Twitter lists are an easy way to group what flows through Twitter so that you can better organize the flood of information. I’ve found that Twitter lists are useful for all kinds of things — whether they’re private so that you can keep tabs on a hobby or very public so that you can leverage them for networking and business development.
I use lists to:
1. Follow conferences and events, such as the ABATechShow and LTNY.
2. Keep up with groups and associations (VBA and ILTA).
4. Stay abreast of the happenings regarding a certain keyword such as #legalIT and the popular #legalchat (which are Tuesdays at 2 p.m. ET).
5. View the tweets of certain users, without technically actually following them. You can add users to lists without following them from your account. There are certain people I refuse to follow, but in some instances I will see their tweets — generally when an event comes around and they start their spam-markety crap (which is why I don’t actually follow them in the first place). Still, this can be a very useful way to see what someone is tweeting that is less noticed than an actual follow.
Setting up Twitter lists is easy — the directions are right here. However, there are a few things you will need to decide when creating your lists:
Who are you grouping together and why? Creating, maintaining and administering anything “online” requires focus and time. Much like Google Alerts — once set up, a Twitter list almost runs itself, however, time is still required to add or remove people from your lists and if you are compiling a public list and wish to promote it — that will also eat up more of your time. One thing you will want to keep in mind is that it can be a bit cumbersome to remove individual users from a Twitter list — so it is better to be judicious about who you let on the list in the first place.
Will the list be private or public? Keeping in mind nothing is private from Twitter itself, your private lists are a way to keep a list from being known to the general public. I have a “private” list of under 200 people who I consider “Some Good Peeps.” If I only have two minutes I can very quickly be brought up to speed in anything “legal” and “tech” by reviewing just this one list.
What will you name your list? Pick a good name — especially if it will be a public list. What do the users you wish to add to the list have in common? Almost always there will be an organization, keyword or hashtag associated with a list. If you can use that as the actual list name all the better for your brand recognition, SEO and such. If you are making up the name of the list, just like websites, be careful not to mix up letter combinations that spell out inappropriate things when mushed together into one word!
Ultimately, Twitter lists are a way to organize tweets into categories and chunks, which helps people like me (compulsively organized) be more so — and people like you (just overworked and with no time) be more efficient in your use of Twitter. Win-win!
Andrea Cannavina is a Master Virtual Assistant who helps attorneys, legal administrators and companies which service the legal industry better understand the role of technology and use of the web in the daily practice of law. Spending 15 years as CEO of LegalTypist, Andrea has actively helped 100’s of law firms run more organized and efficient practices. When not focused on trying to stop attorneys from spending far too much on a website or, worse, a “guru”, Andrea enjoys cooking and hanging with friends and family in the great outdoors (aka glamping).