1 It organises the noise
Once you’re following a few hundred people, your newsfeed is going to get very busy. You’re going to miss things. You might even get overwhelmed and be tempted to give up on Twitter entirely.
Listing allows you to segregate your newsfeed into bite-size chunks. You can list the people you follow according to any criteria you like, and if you make that list private, only you will ever know who’s on it. You can list by geography, by subject, by influence – anything that will complement the reason you’re using Twitter in the first place. If that’s to do business then just replicate your own market research habits – and enhance them!
2 It groups your contacts
I’ve made a list of Scottish media contacts – you can find it here. I work in PR, so media contacts are invaluable – I need to keep up-to-date with what they’re saying. Sometimes it’s appropriate to tweet them an idea or link, other times I prefer to email. Sometimes scrolling through the list gives me ideas or angles on stories. Your lists could be just as useful for your business.
3 It leads directly to business
If you’re chasing a particular market sector or trying to reach a person at an organisation, Twitter is a fantastic way in. Keeping a close eye on a single Twitter user, or group of influential people, who you’ve listed, will let you spot the opportunities to start a conversation, share a useful link and ultimately arrange a meeting.
4 It cuts down research time
Finding the right people to follow can be time consuming, but active and popular Twitter users will already have made lists to make life easier for you. Check out individuals’ profiles and see what kind of lists they have made – you can follow just the list or the individuals on it.
5 It adds to your authority on Twitter
There’s no point in using Twitter if you don’t care about your follower numbers. You want to build as big an audience as possible – and as engaged an audience as possible – for your Twitter efforts to make any difference. If you create meaningful lists and share them, people will give you that little bit more respect. They’ll see you as someone who’s well-connected, someone who can maybe help them – and in return they will help you.
Have you created or found any brilliant lists lately?