An Inbound Marketer's Introduction to Twitter Lists

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Rick Burnes
Rick Burnes



twitter lists In case you missed the news last week, Twitter announced a major new feature: lists.

What's a list -- and  why should you or any other marketer care ?

Lists are collections of Twitter users that you can follow all at once, instead of one by one. They're changing the way people use Twitter , and they're set to become an important new tool for inbound marketers.

For example, say you're interested in following the people at HubSpot. There are over 100 of us here now, so it's a lot of work to follow us all individually. Now, instead of following each of us, you can go to our HubSpotters list page  -- -- and follow us all at once.

There are at least two ways that lists will become important tools for marketers:

Lists will help companies solidify thought leadership.

A key part of marketing today is using search, social media and content to establish yourself as the thought leader in your industry -- whether it's  solder paste , fencing golf training  or something else. 

There are lots of ways to become a thought leader, and lists augment them all. If you sell soldering supplies and you set up THE  soldering list on Twitter, your business will have one more way get found by prospects.

Lists will make companies more transparent.

Successful inbound marketers know that transparency builds sales. It builds trust, which makes deals easier to close.

If your company sets up a list of all employees using Twitter like  the one we've setup at HubSpot , the internal conversations of your company will become more transparent. That will give prospects another way get to know your company and to build trust, which will leads to more sales.

How to Get Started With Lists

(1) Start following a few popular lists. Our Inbound Marketing Stars and Inbound Marketing News list are great places to find out more about inbound marketing. The Partners , Customers and Employees lists are great places to find out more about HubSpot. Listorious is a great place to browse Twitter lists. I'm also a fan of New York Times lists

(2) Start building your own lists. Once you take a look at few lists, jump in and build your own.

Here's how: Go to your Twitter home page. In the right-hand column, about halfway down the page, you should see a "New List" option. Click this and you'll see instructions that will help you create a new list. Try to create a descriptive, unique name. And make sure you select the "Public" option.

Once you've create the list, start adding people to it. This can be time consuming. Right now the best way is to go to the profile of the user you want to add, then click the white lists tab above the user's updates. You'll see your new list in the pulldown.

(3) Share your lists. -- Once you're created a few great lists, share them with your network. Post them on Twitter. Post them on Listorious. Post them on your blog. When you share your list, make sure you share your list page. The URL should look something like this: . Don't share the page you use to manage your list.

(4) Keep experimenting with lists. --Lists are a new tool. They're going to evolve, and the best practices for using them as marketing tools will also evolve. In order to get the most out of them you should keep trying new ways of using them.

One last note: Keep in mind that lists aren't perfect right now. It's very hard to add people to them. You can't change the names. It's hard to browse a lot of them. But this doesn't mean you should ignore them. They represent a significant change in the way Twitter works -- and, increasingly, that means a significant change in the way marketers do their jobs. 

What have you learned about Twitter lists? Let us know in the comments below.

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