Using twitter? Then you’d better understand the twitter list.

There is a new currency in town and its called a Twitter list. 

If you want to win followers and influence tweeters than you’d better understand the impact a twitter list is going have on the twittering ecosystem.

A twitter list is a relatively new feature to Twitter.  It allows you to segment your followers into a special group.   It’s a bit tedious to set up but very useful.

I didn’t pay much attention to twitter lists since I don’t use Twitters’ clunky website.  I’m a tweetdeck fan with a constant eye to

Hootsuite which I suspect would be better for managing multiple twitter accounts on behalf of clients.   Tweetdeck and Hootsuite recently incorporated Twitter lists into their own offering.  But the rapid succession of adding twitter lists to their offering raised some alarm bells for me.

Consider:
Start now to get on a powerful list
If you are interested in twitter influence, then you should be looking to get onto powerful twitter lists.  You might create one yourself but like a blog needs comments, a twitter list needs followers.  The powerful lists will be the ones people follow.   And the list is just one person’s perspective of who represents that segment.

For now – I’ve seen mostly local or national based subject matter lists.  But I expect to see definitive segments on niche topics.  And I expect gaining entry to a list will get harder in the future.   Its not just about gaining followers anymore.  Its about getting yourself on a power list.

Diversify yourself – get on different kinds of lists
I’m still a list virgin but my intention is to get on a number lists – right now I’m on a number of Toronto based social media lists but I’m grateful to also be on some non-profit social media lists.  Any sort of freelance, independent, subject matter or consultant should be looking a diversification.

The metric of how many people follow you is confused. It’s just one metric in a sea of bad or highly fragmented twitter measurements, but it is confused now as you could have 100 followers but be on 10 powerful lists that are followed by double digit people.  In searching for a list, keep eye for how many people now follow the list.

Seeking who to follow is watered down by looking for the right list. In some situations, I will just rely on a number of people who I follow and use their created lists.   It’s the kind of ‘I trust people I know’ that will make social search rocket.

That makes power be to the owner of the list.  It is a painful process to go thru a long list of followers and segment them.  I expect that the lists owners may become rather protective of who is on the list.  And so list ownership could be a new currency.  Check out this owner of top Japan related people to follow. He takes his list quite seriously I’m sure.

That said, I would like to see a ‘last updated’ date and twitter list rating system.  I want to make sure the owner keeps lists up to date from both adding and subtracting people.

Switching between twitter platforms is easy
I’ve long managed my tweetdeck columns by promoting tweeters from my ‘all follower’ category to one of my various columns.  And it is this hard work of setting up a group that always prevented me from moving over to hootsuite.  The switching burden was more than I had time for.

But with twitter lists – I merely subscribe to the lists and the switching barrier from tweetdeck to hootsuite is disappearing.

Well there is.  My twitter lists tactics out in the open.  I could be right off my twitter rocker so tell me your thoughts and deep strategies.


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Laurie Dillon-Schalk is the Chief Marketing Strategist and founder of Social Wisdom – a Toronto based digital marketing agency that helps firms and individuals use social media and the web wisely.

You can find Laurie on Twitter at twitter.com/Ldillonschalk or on her blog at Socialwisdom.ca

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