You might have never used them before, but they’re one of the most powerful features on Twitter — lists. When used in a correct way, they can help in job hunting, identifying breaking news and the topics your industry lives and breathes. With a little effort they can become your favourite feature — join Twitter lists appreciation club today!
Twitter lists are not about the notifications that you get, once a random bot adds us to the list. It’s a much more valuable and powerful feature. It can help you identify some precious gems among the infinite content and get most of the social networking. Before you start, identify what you’d like to get out of your social network. Identify the most important users tweeting about the topic of your interest and start creating the lists!
#1 Getting started
Creating lists is really easy. Go to Twitter lists by clicking on your own profile picture, next to the “Tweet” button. In the lists window, on the right, you can proceed to “Create new list.” Add the name, and optionally description, of your list. You can choose to keep your list private, too (comes in handy when you want to be a social media ninja). Now you just need to identify the users that are relevant to the created list. If the list will be about news, add @BBC, @Reuters, @CNN, etc. In order to add the user to the list, go to their profile and click on the gear button, next to the ‘Follow.’ Now you can add them to your list, clicking on Add or remove from lists…
In order to get most of your lists and start monitoring the key tweeters, install TweetDeck — incredibly powerful tool from Twitter (I could, and most likely will, write the whole post about TD, as the amount of its features is countless). You can now add the column with your list to the dashboard by clicking the plus symbol on the very left on the grey bar, and going to the section lists. Once your Twitter account is connected with TD, the software will start recognising the lists you’ve created beforehand. TweetDeck can also help you with the list creation — in order to create a list with it, click again on the +, go to the lists section, and click the blue create list button.
#2 Purpose of Twitter lists
But why would you want to use the the list feature? Why is it better than using Twitter’s timeline? First of all, you can curate your own timeline and be as specific as you want. But the options are limitless. A few other examples of how I use the list:
- Job hunting. You can add your favourite companies and see their tweets. With TweetDeck you can monitor what’s their favourite topic to tweet about, and most of the places would also tweet when they’re hiring! TweetDeck will also allow you to search for the certain words and phrases, so you easily set the feed to show only internships– and hiring–oriented tweets. You can also make a list of the employees of your favourite corporations. This can give you a lot of hints about the company and an idea of their work, tone of voice, and conversation;
- News. Both industry-oriented and general news. If you want to know what’s happening, monitoring feeds from the top news agencies would be a good idea. And you don’t need to restrict your lists to the generic ‘news.’ You can be very specific — create lists for breaking news, business, politics, technology, etc.;
- Competitions. Brands and companies can use it really effectively. Going to the Twitter feeds of each competitor can be a real struggle. Having all of their messages in one TweetDeck column might become a godsend;
- Many, many more — your favourite journalists, key influencers, and not only. Never miss the key conversations, stay on the top of the topics in your area. Lists can also help you find many interesting people to follow.
#3 Don’t just create
The beauty of the lists is the fact that you don’t always need to create the list, but you can subscribe to the lists that other tweeter’s public playlists. These are some of my favourite ones:
- PRWeek’s Power Book — comms practitioners that appeared in the Power Book;
- PRWeek’s 30 under 30 2016 — the brightest industry talent, selected by PRWeek;
- Andrew Bloch’s pr agencies — interesting comms companies, listed by Andrew Bloch;
- PR UK Distilled’s UK PR Influencers — top tweeters talking about all things PR;
- MK’s #4PRQs — a shameless plug. The practitioners featured in the weekly #4PRQs series.
Twitter lists are an amazing tool that could be used in many ways, for many purposes. I’m sure that I did not *list* all of them here. If you have any suggestions, or would like to share your favourite ways to use with this fabulous feature — do let me know.
If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or see my LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!