Social media is a valuable tool for promoting your business, learning new information, and observing other people’s content. Twitter, specifically, is a an excellent means for curating important content and meeting other influential people. LexBlog CEO Kevin O’Keefe says that Twitter should be used as a “listening tool,” and one of the best ways to do so is to utilize Twitter lists.
What is a Twitter list?
Twitter lists allow you to put together a group of accounts covering whatever topic that may be of interest to you and your company. From that curated list, Twitter creates a new feed for you based upon those users’ tweets and retweets. Thus, the feed is almost guaranteed to center entirely upon your chosen niche.
How do they work?
You can add someone to a list by going to their profile, clicking the three dots (…) in the upper right-hand corner, and selecting “Add to List.” If you have several lists, select the one that you would like to add the user’s content to. You can also remove an account from a list the same way, and you can add any one account to as many lists as you want.
Alternatively, you could go to the “Lists” tab, click the button in the bottom right-hand corner to create a new list, and modify the people on each list from there.
Once you are satisfied with a list that you have created, you can return to the lists tab, select it, and scroll through your feed. You can also see if you’ve been added to any Twitter lists by clicking the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the lists tab.
You can even customize each list feed by clicking “Edit List” at the top of each list and adding a header photo.
Why are they helpful?
There is a myriad of reasons to use Twitter lists.
- Maybe you need inspiration for your next blog post. If your blog is about employment law in Louisiana, one of your Twitter lists should be tailored to news and updates on that subject. This allows you to stay up-to-date on that area and get to know the thought-leaders.
- Perhaps you are trying to recruit clients for your business or gain new connections for your personal network. Twitter lists help you narrow down the group of people that you’re looking at, making the outreach process much simpler.
- You could just be trying to learn more about a certain subject and want to follow those who know all about it.
Whatever your reason, Twitter lists are one of the best ways to create a curated, niche feed that opens doors to news, information, and updates.
For business development, be deliberate and be strategic
Something we always tell law bloggers—at any stage of experience—is to think strategically when striving to bring in work from your blog. Pause and ask yourself: “Who do I want to know that I exist? And who do I want to know my blog exists?” Then, with individuals in mind, make that a reality in a very deliberate way.
A past post from Kevin lays out an example, drawing on how he uses lists:
Divide your audience into potential clients/partners and the influencers of those clients/partners. For example potential clients for me include leaders in law firms. A Twitter list for me could be the executives (managing partners, COO’s, CFO’s, CMO’s, executive chairs) of the 200 largest law firms in the United States (Am Law 200). I created such a list, it has 56 members.
Influencers of my potential clients, for me, includes reporters covering the courts across the United States. I created such a list, it’s about 250 people strong.
What do I do with the lists? I engage the people on the lists when I have the time and the opportunity is right. For example, I made the acquaintance of a leader in a large law firm a couple weeks ago. I did that by re-tweeting some things she tweeted and complimented her on her stance on developing women leaders in the law. After a few pleasantries (all via Twitter), we agreed to talk about working on a project to showcase women leaders in the law. I am headed back to see her this fall. My gut tells we’ll also develop a relationship where my company may end up doing work for her firm.
For example, here’s how lawyers could use lists:
Are you a lawyer in a large metro doing business work? Have a list that includes business leaders, local reporters (including all business journal reporters), business associations, and leading local companies (company twitter handle and executives’ Twitter handles)? Why not? It’s a wonderful way to get to know and engage the people you need to for business development. By the time you meet face to face, perhaps at an event they asked you to speak at, you’ll be giving each other a hug.
With the pandemic, we’ll see how long it is until those hugs, but that’s just another reason why it can be advantageous to add another online tool and tactic to your business development efforts.
If you have additional questions, you can check out Twitter’s own guide to using the Lists tool, here.