Social media marketing is useful when you create segments of a target market audience that will serve as the central focus of your marketing efforts. Each marketing campaign calls for a different part of your target market audience to take center stage. Twitter makes target market segmentation easier with the introduction of its list feature. The list feature allows you to create specific lists that contain clients, potential clients and industry leaders that fall into category specifications that you define. It gives you an outline of participants for each social media marketing campaign you run.
What is a Twitter List
A Twitter list allows you to create groups of other users that meet criteria that you set. You can have a list that focuses on product development or a list centering on employees that work for your company. Another list can highlight industry leaders or competitors in your target market. A list can contain any group of users that you have an interest in creating.
Twitter lists are mainly for informational purposes as you are unable to interact with an entire list at one time. You can just use a list as a guide for who to interact with on Twitter. You may add any Twitter user that has a public profile to a list that you create. Likewise, you can follow a list that someone else creates without asking for permission or waiting for an invite request. The only stipulation is that the list must be for public use.
How to Create a List
Creating a Twitter list is relatively simple and can be done in a few minutes at the most. You start by going to your profile page and clicking on the gear icon when on a smartphone. On a desktop or laptop, you would click on ‘list’ icon on the left-hand menu screen. Once there, look for the plus sign in the upper-right corner of the page. You now have the opportunity to name the list and create a brief description that users will see when they become part of that particular list.
When you create a list, you have to decide if it will be a public list or a private list. The choice is your and the classification you set determines who can see the members of that list.
A public list is viewable by any user on Twitter. People that have an interest in the list description can add themselves or others as they wish. You may also be added to a public list by someone else without that person asking for your permission.
A private list is viewable by the person who creates the list. Twitter users on a private list receive no notification that they are on your list. They also are unable to see the names of other users on the list. You have an excellent opportunity to keep an eye on your competition without them knowing you are watching them.
When your list has a name, a short description and you’ve determined whether it will be public or private, you are ready to save the list. Upon saving your new list, Twitter prompts you to add names of the users that you would like to be a part of that list.
Adding People to a List
Twitter attempts to jumpstart the process by offering a search option to add people of interest right away to your new list. Search for individuals or companies by name or by Twitter username and add each one to your list one at a time. There is also another way to add people to a list that you create.
The second option to add users to a Twitter list is a bit more time consuming than the search option that first appears. You can visit the Twitter profile page for each person or company that you want to add to a particular list. On the profile page, click on the gear icon and scroll down the options showing until you see ‘add/remove from lists.’ Click on that option and add the individual or company to your list.
Viewing a List
Each list you create gives you the opportunity to have a separate Twitter timeline view that features only those accounts that are on a particular list. It gives you the chance to see what the topic of discussion is for a certain day. That information can be beneficial when creating a marketing campaign because it gives you an idea of a problem a target market audience is currently facing. You can then highlight in a marketing campaign how a new product or service solves that problem.
Editing or Deleting a List
At the end of a particular marketing campaign, you may no longer have a need for certain Twitter lists that you created. A list may not serve its intended purpose, or you may decide against creating a list in the first place. You may also wish to edit the members of a particular list at times as well. When these situations occur, you can edit or delete a list at any time with ease.
Start by going to your profile page and clicking on the gear icon once again. Select the list that you would like to make changes to, make the changes and then click ‘save’ when finished. You may also change the visibility of a list from ‘public’ to ‘private’ and vice versa as you wish.
Subscribe to a List
One of the greatest benefits of the Twitter list feature is being able to add yourself to any public list on the social media site. As you are adding members to your lists, take a minute to look at their lists. When you see one that interests you, simply click on that list name and add yourself as a member. The lists that you create work in a similar manner, so it is critical that you create an interesting list description for each of your lists.
Sharing a List
There may be times when you want to share a list you create with other members of your marketing team. You may also want to share a list of your competitors or another list that may be of interest to other members of your team. When you find a list you would like to share, go to that list and highlight the URL in the browser bar. Copy and paste this link just as you would any other link you come across online.
Here is a comical video that illustrates how Twitter lists work:
Reasons to Use Twitter Lists
Twitter lists provide you with a quick and easy way to engage in research for companies and individuals of interest. It is a great way to segment a target market audience to ensure that the product or service of your campaign will reach the right audience. Here are a few other reasons that Twitter lists are beneficial.
Following Not Required
You have the ability to monitor the activities of the members on a list you create without having to follow each person or company. As you interact with a list, you may find that there are members you would like to follow. Otherwise, you can stand back and observe the activity on a list without increasing the users you follow.
One Button Management
Following a new list or creating one from scratch happens with the click of one button. You will not see a pop-up box asking to confirm your choices or have to click on several buttons to start following a list of interest. When you see a list of interest, click on the list, and you are now a member.
Twitter lists help you promote an upcoming event or marketing campaign quickly and easily. When there is a list focusing on an event or campaign, you can share its URL on your promotional marketing pieces or in marketing messages. Add a call to action that prompts readers to visit that list and add themselves as members. You could create a list focusing on product distributors and share that on a campaign featuring a new product you are releasing. The promotional opportunities are endless.
Increase Your Followers
As you begin to share lists that are beneficial to your industry, target market audience members will begin to see you as an authoritative figure. They will want to know more about you and your company. That desire will prompt them to start following your Twitter account and that of your company if there is one. You see an increase in account followers and the opportunity to reach out to new audience members as well.
The addition of the Twitter list feature enhances the marketing potential that the social media channel provides your company. You can create different lists that focus on different segments of your target market. Keep a close eye on the competition to see what they are doing differently and find ways you can maintain a competitive advantage over them.