Focus your social-media with Twitter lists | Contributor

By Patti Rowlson
Courtesy to The Bellingham Business Journal

Ever feel like you are lost in a stream of information that is moving too fast to keep up?

Sometimes using Twitter makes people feel that way, mainly because the content stream on that particular social media platform changes so quickly.

To some, it can feel like the more people and businesses they connect with (which is a good thing), the harder it can be to find the profiles and content they are looking for (that’s a bad thing).

The good news is that there are simple solutions that can help users stay focused and use Twitter more efficiently. They’re called Twitter lists.

Lists are a profile feature available to every Twitter user. Creating a variety of lists can help users filter tweets into meaningful, focused categories, so time spent communicating and marketing on Twitter can be targeted and efficient.

Using lists to engage with local customers

New reports have shown that approximately three-quarters of users say they are more likely to purchase something from a company they are connected with on Twitter. Think about how those numbers could impact a small, local business.

Businesses that sell products and services in their local communities should consider setting up at least one list that only includes users in their geographical community—like the Whatcom County list shown in the example below (blue arrow).

Need help setting up Twitter lists?  A quick video tutorial that shows how to create, and add members to a list, is available online (

Once lists are created, users can view a stream of filtered tweets by clicking “Lists” on their profile [yellow arrow below] and then selecting the desired list they want to view.

In this example, opening the Whatcom County list will only display tweets from 211 local users, not all the tweets from 1,680 users being followed by this account.

The beauty of using lists is that when business professionals are short on time, they can simply pop onto Twitter for 5-10 minutes and go directly to their local list to read tweets from their local community. When there is more time to explore, they can check out other lists or scan through the unfiltered stream found on their Home screen.

Personally, I know I have been influenced to buy things from local businesses who engage with me on Twitter—picking up things like coffee, event tickets, meals out, and even shoes.

How about you?  Has a local business influenced your buying decisions by marketing on Twitter?

Patti Rowlson of PR Consulting Services is a publicist and marketing consultant based in Whatcom County. Visit her website at, or connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Twitter Lists

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