It is more difficult to properly manage thousands of followers than it is to acquire them.
When your timeline is cluttered with hundreds of tweets a minute, how do you cut through the noise to identify your target audience and maintain meaningful interaction, which is the cornerstone of any effective twitter campaign, even as that audience becomes much too large to micro-manage?
Your Twitter Toolbox- The Basics
Hashtags – A Hashtag is a word with a hash symbol (“#”) in front of it (ie. #circus). They are simply a way of enabling people to quickly search for all the tweets about a particular subject.
By including hashtags in your tweets you expose your account to thousands of people who wouldn’t have seen your tweets otherwise, people already interested in the very subjects you are tweeting about! This is one of the simplest and most effective ways of growing a large, interested audience, of keeping in the loop, and eventually creating the loop.
Lists – Another way of keeping track of people on Twitter is through organizing your followers by category, and placing them into lists. Perhaps it’s best to think of a list as a ‘grouping’ or ‘group.’
To create a twitter list just open the drop-box on the right sidebar, and click “create new list.” Name your list and select if the list will be ‘public’ or ‘private.’
Alongside each username you’ll notice a drop down menu allowing you to add that person to a specific list you’ve created.
Here’s a great and simple intro video about getting the most out of your Twitter lists:
You can create up to 20 lists and each list can hold up to 500 people. Lists are most effective to organize specific types of followers you will encounter on twitter, ranging from individuals to organizations, consumers to promoters, and everything in between.
It is important to vet your followers before putting them into lists. Lists should be only for those followers who offer better-than-average value to your twitter stream. These are the people you want to ReTweet to add color and variety to your own timeline, and the people you can rely on to Retweet your messages, another must for a successful twitter campaign. On twitter, the law is “keep your followers close, and your lists closer.”
Twitter Toolbox: Organizing Searches and Lists via Hootsuite
Once you’ve identified some hashtags you find useful and have populated a few lists, it’s time to begin organizing them as well. HootSuite is the ultimate social media interface. It publishes to websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress and more. With HootSuite, you can manage multiple profiles, schedule messages, shorten urls, and monitor your effectiveness.
You can also create columns based on hashtag and/or ‘keyword’ searches, in addition to importing lists from twitter, or creating new ones. These columns can be viewed side by side with your home feed, making it easy to identify your target audience and optimize your efforts. You can also move effortlessly between dozens of social media profiles, each with their own specific lists and search columns, allowing you to monitor large amounts of information with only a few clicks.
Keyword Streams- To set up a keyword stream on Hootsuite, click “Add Stream” near the top of the Hootsuite interface. Select “Keyword” from the options (Note: You may select up to three keywords per column). Choose your keywords and a column will appear featuring all the tweets that included your the keywords you’ve selected. Usually you will use these streams to identify potential new followers who are already interested in your type of content.
Lists Streams- Setting up a list stream is similar to setting up a keyword stream. Choose “Add Stream” near the top of the HootSuite interface. Select “List” from the options, then choose a “List” you have previously created on your Twitter account.
These list and search columns will become your primary resource for identifying potential new followers and finding interesting messages to retweet.