Social Media for Business (15) How To Use Twitter Lists for Branding and Competitive Intelligence

First things First! What are Twitter Lists?

As the name implies, Twitter lists allows you to organize Twitter users into separate lists based on their location, occupation or any other criteria of your choice. Twitter allows you to create public and private lists. On top of that, the beauty of Twitter lists is that you may include Twitter users that you are not following. This can be very helpful in market research and competitor analysis as we will explain later on.

Key Factors You Should Take Into Account When Creating Public Twitter Lists

Well, in order to make the most out of Twitter public lists, you need to figure out the right names and number for your lists.

Find the right name for your list(s):

I couldn’t stress more on the importance of taking your time to come with a good list name that will help you achieve your Twitter branding goals. A good list name should be eye-catching and compelling to your target Twitter users. It must also include some keyword(s) so that people can find your list via search engines. In doing that, try to make your chosen name as generic as possible so it would appeal to a wider range of people. The more followers you get to your lists, the more new people will get to know your brand.

Unfortunately, if you ever change your list name, the list URL will change accordingly and you will lose all your list followers! That’s why; it is important to give your list name careful consideration in the beginning and NEVER rename it afterward.

Decide the Number/Order of your lists:

Here’s another very important point: although Twitter doesn’t limit the amount of lists you can create, only a specific number (between 4 to 6 lists depending on the naming length) will appear on your profile main page and users will have to click the “View All” link to view the rest. So, you want to ensure that your best lists are then ones positioned on your profile’s main page.

How Can Public Twitter Lists Boost Your Corporate Branding

  • Creating well thought of lists will instantly boost your credibility as an expert offering valuable resources to the Twitter community. As a result, your list will be followed by a large number of people
  • People included on your lists will appreciate the recognition and visibility that you are offering them and will gladly turn the favor by spreading the word about your brand. In the Twitter jargon, this translates into retweeting your tweets and adding you to their lists
  • As you gain more popularity, you will be added to other people’s lists. Talk about viral branding!

And hey, you can promote your Twitter public lists using Twitter Widgets in your site/blog. Sweet!

How Can Twitter Private Lists Boost Your Competitive Intelligence and Market Research Efforts

Twitter allows you to create unlimited number of private lists that only you can access. And with the added bonus that your list members don’t need to be your followers neither do they need to be followed by you, you can easily spy on your competition.

Private lists can come in handy when conducting market research based on certain demography, age group, you name it! It can also help you in categorizing and segmenting your market. This is particularly useful if you are tail marketing – targeting several niches simultaneously.

Private lists are your Twitter private detective hat to find out what your niche and/or competition are interested in and buzzing about.

Personally, I love Twitter! What’s not to love about effortless branding?