November 19, 2009

Using Twitter Lists to manage your reputation

How to use Lists to monitor your personal & professional brands

Joanna LordThere’s been a lot of talk about Twitter Lists. How do you use them? How can they be improved? What is Twitter hoping to do with them … down the road? Not to mention the many posts on how pointless or awesome they are. Gotta love the Twitter buzz.

Well, I’m going to take a step back and focus on an actual use I’ve found for the new addition to our Twitter bag-of-tricks. Over the past few weeks I’ve started using the lists function in my online reputation management (ORM) endeavors. For those of you not that familiar with ORM and its many awesome faces, let me share with you a few things.

First, you should all have some sort of automated ORM process. At the very least, this would include Google Alerts set up on your name and/or your company’s brand. In addition, I would suggest going a bit further and data-mining Twitter Search for any mentions — manually, at the very least. A strong ORM plan should be the foundation to any time spent online.

If you aren’t searching out mentions of you and your products, then how are you choosing where to spend your time? How do you know where you should put your efforts into when growing and optimizing? Exactly, you don’t.

So on that note, let’s talk Twitter Lists and how you can use them to gain clarity into how you are presenting yourself and, even more importantly, how you are being received by your followers on Twitter.

twitter listsWho are you to them?
You should be checking what lists people are adding you to. Are you presenting yourself in the right manner? Do you see the correct adjectives and titles being associated to you? If not, you might want to consider working on those sectors. This may include pushing out blog posts or tweets around the subject you really want to be aligned with.

Who are you being placed with?
Check those lists and see what other people are included. This helps you gauge where your followers see you as far as expertise goes. This can help with your branded accounts, too. Are you falling in line with your competitors? Are some of your competitors missing from a list you are on? This is a great competitor spying tool as well as personal monitoring tactic.

Twitter is a funny thing because you can literally “establish” yourself in faraway places — both cities and even different countries. Take the time to check out which geographically centered lists you make. This works great for brands with multiple offices — you can track which offices need to increase local brand awareness and push representation accordingly.

Are you doing it right?
This may seem a bit vague, but this is what it all really comes down to. We all know the potential that Twitter holds in establishing both personal and branded personas. However, often the lines blur and brands are too informal, with personal accounts being too dry. Check the lists you are on and see if your personal account is also added to fun lists like peopleIlovetoread or coolcats. Reciprocally, double-check that your branded account hasn’t made a list called ridiculoustweets.

These are just a few ways to use Twitter Lists to make sure you are tweeting for optimal return. Online reputation management is more crucial now than ever before. With so much of what we push online finding new ways to go viral, let’s make sure we are still in control of where the spotlight lands. Tracking Twitter Lists is a great addition to any ORM routine. Rock on, Twitter. Keep the functions coming, and we will keep finding ways to use them to our advantage. #awesomenessJoanna Lord is a social marketing consultant and founder of YourJobStop, the job resources board. See her business profile, contact Joanna or leave a comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Using Twitter Lists to manage your reputation

  1. Hi Joanna,

    Nice post. There are a few free tools out there like NetVibes that make it easy to build a monitoring solution with Yahoo Pipes. Amber Case @caseorganic ahs some good insights to use the above tools.

    I posted some slides how we used dashboards for the Seattle Wine Awards here

    Sign up for the new Netvibes Wasabi beta –

    Cheers, Tim – Seattle

  2. Joanna, this is another great resource to explain the benefits of lists to clients. Me personally don’t use them that much since I feel they create more noise and segregation within my network. Although I started creating some private ones I still prefer to keep an eye on the general timeline and be open to new suggestions. But I understand your point on knowing how you’re being categorized by your followers. –Paul

  3. Hello Joanna,

    Thank you for this post! Brilliant information that sent me rushing to check that I was doing it all right! It is easy to read information and the most sensible I have seen on twitter lists, well done!