I’ve decided to start a new feature on this blog by posting a social media tip that I’ve found particularly helpful in this spinning technology-driven era.
So, here we go:
I’m a huge believer in using the list feature on Twitter. It helps organize the conversations that are coming in to your news feed. I find lists also help me focus the messages that I’m sending out. If I spend a lot of time reading my Atlantic Canada list — most of whom are not farmers — then my tweets tend to be more about more every day events and happenings. If I’m only reading my Canadian Farmer lists, then that’s where my mind is, that’s where I’m gathering my information and that’s what I’m tweeting about.
Keeping up on lists is an important for time management. It’s far easier to organize and sort people as you follow them then it is to go back through several hundred. Also remember that you can only list 500 tweeps under each list heading. One of my farm writer colleagues reorganized his Canadian Farmer list into sector headings: Dairy, Livestock and Crops. So when you’re creating lists, think ahead a bit to who you may follow and organize your lists into specific, yet not constricting, headings.
You can only create lists and sort those you follow on Twitter. You can also select, on creation of the list, whether your lists are public or private. Another Canadian farm writer on Twitter apparently didn’t know that lists could be private, as I was checking out his lists and found myself, as well as other colleagues, on a list he called Writers Who I’ve Blocked. Your Twitter followers can subscribe you your lists, so they will receive the news feed from this list, even though they may not follow everyone on the list. As well, just as you can list who you follow, you can also be listed by those who follow you. I’m always interested to see which headings I’m classified under and what label I wear for others.
Being on a list helps your Twitter message be heard. One colleague on Twitter appeared to me to only post a few updates a day. Considering that he’s widely known as an expert in social media, I kind of always wondered why he wasn’t doing a better job at getting his message out. Well, it turns out he was doing a great job, but I was just missing all of his posts as he wasn’t included on any of my lists. Now that I have him tagged and sorted, I’m discovering that he has all kinds of things to say. Before, he was just getting lost in the fray.