YAY, Twitter Lists… Now What?

What does the recent addition of  Twitter Lists mean to you?  It’s another enhancement for Twitter, sure, but what does it mean to your daily social media routine?  That question was asked at the Central Iowa Blogger’s (#CIB) meet-up this morning.

twitter_listsAt #CIB, the conversations revolve around everything from the impact of social media on our local economy to the impact of Dallas J. Moore’s beard on the local lady-folk.  But today’s group of 20 to 30 die-hard, as well as a handful of new faces, got into a pretty vibrant conversation about how Twitter Lists will affect their social media practices.

Below is a list of some of the concepts that came out of this morning’s discussion.  Which one will you practice when it comes to Twitter Lists?

I’ll use Twitter Lists as a viability measurement.

(# of List Appearances ÷ # of Followers = Viability Score)
Personal social media measurement is still a sticky wicket.  I know people that have well over 10,000 followers.  And for ages, that was supposed to be some kind of indication of how viable they are in the social media circles they were in.  Well, with the inception of Twitter Lists, their viability could be measured by a ratio of followers to lists they appear on.

Using the equation above, if you have 7,500 followers, but you only appear on 15 lists, would would have a “Viability Score” of 0.20%. On the other hand, if you follow 7,500 and you’re on 125 lists, your Viability Score would be 1.66%.

One would assume that the higher your Viability Score, the more PERCEIVED VALUE AND IMPACT you would have on your followers and prospective followers. (by-the-way, @thebrandchef’s viability score is 1.75% and Chris Brogan has a 28.01%.  One can dream…)

I’ll use Twitter Lists as a network noise reducer.

How many of those conversations can you actually track?
Like many of you, I started out using Twitter to track conversations about my personal brand as well as promote The Brand Chef.  That led to following hundreds of “Movers and shakers” in the marketing communications “twittersphere.”  Then, I began following targeted markets (restaurant chains, food professionals) to monitor and engage potential clientele.  Finally, I added friends, associates, local thought-leaders and networking acquaintances.

After 11 short months, I was following almost 2,000 conversations and close to that many were following me!  The noise within my traditional tweetstream was impossible to focus. How many conversations are you trying to follow?  Can you see how the noise can get out of hand?

So, using Twitter Lists as a network noise reducer, I’d be able to create segmented breaks from that conversation of 2000.  I could have a couple hundred on a list of  “Marketing Gurus;” a couple hundred in in a list called, “The Boffo Branding Brigade;” and finally pull another handful in to list called “Foodie Folk.” This gives me the opportunity to cut down on the noise form my “Des Moines tweeps” (sorry guys) and focus on Marketing, Branding and Food, respectively.

So much quieter – not to mention more productive…

I’ll use Twitter Lists as a reconnaissance tool.

Now you know who “they” think is important.
With Twitter Lists, while there IS an option to make your lists private, I’m not seeing a lot of people protecting them. Segmentation isn’t anything new.  I made the lists mentioned above in my Tweetdeck, and for months I’ve been able to “reduce the noise.” But most have been making lists willy-nilly and for all to see.  What does that mean to competitive advantage?

As a reconnaissance tool, searching certain competitor’s Twitter Lists would give you easy market research of the conversations that “they” deem important enough to list.  For instance, if my #CIB buddy Claire Celsi had a list of “Clients That Tweet” (which she doesn’t), a competing PR Firm could “happen upon” her list and see who she’s working with.  It’s a pretty black-hat tactic, but it DID come up in conversation.

What will you do with Twitter Lists?

So, with that, how do YOU plan on using Twitter Lists.  Do you have other applications?  Like the network noise reducer, what are the advantages to Twitter Lists.  Or, as illustrated with the reconnaissance tool, do you see a draw back to using it?

Thanks for listening!  And please, help me “up” my Twitter Viability Score and add me to your lists… 🙂

Keep Cooking!
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef