Best Use of Twitter List

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Good morning, internet fans. Ryan Perry’s Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, the 21st, and that means it is Back to the Future Day. Welcome back to the future. We’re not going to dive into that, though, we are going to talk about social media. Specifically, we’re going to talk about how to use lists in Twitter to make your life less complicated, easier, more efficient. Pretty much just put a big old smile on your face. And to help me out with that is Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing. Good morning, Sarah.

Sarah Giometti: Good morning, Ryan. How are you?

RP: I’m doing good. I think it’s kind of interesting, and I saw a quote today that, as of tomorrow everything that was in the movie about the future will be in the past.

RP: Mind blown, right there. Just poof, gone.

SG: I don’t even know what to say to that.

RP: You don’t have to say anything at all. We could talk about why Twitter wasn’t in… I don’t think any social media, mobile phones, were in Back to the Future. There’s a lot of stuff they hit really spot on, and there are some things that they missed, like the whole Facebook thing. But, that’s okay. We’re going to talk about Twitter today, and how to use lists. I think it’s probably an under-utilized tool. I know I have some lists but I don’t use them very efficiently. It’s something I could do a little better myself with my account.

SG: Right. Twitter is a whole different animal than Facebook. We talk a lot about Facebook because it’s an easy place for businesses to start. But Twitter can be very, very powerful. There are over two billion searches done on the Twitter platform every single day. But, there’s also a ton of content, ’cause it’s all chronological, it moves at the speed of light. And so, lists are a great way to not only find content you’re interested in a hurry. I’ve got a list with industry leaders in it, so I just have their content, front and center, so I can see what they’re saying and putting out there. But you can also do what your competitors are doing. You can do lists of similar businesses, to help you with listening. There’s a lot of things that you can do to utilize lists, which makes Twitter even more valuable to you as a business owner.

RP: Right. And just to clarify, when we’re talking about a list, essentially what we’re doing is we’re categorying certain users. So, if I want to say industry leaders for SEO, as an example, I can take all the individuals that I want as industry leaders in SEO, drop them into that list… Or a folder, if you want to call it… And then you can create multiple lists. So, it could be educational information, it could be inspirational quotes. Whatever it is that you want, you can put anybody that’s in that list. Are you set up where we can do a screen share, and just show people where it’s at? We’re not going to walk you through how to create a list, but we just want to show you how to do it, so that you understand what we’re talking about.

SG: Yeah, I am. I’ll do the screen share for the lists. And there’s one thing to know. You can do a private list, or a public list. And, so, the private list obviously is a list just for you, and this is one way… If you are creating a list of your competitors, I recommend it being private so they don’t know that you created a list of all them to follow what they’re doing. Let’s move over to, let me go home…

RP: And while you’re doing that, the other thing I want to ask is that, I know in my feed that I get on my phone it actually pops up and it will tell me, “Hey, Joe added me to internet marketing list.” I’m assuming that’s a public list then, at that point, since I was notified?

SG: Yeah. You were notified, so it’s a public list that you were added to. So, you shouldn’t be notified if it’s a private list. So, here amongst… I’m on screen share, here’s my… So, I’ve just logged in to Twitter. This is the normal feed that you’re going to see. And so to go find your list, or create your list, you click on your name… Which is the quickest way to get into your profile here, and what you’re doing. And then you’ll see you got three lists. It’s even something that I don’t utilize as well as I should. You could definitely be very creative here. But, if I just click on a list here, I can see I’m “subscribed to” or “A member of.”

SG: And so, “A member of” are all the lists of people… These are all the lists that people added me to. And that way I can look and see if I want to subscribe to it. Maybe it’s a really good list, then there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, and I can just subscribe to a list that somebody has already created. And that’s really beneficial. But you can also here subscribe to… These are the ones that I’ve created. So, over here you can see I created this one and I subscribed to a couple other ones. Right here, right next to it on the right hand-side, is just where to create a new list. You can create it for anything you want. You can create it for topics, you can create it for, like I said, your competitors, you can do it based on events. Everybody who’s attending a specific event, through hashtag. So, you can create a lot of lists, and this is how you can dig out what you want out of all of the noise.

RP: So, kind of like…

SG: ‘Cause especially since I’m following…

RP: I was going to say, it’s like data mining essentially, because you can put specific content in that you want. Now let me ask you this. Can you create a list just based on hashtags, or does it always have to be profiles?

SG: Let’s see. I’m pretty sure you can view it by hashtags, ’cause I know I’ve used it for

[06:18] ____ listening. So we’ll find users by name. So it is all by people, but if you know people are at an event, then you can put them all in there together.

RP: Okay.

SG: How you do it, it’s kind of roundabout, by hashtag is, do the hashtag search, find the people that are using that hashtag, and add those people to the list. So it’s a roundabout way of doing it, but it is all based on people.

RP: Okay. And then, obviously, if you were actually doing a search up in the upper right hand corner of the Twitter bar, is the search field. You could go ahead and put in search information there. The other thing I was taking to you before, off-air, is that when somebody puts you on a list, ideally, it’s a positive thing. And so, that’s a great opportunity to acknowledge that, “Hey, thanks Joe, for putting me on your ‘you’re an awesome dude’ list’.” It just creates credibility, and it’s another way of engaging. And if Joe puts you on a list for a reason, there’s a good possibility that that person has credibility in you, which probably means doing business with them is going to be much easier.

SG: Right. It’s all about the “being social” part. I preach it in most of our episodes; social media is all about being social. So, if Joe Blow adds you to their cool dudes list, you’re right. There’s an absolute reason for it. There’s no reason not to say, “Hey, thanks for adding me to your list. I’m glad you find my information or my content valuable.” And make sure it’s personalized. You’re not sending a canned message to everybody that adds you to a list. That way, you’re reaching out to them, so you can start a conversation, ’cause they may respond back to you. And you can do this all publicly, through Tweets. But this way, you’re engaging that conversation.

SG: And exactly, they put you there for a reason. So it’s possible, either, they can become a linchpin referral partner for you, sending you a ton of business. Or they can become a client. You never know what that person… Who they’re connected to, and who’s in their circle. So it’s always a great idea to thank them for doing something. And then, maybe follow them back, follow that list, and really engage with that person. Because they, like I said, found you and added you for a reason. So see if you can figure out what that reason, and use it to your… Not in a bad way, but to your advantage. And see what you can build out of that relationship.

RP: All right, perfect. And the other thing I would recommend is, with these lists, depending on the number of people that you’re following, is try and keep the lists small. That way, you’ve got really targeted information. So, as an example, instead of just having a broad list for SEO; which may be great, depending on the type of, or the number of followers you have. But you may want to niche that down to local SEO, versus national SEO. If you break it up and segment it, you’re just going to sharper pieces of content, which is going to make finding the information you’re looking for that much easier.

SG: Right. And you can also create a list for the topics, but what about potential customer? Ryan and I are B2B. Why not make a list out of potential customers in my target market in the industries that I like to serve? Again, it can be a private one, where I’m just following what they’re doing. Or maybe they’re competitors, that kind of stuff, so you have something when you go to talk to a potential client. If you get in front of them, you have information to use that, “Oh, your competitors are doing X, Y, Z online.” And this is obviously for Ryan and I, but, “Your competitors are doing X, Y, Z online, so maybe you should do it, too.”

SG: But, on the public side, you can also become a resource for people. So, if you create a really valuable list… Again, if your potential customers, or a linchpin referral partner… They see that list and start subscribing to the list, it adds to your credibility, ’cause you’re following important information in your industry. And so, it adds to your credibility, and your knowledge and expertise. And you can also see who’s subscribed to your list and who hasn’t and engage in conversations there, as well.

RP: Okay, perfect. So, the takeaway from today’s episode? Small business owners, if you’re using Twitter, even if it’s just a little bit, figure out what it is that you would like to have some really focused information on. And I think, Sarah, one of them that I really liked was: What if there’s some companies out there that you’d like to do business with, that are on Twitter? The first rule of thumb is: Always listen first. So pay attention. You’d be amazed at the amount of information you could get, and could use to your benefit, just by listening. So I think that’s a great one.

RP: Realize that lists are both public and private. If you are put on a public list, realize that whoever you put on that list will receive a notification. Whether or not they do anything about it is a whole ‘nother thing, but just realize, they will be notified.

SG: Right. And make sure that you’re using lists in a positive manner. You’re not using it for negative gains, like, to get bad information on a competitor and use it to [11:43] ____ don’t use it in that manner, ’cause it’s just going to come back to bite you in the ass. So you just want to make sure you use it thoughtfully and in what’s the best interest of your business. And even if you don’t have a ton of followers, or you’re not following a ton of people, you can still create lists. You can still do a hashtag research, find people that are talking about a specific topic and add them to the list and get more involved in your community. You can do this in baby steps on Twitter. Twitter can be very overwhelming at times and so just take it little steps at a time, pick up one topic, create a little bit of a list, and start following those people and engaging with them.

RP: All right, perfect. Unless you have anything else to say, I think that’s it for today’s episode.

SG: No, just take it one step at a time and if you’re not ready for Twitter, don’t worry, you don’t have to do it. But lists are a great way to make it very useful, and a lot more palatable and easier to manage.

RP: All right, perfect. As always Sarah I appreciate the time and energy that you put into making the show happen each week. For you the followers, I hope you found that information helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and we will get back to you quickly. And then make sure you follow us, I was going to say what’s the subscribe? You can subscribe to the channel and you’ll get notified of new shows coming out. Until next Wednesday, we’ll see you then. Take care everybody.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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