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Twitter is a highly useful networking tool. But, it can also be a very overwhelming one.
A feed, especially one used for business purposes, can leave the reader feeling as if they are drowning in irrelevant spam.
One of the potential answers to this is twitter lists.
The twitter list feature allows a user to group their followers according to their interests. For example, you can separate out businesses you are following from individuals.
By using twitter lists, you can better target your tweets and avoid being seen as a ‘spammer’.
There are several important things to consider when using lists, and for that matter – Twitter in general.
Personal ramblings are best kept to your personal twitter account, and certainly do not belong on your business list. Make sure what you say is always relevant to those who are going to be seeing it. Lists allow for more precise targeting, but make it even more important to keep your content on track.
If all you do on twitter is talk, then people will tune you out. Engaging other people in conversation will make your list take the feel of an intimate group of like-minded people, not simply your own personal soap box. The group should be just that; a group that fits together and works together.
Make sure that your list stays your list. When people digress from the topic, then its your responsibility to bring things back on track. Sometimes gently nudging people to take their conversation elsewhere is required. On occasion, a firmer hand may be needed.
Nobody likes a negative person, in any context. If your tone is positive, then the list’s tone is likely to stay that way. Sometimes it might be necessary to talk to somebody who insists on dragging things down. It’s particularly important to make sure that a list does not turn into an industry gripe-fest. Remember that even with lists, tweets can go viral in seconds. Anything you say can be used against you.
All of your tweets need to have a solid personality and style. A list needs its own in addition to and as an extension of that. People want to feel they are dealing with a real person, not a tweet bot. They need that human connection, often so hard to find in today’s world. Showing enthusiasm for your subject is vital, but so is keeping a firm mind on what is appropriate for the content. Some industries and areas require a more professional style, whilst others are best handled in a more informal manner.
Using twitter lists allows you to separate out your networking and ensure that things go to the attention of the right people. They of course increase the risk of a mistake sending content to the wrong group, but overall, they are a powerful and effective tool. By following the simple tips given, you will be able to make full use of this new networking tool.
MIKE BARBRE is a social media professional and technology enthusiast. When he’s not using Intermedia’s Hosted Exchange, he can be found following Intermedia on Twitter and as a fan of Intermedia (http://intermedia.net) on Facebook.
Jon Rognerud is the #1 online marketing expert for Entrepreneurs. His best-selling SEO book, "The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization" from Entrepreneur Press/McGraw-Hill is in bookstores now. Act fast, and get a free gift here. Connect with Jon on Google+
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