If you spend any time at all on Twitter, you’ll eventually run into this problem: It’s overwhelming.
A person can easily be consumed by constantly scanning the scroll of a Twitter feed, gobbling up each 140-character tweet, and clicking to see what others are linking to.
You can’t possibly read it all, of course. “I’m often asked how I follow 2,900 people on Twitter,” Jon Worth writes on his blog.
“Sorry ... but I don’t read all your tweets. Nor does anyone who follows a lot of people.”
For some people, the issue is moot. Many financial firms, like Morgan Stanley, and other businesses in regulated industries, monitor communication so tightly that employees are typically blocked from using social media sites like Twitter.
For those who are allowed, or even encouraged, to make use of Twitter for business, the solution is Twitter lists.
Lists allow you to organize the people you follow on Twitter into groups. That way, you can efficiently manage how you track the conversations on each list. Here’s how it works:
√ Use the right software. Many of the brightest social-media stars use either HootSuite or TweetDeck. Both tools will allow you to create lists, but they offer other cool features, as well, like the ability to schedule your messages for later in the day. But you can also create lists right on Twitter.
√ Organize “follows” into lists. For example, say you have one list that includes friends or personal interests, one that tracks the company you work for, and one that includes other administrative professionals or experts in your field.
√ Start choosing who to follow in each list. Twitter can help on this front. Under the “Discover” tab, you’ll see a list of people that Twitter thinks you might want to follow, based on the people already in your stream. You can also “Browse categories,” then search for a topic of interest.
√ View the right tweet stream at the right time. For example, say you work for XYZ company. When you’re scanning your XYZ list, you won’t be slowed down or distracted by the followers on your personal list, who may be busy tweeting about the latest Hollywood scandal. You’ll only see XYZ-related tweets.
√ Add new short-term lists as you need them. For example, say something big has just popped up, like new legislation that may impact your industry, or a major weather event.
That new legislation or weather event likely has a hashtag that the Twitter universe is using, such as #Texasflood.
You can set up a temporary list to track only that conversation. With HootSuite, “It’s easy to add columns on the fly if you’re following a hashtag or a particular person,” says Laurie Smithwick, one of the founders of kirtsy.com.
Editor’s Note: Follow us on Twitter @BizDaily at www.twitter.com/bizdaily.
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