The number of tweets churned by Twitter 365/24/7 is a testament to its power – and value to many businesses using it. It is one of the most powerful social media tools for businesses for inbound marketing. If the deluge of tweets is that many, and THAT overwhelming, how can your company dominate Twitter and rule your industry?
Manage the overwhelm using one simple tool. But, before we jump to that, just this brief FYI about this article…
This is the first part of a Twitter tips series for businesses that I am writing on.
Part 1: Control the beast now (this blog)
Part 2: Your company needs to be seen
Part 3: Finding your people
Part 4: Under the hood
Let’s go back to the question: how can your business dominate Twitter? How do others do it?
You can dominate twitter using this tool:
Yup, the humble, and often underutilized, Twitter list.
And it is free.
Here is a fact: Twitter will always have tons of tweets every second. That’s the nature of the beast.
You can’t do anything about that but you can keep it under control without losing your mind each time you open Twitter and you see these tweets running in your stream.
Hence, if you want to dominate Twitter you need to proactively control it. And that my friend is by using lists. Just the lists. No secret sauce here.
Should I use it now – or later?
You said, “I still don’t have that many followers anyways so I can wait until later, right?” Wroooong!
Why is that?
Without using lists, those you followed will fall through the “cracks of good intentions.” And I don’t need a crystal ball to predict that your company’s stream will be very chaotic and overwhelming in the future when your followers turn from hundreds to thousands.
How did I know?! I did that mistake.
Do I need to follow somebody before I could add them to a Twitter list?
No, you don’t have to be a follower of that person to add them to your list. When you see an account that you like to follow, just add it to one of your Twitter lists. That simple.
How do you add a Twitter account to a Twitter list?
You notice that the follow button is still white (image below)? That is because I have not followed the account.
To add this Twitter account to a list:
- Click, the 3 dots that you see.
- Tap, Add or remove from lists.
Manage Twitter overwhelm by making this process an part of your daily Twitter marketing strategy. This is one good habit to develop as a social media manager.
What are different types of Twitter lists that your business can create?
- A list of accounts that retweet your posts.
These retweeters are people who trust you. How so? By sharing your posts – often. These are people who most likely you have built a relationship with over time. This type of Twitter followers, in my book, deserves a different list worthy of your time and attention.
- A list of people by location.
You can create lists by city, or by state, or by country. This is helpful if you have offices in those locations or if you are targeting audience in specific parts of a state or the world.
- A list by industry.
If you are a company covering different interests and you have several of them, then create a list by interest.
- A list by day of the week.
I created a list of companies by day of the week that we had synced with a content marketing calendar for one of our clients. The need for it came up when I realized that there are too many topics and target markets we need to cover. Moreover, if we do not do this, I am sure we will “forget” about some topics and miss out engaging with other audience we are targeting for them. With the too many topics and target markets, we created themes per week that cover several industries.
- A list by conference or event goers.
If you are going to an event and want to connect with people, add them to a Twitter list and start engaging with them beforehand. Consider your real life meeting as the cherry-topping for that. Bridget Willard is an expert at Twitter meetups.
You are allowed to create up to 500 lists with up to 5,000 members each (let me know if there is new info about this) but I stick to this age-old advice: “less is more.” It’s hard to dominate Twitter and rule your industry with too many lists.That is the voice of experience here.
Twitter Lists: Public or Private
What is the PERFECT Twitter list privacy setting?
The PERFECT Twitter privacy setting is the one that makes the perfect business sense for you.
There are lists I keep public because I do not mind sharing it with everyone.
Then, there are lists that I like to keep away from everyone.
What is the difference between a private and a public list?
What a public Twitter list is:
- Visible to anyone if they check your list
- Open for anyone to follow
- Anyone, including your competitors, can mine your list.
What a private Twitter is:
- Only you and your moderators can see it
- No one can follow it
- Your competitors would not know that it exists
The good news is you can easily switch settings from private to public or vice versa.
How to create your Twitter lists:
- Click your profile and settings icon. That is the logo or avatar on the upper right-hand side of your computer.
- Click Lists.
- Click Create new list.
- The list dialog box should appear.
- Create a List name. You can always change this anytime and as often.
- Describe what it is about.
- Choose the privacy setting.
- Save list
How do you unleash its potential for your business?
This is not a secret, and there is no secret system, but use it to dominate your industry on Twitter. Do not create lists; then forget about it. Adding people to a list is just half of the journey for your company to dominate Twitter.
Here are different ways that some businesses are using it to unleash its power:
- Grow engagement using Twitter list.
Develop and grow your audience by focusing on a targeted list every day as part of your community building strategy. For example, if you want to build your popularity as a logistics expert, then create a list solely for material handling and logistics industries Twitter. However, don’t stop there. Consistent conversation is also required. By doing so, your followers will become familiar with your brand and know that there is a real human being behind the logo that you are “wearing.” As people get to engage with you more, they will begin to trust you. Also, when they trust you, they will share posts coming from you regularly. Trust grows that way.
- Reach out to influencers.
Well, this is what I would call the “notice me” list. Your definition of influencers may be different from mine. To give you a hint; I do not mean Tweeters with gazillion followers who may not have time for you. Anyway, whatever your definition may be for influencers, if you want them to notice you (read: follow, engage with you), then add them to a list then start getting their attention.
- Add your account to a public list.
Add yourself to it because when people follow the list, they will be able to see your daily updates, too. How to do it? I typically do this using Tweetdeck. Click your profile and then choose from the drop-down, the “Add or remove from lists” option.
- Curate helpful content sources.
Create a list of reliable content sources that are useful to your audience and on-topic for your business. If you blog on topics about real estate, it will behoove you to engage with bloggers in, you got it, real estate. There are people in the real estate industry that are very active sharers, and they do not shy away from linking to other bloggers either that share helpful and relevant content for their niche. Check out Bill Gassett and Lynn Pineda blogs and see what I mean.
- Grow your micro-communities.
If you own a winery in an area, create a list of locals. You can even create a list of businesses allied to yours like caterers, bakeshops, DJs, florists, musicians, photographers and more. And I say this again, never forget to engage with them as well because lists are nothing without engaging with them.
- Give your Twitter list a lease of life by sharing it, not just on Twitter.
Aside from sharing your list on Twitter, share it on your blog and in other networking sites as well especially if it is well-curated and has valuable info for your target audience.
- Use lists to listen.
In social media, the other word for listening is monitoring. You can watch niches and industries, including your competitors using lists. Then, jump right in on conversations. The tool that I often use when I like to listen on Twitter is Tweetdeck. I have paid tools, but for some reason, I am partial to Tweetdeck.
A tool is only as good as the skill, and the tenacity, of its user. The truth about how businesses dominate twitter is this (no secret system or process that you have to pay for: Create lists, and engage with those in it!
Over to you.
If you want to scale Twitter domination fast, and need expert social media advice right away instead of plodding through my tips, let me know. Talk is free, right?