Between my various Twitter accounts, I’m following literally thousands of individuals and companies. It’s nearly impossible to filter through all the noise to see the resources, updates and conversations that truly interest me.
One tool that intrigues me is Twitter lists, which allow you to group your followers into a category. When you just want to browse tweets in that particular topic, you can click on your Twitter list and that is all you will see.
I’ve done some research to learn more about how Twitter lists work and how they might be useful to all of us.
Public versus private Twitter lists
Twitter lists are helpful to you, but they can also be a valuable resource for your colleagues. Creating a Twitter list of leaders and influencers in your field can be an excellent way to gain exposure and credibility in that area.
Anyone you add to a public list is notified, so this can also help you build relationships and make new connections.
With public Twitter lists, anyone can view your list and read what your list members are tweeting. If someone subscribes to your Twitter list (so they can view the tweets from their own account), it will show up on the other person’s Lists page, where other people can discover your list.
If you’re compiling lists for your own research, you may want to keep them as private lists. You can add someone to a private list without them knowing, and you don’t need to follow them to keep track of what they’re posting on Twitter.
Adding people to Twitter lists
While it’s apparently quite easy to create Twitter lists and add people to them (here is a tutorial from Twitter), the thought of categorizing the 7,000+ accounts I follow is daunting to say the least.
A much better approach, I think, will be to create the lists and then add people as I notice them. I may also use other people’s lists as a starting point.
Barbara Mackie, a consultant at Increasing Opportunities in Barrie, says “Twitter lists makes Twitter so much easier to use. But most people aren’t aware of the feature so they don’t use it.”
She keeps a list of local contacts, but she also once created one for her personal interest in psychology and neuroscience. Why? She says it’s important to take a break sometimes and get our minds off work.
Twitter list ideas for job seekers
For job seekers, there are several useful lists that will help you focus your time on Twitter and get the best results. Use Twitter search to get started, then add new names as you discover them.
- Target employers – for each company you’re targeting, list their main company account, their careers/job list account if they have one, company executives and other employees, as well as past employees
- Industry associations – list association pages, leadership and other key contacts, fellow chapter members, and fellow board members
- Industry thought leaders – make this a public list; look for opportunities to RT (re-tweet) their posts, start conversations and build relationships
- Career tips – when people write or share helpful content, add them to your list – also, look at the Lists section of their profile to find similar accounts; even if they haven’t created any lists, they may be a member of someone else’s list; you can also check out the people they follow
What do you think? Could Twitter lists help you find the right information at the right time and move your job search forward?