After a little digging, I found I’ve been using Twitter since September 29, 2009. And “baby, I’ve come a long way!” At that time, social media was all the rage with both people and businesses frantically learning how to use this giant in the social media world. As of 2012, there are now over 500 million users generating more than 340 million tweets per day. I only average 1.7 tweets per day, which admittedly I need to improve. But over the course of my three and a half year relationship with Twitter, I’ve acquired nearly 600 handles that I follow and a similar number of followers.
When I created this blog, I made a commitment to use Twitter more effectively. I want to spark more conversations, share better ideas and really just make the most of it. Having all of those nearly 600 handles dump onto one common feed had become very overwhelming and I knew I was missing out on some key tweets. So…now three years after they were created, I’ve finally decided to embrace Twitter Lists. Think of it like this: when you have all of your followers in one general list, it is like being in a room with 600 conversations going on at once. It’s hard to focus, hear entire conversations, and decipher which ones are important to you. Why not categorize all of those conversations into smaller rooms where you can pay closer attention to individuals and have more meaningful interaction?
When creating my lists, I went through a process that I found to be really helpful and I hope it helps some of you who may be in the same boat:
1. Clarify why you use Twitter. For example, I use Twitter for a variety of reasons. I follow a mix of individuals combining professional, personal and news sources.
2. Define what you want to get out of it. As I mentioned above I use the site for a variety of reasons, but here is what I want to get out of it: Know the latest commercial real estate news, as it relates to the design community; Keep in touch with fellow marketing professionals and organizations; Keep in touch with friends, my community, and personal interests; and Stay up to date with National News.
3. Create your lists! This obviously takes the most time, for me it took about two hours on a Sunday afternoon. The basic instructions are here. Once I defined what I wanted to get out of my feed, I created five lists to categorize the handles I follow. They include: Build, Market, Fun, Locale and News.
4. Utilize. Finally, you must decide how you will use these lists. I set up a column for each of my lists using Tweetdeck. I’ve been using this platform since the beginning, and find it works well for both your desktop and mobile phone. It also has the capacity to incorporate Facebook and LinkedIn if you so fancy. Here is a screenshot, happy tweeting!