Twitter Lists are a feature on the social media platform that allows users to create lists of accounts for specific purposes and view content only from those accounts included within the list. The Twitter Lists feature has proven to serve as a highly useful tool for users looking to grow brand accounts or businesses.
Twitter Lists are easily made and enable Twitter user to create personally curated and specifically categorized groups of accounts on the platform. There are many great uses for Lists that can help with brand awareness, making business connections, and growing an audience and customer base.
In this article, we will cover exactly what Twitter Lists are and 13 great uses for them when trying to grow a brand. Keep reading to learn more about the basics of how to use and make Lists that will greatly increase your brand account’s potential for growth.
What is a Twitter List?
Twitter Lists are essentially a tool used for creating special groups of accounts to categorize content and users according to specific guidelines. For instance, a user who is looking for recipes could create a List of accounts that solely share cooking recipes and tips. Lists allow for a user to organize and interact with the highly specific content or accounts.
According to Twitter:
“A List is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own Lists or follow Lists created by others. Viewing a List timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that List.”
Here is a great example of a List created by Twitter user @AskAaronLee that groups together account for large brands, such as Sephora and Ben and Jerry’s:
Grouping big brand accounts together in a List like this can be a good way to stay up to date on sales events and product releases without having to sift through tons of other irrelevant tweets from non-branded accounts. There are many different ways to group Twitter accounts to create useful lists like the example above. To determine which accounts to include in a List, a user must first establish the overall purpose of the List. Understanding the best ways to utilize Twitter Lists is an essential component to successfully employing the feature to supplement a brand or business’ growth.
13 Great Ideas for Using Twitter Lists to Grow a Brand:
1. Niche-Specific Lists
When promoting a brand or business through social media accounts, such as Twitter, it is crucial to have already determined a niche in which the brand fits. This will allow for highly targeted marketing and advertising for a specific audience.
With Lists, users can create groups of accounts that fit within a niche. This can include consumers and professionals within the niche and can give the creator of the List great insight into what types of tweets and content resonate the best with a target audience, as well as allowing them to observe and participate in trends within the niche as they occur.
Here is an example of a niche-specific List by @JewelryObserver that features jewellery artists’ accounts specifically:
2. Connect with Influential Users
When you add an account to a public List, that account user will receive a notification that they have been placed within the List. This also means that the user is likely to see the account information of the user who made the List and potentially visit, follow, and interact with that person’s account.
As such, creating Lists of influential Twitter users is a good way to potentially bring in attention from bigger accounts to your brand or business. This can be especially useful if the influencer is relevant to the brand’s industry or niche and poses a potential for a future collaboration or marketing sponsorship.
Plus, if an influencer sees they have been added to a List and then promotes that List, the user who created it will then have the potential to be seen by the influencer’s following and bring in new visitors to the brand’s account and content.
Here is an example of an influencer List, made by @SproutSocial, that features users who are influential leaders in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion:
3. Make Business Connections
Like with connecting to influencers, adding relevant business accounts into a List focused on potential business connections is a good way to begin networking with professionals within a larger industry and within a specific niche.
By making a List of accounts that have the potential to be future business connections, a user can start to not only diversify their professional network but increase their chances of being discovered by these potential business connections as well.
This type of list can have different functions, depending on if the user chooses to make it public or private. While public lists are a good way to get noticed by other accounts, private lists allow for any type of account to be added to the List without any public pressures for a business partnership to be announced.
4. Prioritize Content
When a List is made, a user can decide to filter the tweets they are seeing in their feed to only show tweets from accounts included within the List. This means that a user can create very specifically tailored streams of content, allowing them to keep up with specific accounts and users.
For instance, a brand could make several different Lists such as one made up entirely of customers and another one made up of relevant influencers. By separating these types of accounts into different Lists, a user can easily switch back and forth between interacting and viewing content from their customers versus bigger influencer accounts.
Additionally, the ability to prioritize the content being shown on a Twitter feed allows users to keep their feeds highly organized. This means they can then follow a much bigger quantity of accounts without the fear of creating too cluttered of a timeline.
5. Guest Lists
Twitter Lists provide a good opportunity for promoting events through the social media platform. Lists can be used to create groups of accounts who are invited to attend an event, such as a launch party or an awards ceremony.
For small businesses and brands especially, hosting either in-person or virtual events is a great way to begin building community and rapport within a consumer base. By providing a public List of everyone on the guest list allows for those invited to see who else may be in attendance and potentially encourage more interactions between consumers and the brand.
Additionally, a guestbook-style List will help a brand to keep an eye on general public excitement or reception of a planned event, as well as take care of any customer issues as quickly as possible.
Here is a list of makers who launch their digital products during April created by @itsLeo_m. By the way, one of the members, @asanchezdev, just launched his personal project to help you hire developers and got included in the list. A perfect opportunity to connect.
6. Live Event Coverage
Not only can Twitter Lists be used to create guest lists for events, but they can also be used as a means for gathering and featuring tweets from users who are live-tweeting about events they are attending. By making a List of accounts who will be covering a live event via Twitter, a brand provides an easy source for followers to use to find out real-time information about an ongoing event.
This can also be used to drive excitement and hype around the event. By creating this sort of List before the actual event happens, the accounts included within the List will also have time to promote the event leading up to it and generate more interest from other users.
Live event coverage Lists are a good opportunity to pair up with influencers as well by including them in the List and compensating them for promoting the event and providing good live content during the event.
For many brands and businesses, there are more than one or two relevant Twitter accounts that are associated with the business. Twitter Lists can be used to create directories of other associated accounts, such as staff directories.
The inclusion and creation of a directory through the use of Twitter Lists is a good way to provide customers with easy access to different professionals within a business or brand. It can also make the brand feel more relatable and personal thanks to putting faces to job titles.
Directories can also be used to point customers in the directions of other related accounts. For instance, a brand may decide to launch a new Twitter account for a specific product or service. A directory makes for easy promotion of additional accounts run by a particular brand.
Here is an example from the New York Times (@nytimes) of a Twitter List that features a directory of NYT journalists:
8. Resource Collections
Part of what makes following a brand or business on social media platforms worthwhile is what the brand has to offer to consumers that provide extra value to their overall experience with the brand. With Twitter Lists, a branded account can create collections of resources that are useful to their customer base.
For example, a business that sells products that help with recycling could create a List of accounts that provide tips and guidance for beginning at-home sustainability practices. That business could then make that List public and share it with its customers, thus providing them with a highly valuable resource and encouraging them to continue following.
Here is an example from @thewritelife of a resource-style List comprised of accounts where visitors may be able to submit guest blog posts to:
9. Recommended Lists
Similarly to a resource collection, Twitter Lists can be used to create curated groups of Twitter users that the list makers want to recommend to their followers. This allows both for providing greater value to the user’s followers and building rapport with users who are being promoted through the recommendation list.
A recommendation list can also be used as a reward of sorts for loyal or returning customers – for instance, a user could create a list of recommended accounts that is updated weekly to promote followers who frequently engage with the List creator’s content.
10. Competition Research
As mentioned, Twitter Lists can be made either public or private. A private List can be used for several purposes, including researching competition within a particular industry. By creating a private List of competitor accounts, a user can easily research different marketing and sales tactics that are currently effective within the respective industry.
Additionally, a business owner could use this type of List to examine and analyze what is currently being over-offered within an industry to identify what products or services would be more likely to stand-out and succeed thanks to being unique from other offerings within the industry.
11. Customer-Centric Lists
Twitter Lists can be made specifically to filter certain accounts from the main news feed to better interact with customers. By adding followers who are specifically customers or fans to a List, a user can then view tweets only from those accounts and greatly increase their ability to interact with customer’s tweets.
This is especially useful when it comes to replying to and liking customer content. Interacting with customers in this way increases brand loyalty and trust, and as such is a necessary component to any marketing strategy.
12. Engage with Other Users’ Lists
Of course, a brand does not only have to create Lists – they can engage with Lists created by other users or businesses as well! Looking at Lists made by other accounts – especially those the user follows – is a good way to get an idea of the types of content and accounts an audience is looking for.
This can also be a good networking opportunity. By searching for lists that are relevant to a brand’s industry or niche, the business owner can find popular Lists and reach out to the creator of the List about potentially being included. In exchange, the business owner could offer to feature the other user in one of their Lists as well.
Here is a list created by @OddHacks with only indie hackers. Drop him a message if you are building your own product and want to be included.
13. Foster Community Building
Building a sense of community and connectivity between a brand’s followers is crucial for retaining the interest of those followers. Creating Lists of customers or fans of a brand can not only for a user to keep an eye on what their customer base is thinking and doing, but also provide those customers with the opportunity to interact with and bond with one another.
Part of building a strong brand is building a loyal group of supporters who feel passionate about the brand’s products and business values. Helping these supporters to connect with one another and with the brand itself is key to fostering long-lasting relationships with a customer base.
How to Make a List on Twitter
One of the biggest perks of Twitter Lists is that they are incredibly easy to make once a user has decided on a theme for the List. To make a Twitter List, simply follow a few steps:
- Find the Lists button in the Navigation bar. On a desktop, the bar is located on the left-hand side of the home page. On mobile, the bar is accessed through the menu icon (≡) located in the top left corner of the home page.
2. To create a new List, click the List icon in the top right corner on desktop or the bottom right corner on mobile. The icon looks like a piece of paper with a plus sign in its top-right corner.
3. Give the List a name and a description. If the intention is to make the List as discoverable as possible, be sure to use keywords within both.
4. Set the privacy of the List to either private or public. Private Lists will be invisible to everyone besides the user who made the List.
5. Add relevant accounts to the List. Users are limited to adding 500 accounts per List and can make up to 20 Lists total.
As for finding Lists to draw inspiration from or to use for research of an industry, niche, or competition, the best way to find Lists made by other users is to visit another person or brand’s Twitter account and click the more icon to view the Lists that user has either made or is included in.
How ExportData.io Can Help
When researching different niches and competition within an industry, it is essential to use tools and resources that allow for exact searches and the discovery specific data that will give the best insight into a market or industry niche.
ExportData.io offers tools and products that allow users to download, export, and analyze significant amounts of data from Twitter. These products and services provide many benefits, especially when used to enhance a user’s List making experience, including:
- Follower Research: Exportdata.io allows users to export either their followers or followers of another account. Users can use this to download the followers of competitors to observe the audience that a competitor is reaching and analyze how effective their interactions with the customer base are. This can especially help when creating Lists of potential customers as well.
- Industry or Niche Research: Through Exportdata.io products that allow for exporting tweets or entire account timelines, users can do significant amounts of industry and niche research and examine how others in relevant fields have utilized Lists to boost their brands online.
- Finding Twitter Influencers: Creating Lists of influential Twitter users that are relevant to a user’s brand or business niche is essential and can help the user to get in touch with these influencers. Exportdata.io offers a tool for finding influencers that help users to efficiently search through the Twitter userbase to find the most relevant and useful influencers.
Like many of the platform’s other features, Twitter Lists provide users with ample opportunity to further promote the growth of their businesses and brands. The main strength and benefit of using Lists is the ability to connect with followers, customers, and other professionals within a specific industry in a much more intimate way.
Lists allow users to create highly-curated streams of content that are highly relevant to a targeted audience or business niche, and ultimately help businesses and brands to improve their social media engagement.