Using Twitter Lists like a Pro

Using Twitter Lists like a pro - #TwitterSmarter chat with Warwick Brown - November 12, 2020

One of Twitter’s many underrated features is Lists. We’ve spoken about the value of using Twitter Lists before—here’s the first time, and the second time—but it’s always worth a refresher. After all, Twitter being Twitter constantly update their platform with feature enhancements that most of us may have missed out. That’s why we invited key account strategist, Warwick Brown to talk to us about Twitter Lists.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Warwick Brown

Topic: Using Twitter Lists like a pro
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What are some ways you use Twitter Lists?

There are so many things you can track using Twitter Lists. As Warwick explained, start off by making a list of your clients or top customers. That way, you’ll always know what they tweet about, the causes that matter to them, and the issues they face on a day to day basis. This can help you get involved in existing conversations and share your expertise. It’s also a way to meet new clients through existing ones.

Another more common use case is to make a list of influencers and leaders in your industry. That’ll help stay on top of the latest news and get involved in trends as they happen.

Our guest then shared a handy tip for sales people. Just as you would keep a list of your top clients, do the same with leads and potential clients. This is where private lists work wonderfully. When you create and add someone to a private list, they won’t get a notification. This way, you can silently keep up with a group of people. It’s also a brilliant tactic to observe what your competition is doing.

Christine shared some more interesting scenarios in which she uses Lists. She’s created a list of people who regularly participate in her Twitter chat so that she can be more involved in their Twitter conversations. She also spoke about making lists of people you want to connect with later on—especially in events, when you’re busy networking and don’t have much time to connect on social media. If you attend a lot of events, online or off, consider making a list for each event to make it easier to recall how and where you met them.

Q2: How can you use Twitter Lists to build and develop your network?

Lists are versatile and you can create as many as you want. As our guest suggested, you can use integration options like Zapier to get summaries of your lists, right into your inbox. And if you make separate lists for personal and professional networks, keeping up with conversations becomes so much more easy.

Steven mentioned some other great ways to leverage Twitter Lists. For example, aside from using a list to initiate conversations with selective people, you can also share a public list, inviting subscribers or suggestions. If you find a list that you think suits you well, pitch yourself to be added to that list. That’ll put you in a larger group, giving you a reach that’s wider than your network.

Q3: How can Twitter Lists help build your business?

Lists are a great way to engage your leads. For example, as Warwick said, from monitoring your competition and narrowing down potential clients, to tracking people on the fence and converting them, lists can be part of every stage of your business activities.

He even demonstrated how he’d classify lists, based on his action items: Suspect, Prospect, Approach, Negotiate, Close. And if you keep them private and pin them to your profile where you can see them at a glance, you’re more likely to follow through with your plan and succeed.

Shane also mentioned how lists can be geography specific, helping you reach and engage a large audience without foregoing a region just because of timezones.

And of course, as Madalyn added, Lists can help you focus on building those relations further, which is essential to increase your credibility. After all, people only buy from those they know, like, and trust.

Q4: What does it mean to subscribe to a list?

When a child sees something their friend has, they want the same thing. Sometimes, adults are similar.

Subscribing is a way to avoid behaving like kids. If you see someone else’s public list, and like it so much that you want to hear from the users in that list, then you can just subscribe to that list, instead of replicating it.

Marianne put it well: she called it “borrowing” someone else’s list. What’s more, not only does it save you the time, but you can also make a valuable connection with the owner of the list.

As Ginny added, it makes the owner feel validated, a feeling you will get in return when someone subscribes to your lists. That’s why we use social media, isn’t it? Sometimes, it’s the vanity metrics that keep us going.

Q5: What are some great apps that integrate with Twitter Lists?

Warwick shared two of his favorite tools. One: Inoreader. As he said, it creates a reader-friendly layout of your lists so you can easily keep up with conversations across your lists.

He also assured us that Inoreader has an excellent free version as well—if you want to check it out.

Warwick’s second recommendation is of course, the crowd favorite, TweetDeck. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’ll be a game changer—especially when it comes to monitoring lists. It has an easy-to-grasp column layout that behaves just as the native Twitter feed—it instantly displays new tweets without needing to refresh the page.

Jake told us about Vicariously, an app that many in our community hadn’t heard of before. The tool allows you to create Twitter lists based on other people’s followers. Go on, give it a go:

Similarly, HootSuite and Flipboard work well with Twitter Lists as well.

Q6: How do you get the most out of pinned lists?

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t pinned lists so far (I hadn’t), but it’s definitely worth doing so now. It’s a great way to organize your lists, both for yourself and for others who visit your profile. Have a look at the example our guest shared—you can even customize the appearance with a good image and strong CTAs, and you’ll have converted a normal list into a high-functioning engagement magnet.

Jim shared another great tip as well: you can organize and prioritize lists for specific devices. For example, as Jim said, you can highlight mobile-specific lists only on the mobile, while the generic ones can show up first when someone access your profile on their computer.

Q7: What are some creative ways to use custom headers in Twitter Lists?

Headers on Twitter Lists are a lot like banners and header images on Facebook or LinkedIn pages. You can customize the header for each list separately, with any image, text, and illustrations you think is relevant.

As Kelly suggested, on your header, you can also highlight a specific member or influencer who’s part of the list, as a way to entice more people into subscribing. You can even shuffle the spotlight to make it fun and more inviting.

Adding to that, Drew from GiveWP also suggested how nonprofits can use the header to promote their causes. For instance, if a nonprofit creates a list of their regular donors, the header image for that specific list could include little notes from those donors about what the cause means to them. It’s a nice and compelling way to reiterate your message.

Q8: What’s the benefit of keeping an eye on what lists you are on?

When you’re aware of what lists you’re on, it’s easier for you to engage in conversations. There’s much less noise, as Warwick told us, and you can easily filter out your feed and jump into urgent matters first.

Kathy added that the publicity can be valuable. When you realize that someone’s added you to their list, you should always acknowledge it. By adding you to a list, they’ve endorsed your content, in a way, and categorized you with a bunch of others who are similar to you. In other words, they’ve handed you a list of new contacts—make use of it!

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading, and for more great insights from our chat with Warwick, take a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. And if you’ve got some time to spare on Thursday, join us at 1pm ET for our next #TwitterSmarter chat.


About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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