Hello, SEers! Mae here.
I think most of us are familiar with Twitter lists, but I’ve heard from a few people who aren’t using Twitter in conjunction with another program like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, either of which make your tweeting life a lot easier. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to stick with my preferred platform, Hootsuite, but either will get the job done.
As a basic reminder, to create a Twitter list:
Click your profile icon photo (upper right)
Scroll down slightly and select CREATE LIST
In the pop up box you’re able to name your list, give it a brief description (i.e, mystery authors) and decide whether you want to make the list private or public. A private list can only be accessed by you. Making a list “public” allows other Tweeps to use it as well. A list can be as small or as large as you want.
Once you decide on your lists, it’s time to start adding Tweeps.
To add someone to a list:
Go to their profile page
Click the settings sprocket beneath the header photo
Select ADD/REMOVE FROM LISTS
Select the appropriate List
You can also create a list on the fly by following these same steps and then selecting the CREATE A LIST button. It’s possible you may want someone in more than one list, easy as clicking your choices.
So now that you’ve got all these wonderful lists, what do you do with them? Everyone knows it’s impossible to stay on top of tweets when you’re following thousands of people. For the most part, we all have an inner circle, middle circle and outer circle (or however you want to define it) when it comes to our online connections. Because I want to see what my friends are tweeting about, I have a list devoted to “writer friends.” This allows me to separate their tweets out of the thousands pouring into my stream every few minutes. I could view these by going to my lists on Twitter. Or I could see all of my lists at once by having them stream into Hootsuite.
Hootsuite is a free program. There is a pay version, but I haven’t found the need to upgrade and I’ve been using it for several years. You can download the free version at Hootsuite.com.
Once you have your account set up, you’ll log-in using Twitter by authorizing the app. Now you can start adding streams by clicking the + ADD STREAM button in the upper left corner of your dashboard(Figure 1).
From the pop-up box, you’ve got a couple of options. You can add streams for @mentions, DMs, and scheduled tweets (among others). You’ll probably want to add a few of these (Figure 2).
Next, click LISTS at the top right of the pop-up box (Figure 2), use the drop down arrow to select your profile, and your Twitter lists will appear. Now you can add streams for whichever lists you choose. Eventually you’ll end up with a dashboard that displays all of your lists at a glance. Because Hootsuite gives you 10 streams with your free account, you may have two pages to toggle between. Here’s a snapshot of one of mine:
You can see how it enables me to sort content from fellow Tweeps and subjects that interest me at a glance.
When building your Twitter streams, you probably also noticed that you’re able to import feeds from other social media programs. Hootsuite allows you three profiles with a free account, which means you can view content from more than one source on your Hootsuite dashboard. I have mine set to feed Twitter lists, my Facebook author page and my FB profile page. Now I don’t have to hop between platforms if I don’t want to. And with a selection that includes Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and more, you have a lot of flexibility to choose from (Figure 3).
Another feature I love about Hootsuite, is the ability to set KEYWORD streams. These are great for tracking subjects that interest you. If that sounds good to you, click HERE to Tweet it.
Because I wrote a series based on the urban legend of the Mothman, I have a Hootsuite stream devoted solely to the keyword MOTHMAN. Why would I want to track that keyword? Well aside from the fact that I like the subject, anyone tweeting about the Mothman could be a potential reader of my novels, therefore someone I might want to follow and engage with.
To create a Hootsuite stream devoted to a keyword (or keywords), click the +ADD STREAM button, then select “Keyword” from the pop-up box (Figure 5). Don’t forget to make certain your profile is set to your twitter account. Now anytime someone tweets about your keyword(s), those tweets will appear in your stream.
Finally, here’s something fun to play around with—did you know it’s possible to see who has YOU on a Twitter list and on which list(s) you appear?
To see who has you on a Twitter List:
Click your profile icon photo (upper right)
Click MEMBER OF
Some of the lists I discovered I’ve been included on are Friday Readers, Folklore Thursday, Thriller Writers, Thriller fans, Supportive Authors (how nice), NaNoWriMo, Writing Gurus, Influential Authors (how cool!) just to name a few. It’s fun and can be surprising to see who added you to their lists.
One final thought in parting: If you’re not using a PINNED TWEET on Twitter, I highly recommend setting one up. The first thing I do when someone follows me or retweets any of my content, is to look for their pinned tweet to share.
To pin a tweet:
After making a tweet, click the three dots below the tweet (…) and select PIN TO YOUR PROFILE PAGE. Remember to change out your pin from time to time so that visiting Tweeps have new content to share. Pinning a tweet is also a great way to spread news about your latest release, reviews, book sales, etc. Be clever. You can have a lot of fun with this one. And when you’re including links to a loooong URL, hop back to Hootsuite and plug it into their handy link shortener.
You’ll go from this https://maeclair.net/2016/12/30/the-writing-year-that-was/ to this http://ow.ly/4Ap6307PiFg which is a heck of lot more handy for a Tweet.
Now it’s your turn.
Do you use Twitter lists? What about Hootsuite and keyword streams? Have you scoped out who has you tucked onto a Twitter list you didn’t know about? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments.