They have a loud voice and can often move mountains in your industry so keep up with what they’re doing and talking about. If you can get a feel for their voice and who they interact with, you may gain their follow or a shoutout.
  6. Stand-Out Followers
    You have a unique opportunity to champion those awesome followers by adding them to a list called something like “Stellar Followers” or something along those lines. They’ll get a notification and feel all of the feels since you noticed them.
  7. People You Want to Notice You
    Because people are notified when you add them to a list, if you add someone to a list, they’ll see it. At the very least, maybe they’ll recognize your handle in the future.

Nick Small

With specialties in content strategy and creation, social media engagement and digital marketing optimization, Nick brings a depth of experience in nonprofit marketing. He’s also helped hundreds of nonprofits with their online presence to improve donor retention and attract new audiences, and he still has time for a good glass of whiskey, round of golf or new adventure.

August 27, 2015

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