What started out as the new shiny e-toy is slowly going the way of the quickly forgotten fad. Twitter lists were and are an incredible tool and were hugely accepted when they were unveiled. However, most people, after setting up a few lists, moved on to another shiny toy without giving it much thought.
But Twitter lists are still an ideal way to better organize followers into people of interest, sports related, city related, geography related and even a category for your career search.
A Personal Branding Note on Lists
Have you reviewed the lists you are on to see how you are categorized in others’ minds? This is a very simple way to review your personal brand and, most importantly, how others perceive you. A great tool to review your personal brand on Twitter lists is a site called MustExist and it is very simple to use. All you do is enter your Twitter handle and it creates a cloud of tags showing how you are listed, a direct correlation to your personal brand. This is a great way to maintain how you are currently viewed and, if you are unhappy with where you stand right now, continue to work on your personal brand to change how you are listed (remember, this is not going to happen overnight).
There are a lot of ways to think about organizing a Twitter list for a career search. Set up different lists for employees of companies you are interested in following, or maybe one master list of all the companies you are targeting.
Three Tips When Setting Up Lists
1. Create a catchy list name: However you decide to organize these lists, really take time and think about what to name the list you create. It may seem like such a simple task, but if you create a catchy list name it may make those you add to that list take a moment to be inspired by how you labeled them. Consequently, they will (more times than not) want to view your profile which hopefully leads to a follow back.
2. Manage how many people you add to a list: For the most impact, do not overload a list with people. Sure, a large list might make sense if you are creating one for a city/college/geographical area, for a large group of professionals such as my HR/Recruiting/Social Media list, or maybe for a sports team with fans to talk with. However, when creating a list for a career search you may consider limiting the size to somewhere between 40-60 people. Smaller lists are easier to follow and you are able to really target selected people on a particular topic.
3. Create multiple lists: If you are interested in multiple industries, keep them separate. The more organized your list is, the more likely someone will latch onto it and also gain from your time, effort and knowledge. Social networking is sharing and you should be happy when someone subscribes to your list. ADDITIONAL NOTE: if someone puts you on a list that represents you, send them a thank-you tweet for including you and following you. After all, positive interaction will spread.
Do you have any additional suggestions or uses for lists? Share what you have learned or your best practices with us.
Photo Credit: Hammock, Inc.
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Keith McIlvaine manages the recruiting social media strategy for a Fortune 500 company and is an avid networker. He is a social media advisor, coach, speaker, blogger and an all around fanatic. Connect with Keith on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. (The statements posted on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer)