Navigating Twitter Lists and Bookmarks

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You’ve heard of them, you’ve seen them, you’ve even used them. Still, some Twitter features can be surprising, confusing, and immensely rewarding at the same time. Lists and Bookmarks are two such features. This week on our #TwitterSmarter chat, we invited Twitter expert, Samantha Kelly, to join our other Twitter expert, Madalyn, to discuss how brands can get the most out of these two features. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Samantha Kelly
Topic: Navigating Twitter Lists and Bookmarks
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What is the purpose of Twitter lists?

Twitter Lists are a great way to categorize your audience. You can add people to a list, whether you follow them or not, and have a custom feed of tweets from people on your lists. Lists can be private or public, so you can create a public list of handles that share helpful resources and private lists of people you competitors, leads and people you want to keep up with.

As Jim added, Twitter Lists are a comprehensive organizational feature. By letting you create your own feeds where you can see only the tweets from people you want to see (as opposed to related tweets and topics), lists make it easier to manage the barrage of information you get on Twitter.

Q2: What are best practices for using Twitter lists?

Samantha told us she creates lists of experts in various fields because journalists or event organizers often ask her for these references. It’s an effective way to expand your network.

Another good way to do this is to create public lists. When you add someone to a public list, they get a notification. That becomes a good conversation starter.

That said, though, be mindful of which lists you make public. As Madalyn said, if you’re creating a list of highly influential people in your industry you want to partner with or business leads you need to follow up on, perhaps you should keep those private. People won’t get a notification when you add them to your private lists.

Madalyn also has a comprehensive guide on Twitter Lists and how to get the most out of them. Have a look.

Q3: What is the purpose of Twitter bookmarks?

It’s exactly as it sounds. When you come across a tweet with a link to a research paper or an interesting article you want to read but can’t do right away, you can bookmark it and refer to it afterward.

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a tweet with a link. If you run into an insightful thread, a single tweet, or even a retweet, you can bookmark them too. Our guest explained that she collects such tweets to use as examples in her workshops or webinars.

Because it’s so easy to bookmark a tweet, it’s also so easy to save hundreds of tweets and forget about them altogether. As Theodora pointed out, it could get a bit awkward when you eventually do get back to it. To avoid this tricky situation, browse through your bookmarks occasionally.

Q4: What are best practices for Twitter bookmarks?

Bookmark tweets that genuinely add value to you and help you. You can then reshare these tweets in your newsletters or social media, giving both yourself and the original creator a boost. As always, remember to credit the source.

Another good way to use bookmarks is to save positive tweets, testimonials, and reviews. You can use them as references for future endeavors.

Q5: Which do you use most, Twitter lists or bookmarks?

Our guest voted for lists, noting that it saves her time and prevents her from getting lost in the feed.

Alberto also mentioned he uses lists more than bookmarks. He even hinted that with many of us using lists extensively, the actual Twitter feed isn’t as important as it once was.

Q6: Can you categorize your lists and bookmarks?

You can categorize people you want to hear from into separate lists. You can also add one person to multiple lists. However, you can’t create a category within a list, like a folder. You also can’t categorize your bookmarks unless you’re using a paid version of Twitter. That said, though, if you’ve bookmarked a specific tweet, you can add the author of that tweet to a list.

Madalyn told us about the paid version of Twitter. Dubbed Twitter Blue, the subscription service includes a few elite features including an option to categorize your bookmarks. Currently, Twitter Blue is only available in Canada and Australia. More on that here:

Q7: Can you share your lists and bookmarks with other people?

If you create public lists, you can share a link to it and people can subscribe to your lists. Our guest shared a list that she’s put together called Irish gift ideas.

You can’t share your bookmarks with other Twitter users, but you can still share the link(s) of the tweet(s) you’ve bookmarked to share it with other people.

Q8: Are there tools that can help you better manage your Twitter lists and bookmarks?

For now, there are no tools to help manage your bookmarks. Your Twitter account, either on the web or mobile, is the best way to access and manage your bookmarks. Samantha also mentioned that she pins her top lists to give them more prominence.

As our friends from GiveWP noted, Tweet Deck is a great tool to manage lists. You can add a separate column for each list and monitor all of them simultaneously.

Vivian also told us about a feature in Nimble that lets you import your contacts from Twitter lists. This is particularly helpful for salespeople and anyone else who’s looking to build strong relationships with their customers. Nimble is a CRM tool, and you can learn more about the feature here.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks so much for reading through, and for more great insights from our chat with Samantha, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. And if you have some spare time next Thursday, join us live for our next #TwitterSmarter chat. We’ll be on from 1pm ET. Catch you then!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the 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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