The How-to and Why of Twitter Lists for Ecommerce Retailers

Written by  November 24, 2009

Twitter’s recently added list functionality has turned the social networking site into a list-maker’s paradise.

If you’re asking yourself what the point is or why use a Twitter list if you’re an ecommerce retailer, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find a brief introduction to Twitter lists as well as reasons why web retailers might want to use them.

Twitter-List-1 What are Twitter Lists and how do you use them?

In the simplest definition, Twitter lists are a way to organize – into lists — brands, associations or people you want to keep together in a group. You can put together up to 20 lists containing up to 500 users each of whomever or whatever you choose.

Creating a Twitter list is fairly simple. Using my own Twitter account, we’ll create a list for my Chicago Tweeps (that’s Twitter People for those not up on the Twitter lingo).

Once you’ve logged into your account, find “New List” on the right column.

Once the dialogue box appears, begin typing the name of your list. This name is unique to you in that it’s attached to your Twitter profile name. You needn’t worry about copying someone else’s list name.

You may include a description with your Twitter list if you so choose. This might be helpful if you choose to make your Twitter list public or if you need to remember why you put the list together in the first place.

Finally, choose whether you want to make your list public or private. If you choose the public option, other Twitter users will be able to see who you have on your list. If you choose private, only you will be able to see who is on your list.

Twitter-List-2

Once your list has been created, you can now start to add people to it.

There are several options for adding people.

You can use the search function:
Twitter-List-3

You can search for Twitterers you follow (click on the ‘list’ icon and check the list you’d like to add them to.)
Twitter-List-4

You can search using other Twitterers’ lists. To do this, click on their list(s) in the right column to open up a list. Select individual Twitterers to follow or choose “Follow List”

If you chose to follow another Twitter’s list, the list will be added to your list of lists in the right column.

Twitter-List-5

Why would you want to use Twitter Lists as an Ecommerce Retailer?

Twitter lists are a great way to organize the people you do business with. If you’ve been on Twitter for any amount of time, you’ll notice that it can be cumbersome to find and follow specific users you may consider important.

Twitter lists allow you to organize those users into easy-to-follow screens.

Say you have 900 followers. A third of your followers are customer-based; another third are vendor-based and the final third are industry-based.

With 900 followers, you’d have to be on Twitter all day long just to keep up with everyone. With Twitter lists, you can segregate your customers from your vendors and industry experts and concentrate on a specific group of Twitterers.

With Black Friday coming up, wouldn’t it be a great idea to call attention to your loyal customers (whom you have showing on a public customers list) and give them all a discount? Same goes for your vendors. If you love Paypal and your newsletter software so much you wish you could marry them both, why not give them the attention they deserve by pointing your followers in the direction of your vendor list.

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