How do you bring order to chaos and complexity? If you’re among a thousands-strong crowd, how do you make sure you hear what everyone has to say? I don’t know about the real world (don’t get around much anymore) but in the Twitter world there’s one perfect solution and it’s called Twitter Lists.
In my opinion the most undervalued feature of Twitter. Not enough talked about and not used often enough. The difference between using Twitter Lists and not using them is just like the difference between having a huge pile of Post-its with obscure phone numbers and having all the important contacts written down in a phone diary.
Twitter Lists can be used both for fun and business and I’ll tell you exactly how. But make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the article for a list of the most useful Twitter accounts of SEOs and social media people. Follow them and add them to a list and you’ll be amazed how much you can actually learn about building your social media presence and executing websites. So, let’s crack on!
Each account can create 20 Lists and add 500 tweeps to each. So, in total your social media directory can have up to 10,000 entries. UPDATE: This is no longer true. You can now create as many lists as you wish, just don’t overdo it 🙂 The purpose of lists is to tidy things up, not to overcomplicate them.
The web interface allows you to create and manage lists from two different places. One is Settings -> Lists where you can create/delete and view your own lists. The second one is dynamic and you can access it as you browse somebody’s profile.
Clicking on the user icon and choosing Add or remove from lists, you get a popup that lets you add the tweep to one or more of your existing lists in a tick of the box or create a list on the go.
There are many mobile Twitter apps that let you manage lists effortlessly. For Android I can recommend UberSocial. For BlackBerry 10 you can side-load the same app.
Monitor your interactions to see who have added you to a list. On the Twitter web interface, go to the “@” sign on the top navigation and you’ll see the new “adds.”
Always consider this as a compliment and unless the account seems spammy, return the favour – this person obviously considers yourself an authority and it might be a good idea to keep in touch.
If you’re “stalking” people and don’t want them to know you do, create a private list. Then only you have access to the list and he target won’t even know you’re watching him without officially following him. Sounds sinister? Not at all.
Although businesses in many niches keep good relationships with their competitors (particularly the geeky types of startups), there are industries where following your competitors may look silly. But you still want to keep tabs on what they’re tweeting, right? Then add them to a private list!
You have to be logged in to do that. Now you see all the various users who have added the influencer to their list. The first task is to follow the tweeps who’ve created those lists. They might follow you back and add you to the same list.
This will show the lists that the influencer himself has created followed by the lists that he’s subscribed to.
There won’t be many subscribers mainly because people are not using lists as often as they should. However, the tweeps you’ll find in this subscriber window are what I call Twitter-savvy and they’re more likely to read and share stuff.
Use advanced search queries to find good lists related to your niche. If you search for this on Google:
journalists inurl:lists site:twitter.com
it will return hundreds of lists that other people have created.
You can follow greedy tweeps without… erm… actually following them. With greedy I mean those who are followed by tens of thousands of people and who only follow back their wife and her cat.
I might have a different perception and you don’t have to agree with me (obviously) but I believe that social media is not the place to be greedy. The concept that makes Twitter and social media interesting is that you both talk and listen.
If you’re just talking and not listening to anyone, isn’t that a very lonely place to be? So, if you too feel uncomfortable following somebody who will never follow you back, don’t follow, just add to the list. That way your “friends” count remains the same but you can still read what the celeb tweeps say by visiting your list.
Regardless of whether you’re building your Twitter following manually or using semi-automated tools, in order to keep your Twitter List usage consistent, you need to browse through your “friends” list regularly and sort the people into lists.
Otherwise, once you follow several thousands of people, it will become a nightmare to go through the whole bunch and begin adding them to lists. Start early and be consistent and you’ll make the most of Twitter Lists.
Now that you’ve created the lists and added the users, it’s time to start using the lists to make your life easier, to improve your business, generate leads etc. So, what exactly can you do with the lists?
Now for the bonus. Here’s a list of 100+ people who are “must-follow” if you’re interested in web stuff, social media and SEO. It reminds of a Pokemon character cast, don’t you think 🙂 everyone’s got a special power and the outsiders don’t quite know how to handle them.
This list is by no means complete. It’s a work in progress and I’ve compiled it manually, looking at the most active Twitter accounts of the SEM people. If you’re not on the list, it doesn’t mean I don’t consider you an expert. Maybe I simply missed you or maybe you weren’t very active when I checked your Twitter account.
Please feel free to nominate yourself or your colleagues by getting in touch. I’ve also included a downloadable list in txt format that you can use with your TweetAdder. The experts in this list are sorted alphabetically by their first name (so that nobody can call me biased).
|Founder of the SEO book - a leading training program for SEOs. The funny thing about Aaron is that if I go to Wayback Machine and read his really old posts, most of the advice is still valid 8-9 years on.|
|Adam is an SEO associate at SEER Interactive, has a degree in Marketing and writes great stuff on SEER's blog.|
|An SEO specialist from Germany specialising in optimising e-commerce applications.|
|An SEO nerd from Colorado, works for seOverflow tackling Pandalised and Penguinised sites among other tasks.|
|An international SEO specialist and conference speaker. Works at SEER Interactive, a MOZ associate and makes SEO stuff sound beautiful in Spanish.|
|Specialises in small business SEO and builds well-optimised WordPress websites. Also knows stuff about online reputation management and branding.|
|Media innovations director at LBi, a digital marketing agency in Edinburgh, does digital marketing both for work and for fun.|
|Reputation management guru and CEO of Trackur, an advanced social media effort measurement tool. Also the editor of Marketing Pilgrim.|
|3 Door Digital's director of communications, specialising in creative content, social media and WordPress websites.|
|I consider Annabel a holistic SEOer - she preaches an integrated approach to SEO, PCP, conversion rate optimisation and other important abbreviations.|
|Annalisa is a link acquisition strategist at Pole Position Marketing.|
|AKA Annielytics because she loves big data and analytics. Providing the businesses with actionable strategies to help them make the most of their data.|
|A talented content strategist advising brands on editorial direction and public relations.|
|Vertical Measures CEO, preaches quality content marketing and social media, speaks at SEO events.|
|Barry is CEO of RustyBrick, a NY-based company building business software and apps to enable companies reach their online business goals. Advisor to both startups and giants like Google and Bing.|
Bas Van den Beld
|Professional speaker, SEO strategist and coach. The man behind stateofsearch.com|
|An ex-SEO consultant. Oh wait, that didn't sound right. A superhero managing director of a leading marketing agency sounds much better!|
|Who says you can't scale quality link acquisition? According to Ben, you can... and his biography would make a great script for a movie!|
|Professional SEO consultant, founder of SEO by the Sea - a blog that surprises with the in-depth analysis of the search engine patents and processes behind the workings of the popular SEs.|
|With a background in programming, Bob Gladstein focuses on clean code and site structure. Also an expert of link acquisition and a forum moderator.|
|Director of search engine services at Ecom Buffet, Bonnie takes her career seriously. With 15 years experience, she's a voice of sanity in the increasingly noisy world of SEO.|
Brent D Payne
|Founder of Loud Interactive - a Chicago-based SEO consulting company specialising in link acquisition and reputation management.|
|Founder of the spam-free and nonsense-free webmaster forum Webmasterworld.com, also founder of PubCon, professional speaker and expert community builder.|
|Brian is a serial webpreneur always on the lookout for the next big thing online. An all-rounder expert in SEO strategies, lead generation and business growth.|
|Founder of Copyblogger - teaching people how to create good content since 2006.|
|Founder of Bruce Clay Inc., at the forefront of cutting-edge SEO since 1996, member of the board of directors of SEMPO.|
|SEO speaker and Director of online marketing at KoMarketing Associates.|
|Professional speaker and coach helping people with marketing, creative writing, productivity and personal development.|
|Somebody who serves on the Board of Directors of a SEM Association won't give you a bad advice. Christine is the president of KeyRelevance - a relevant and reliable SEM company.|
|Christoph is a link acquisition specialist, SEO and CEO of LinkResearchTools - the company behind the Link Detox tool among many others.|
|Founder of Yo! Yo! SEO, Dana is an SEO consultant with a penchant for audience engagement.|
|Search Engine Watch editor sharing the best tactics and news on search engine marketing and social media.|
|Founding editor of Search Engine Land, Danny defines the highest standards of SEO journalistics.|
|Daron is a real SEO rockstar. He's been at it since 1996!|
|David is a talented copywriter/ghostwriter. He knows his stuff when it comes to making things go viral.|
|One of the best creative link acquisition experts out there. Teaches people to gain the links the right way - by helping businesses to implement strategies that attract links naturally.|
|Blogger and photographer, head of SEO for AirBnB. Apparently it's ok to call him DennisG.|
|Partner of KoMarketing Associates, a marketing agency specialising in serving B2B companies.|
|Technically not an SEO but you simply have to check this guy if you're running a website. Derek is an expert in marketing strategy, persuasion and conversion. Ready to be persuaded? Just watch any of his videos!|
|Dixon is marketing manager of Majestic SEO - the owners of one of the most accurate backlink analysis tools. Stuff Dixon says always makes a lot of sense be it on Twitter or Majestic's blog.|
|Eric has been acquiring links the right way since 1994! Today he's a highly revered "white hat" link strategist and publisher of LinkMoses Private newsletter, which you should really subscribe to.|
|Gab is an author of advanced SEO books, a blogger and more recently a matchmaker. He is interested in lean startups and investors.|
|Garrett is a builder of advanced SEO tools and the man who proved that broken link acquisition still works. Founder of Citation Labs.|
|Founder of Search Engine Marketing Group and viral guru of the Viral Content Buzz platform.|
|Moz associate, blogger at State of Search, consulting on SEO and Inbound marketing strategies.|
|Moz associate, an SEO Chick and Principal consultant for Distilled.|
Heather Lloyd Martin
|Cialdini is not the only master of persuasion out there. Heather can be pretty persuasive too, and she's also an expert of copywriting and content marketing.|
|James is the founder of Skyrocket SEO, a specialist of quality link acquisition campaigns.|
|In business since 1998, specialising in marketing, web design and creative copywriting. Ecom Buffet's director of marketing.|
|Jill has been an SEO consultant since 1995. Yeah, you read it right. Oodles of experience - much of which goes into her free SEO newsletter.|
|Where would we be without Webmasterworld.com - the spam-free SEO community? Jim Boykin is the owner of WMW and the founder of InternetMarketingNinjas.com.|
|President of Ignite Social Media - working with large brands on SocMed campaigns and strategies.|
|Don't judge Jo by her tongue-in-cheek blog name, she's anything but average! She's the Organiser of Search London and a successful freelancer.|
|An independent consultant with a passion for start-ups. Joanna is an all-rounder with experience in PPC, SEO, social media, content creation etc.|
|Jon is a link acquisition expert, sharing his knowledge through the Pointblankseo.com blog.|
Joost de Valk
|Wordpress plugin guru, it's likely you're using his SEO plugin with your WP installation. Joost optimises websites for speed and conversion.|
|Judith is a natural speaker, SEO and social media expert, also an SEO Chick.|
|Julie is the co-founder of SEO Chicks. Also owns Link Fish Media - a company that fishes for the right kind of links.|
|Facebook marketing expert and Head of social media for Citrix Online.|
|Kelvin is the author of advanced link acquisition book "Becoming a Clockwork Pirate."|
Kim Krause Berg
|Kim is officially a ninja. Don't even try to question this. She's also specialising in site usability - an important and largely underrated factor!|
|Freelance writer and professional blogger. Kristi has written for SEJ, SEW, ProBlogger and other influential publications. Have you heard of the "Fetching Friday". No? Then you must check her blog!|
|Laura does social and content strategy for large enterprises. She also has got an eye on the mind-machine interfaces to see how this could affect the marketing scene of the not so distant future.|
|Lee promotes the idea of integrated search, social media and content marketing. He's the CEO of TopRank agency.|
|Vice President of Strategy for Overit digital agency helping brands to establish their individuality.|
Lisa D Myers
|A winner of UK Search Awards in 2011, Lisa is a CEO of a successful agency and founder of seo-chicks.com blog.|
|Founder and editor-in-chief of SEJ - one of the leading SEO blogs out there.|
|Lyndon is one of the best link acquisition coaches ever. His Linkbait Training teaches how to build content that drives links - a penalty-proof strategy!|
|Advanced analytics expert at NetBooster. Google Analytics only advanced.|
|Professional blogger, speaker and traveller, inbound marketing director for Expedia.|
|Author, speaker and marketing innovator, sharing advanced marketing and SEO tips through aimClear Blog.|
|Editor-in-chief for Search Engine Land - he's got a special writing style!|
|Matthew is an affiliate marketer and SEO blogger sharing actionable tips on his popular blog.|
|Link acquisition with a maple syrup flavour. Melanie is the lumberjack-axe-wielding president of CanadianSEO, one of the most skilled link acquisition experts ever.|
|Melissa is a geek, she's playing with tigers (unlike us - the panda people) and she runs a very successful internet marketing and reputation management consultancy.|
|Expert on affiliate marketing, speaker at high-profile events such as PubCon and SMX. Also offering SEO consulting on link baiting and viral marketing.|
|Don't believe Michael when he says he's a theorist. So much knowledge can only come from practical experience. Publisher of one of the few paid SEO newsletters that are worth subscribing to.|
|Michael is the co-founder of KnowEm - a really clever brand management app.|
|Inbound Marketing director for iAcquire, also offering on-site optimisation and digital branding strategy. Contributor to some of the best SEO blogs.|
|Marketing speaker, startup expert and CMO of HubSpot. Mike specialises on Business to business lead generation and social media.|
|Monica gained her audience-building expertise while working as an audience development manager for a large newspaper. You don't want to argue with her, she's got over 10 years marketing experience behind her black belt. Quite literally!|
|Nichola is the force behind theMediaFlow agency - a successful startup that earned a UK Search Award just 3 years after its establishment.|
|A Brit-turned-Kiwi, SEO consultant for Distilled and author of a book on link acquisition.|
|Co-founder and Director of search at Branded3 - an integrated SEO and digital agency.|
|Patrick is an online investor, CEO of Consumer Media Network.|
|SEO consultant, link acquisition expert, speaker, specialises on SEO software and content generation methods.|
|CEO and founder of MOZ, known for posting actionable and sound advice on SEO, startups and marketing.|
|Reg is a social media expert (if you look at his Twitter follower count, you'll understand what I mean)|
|SEOgadget's exec, specialises in content marketing, inbound marketing and conversion rate optimisation.|
|Robert is an independent SEO consultant, extremely good at coordinating the various aspects of a successful site. Doing SEO since 1997, he is a highly respected moderator at Webmasterworld forums.|
|Roger is a link acquisition strategy specialist, publishing a newsletter on advanced link acquisition.|
|Content marketing expert, founder of Siege Media, blogger and believer in scalable marketing.|
|A democratic SEO expert (I know I promised not to make a political issue out of this), CTO of Virante, Inc. - a developer of data-driven marketing solutions.|
|An SEO specialist & WordPress guru, also the editor of Search Engine People.|
|Social media and link acquisition done the right way with branding being the main goal.|
|Samuel is a UK-based SEO, online marketing and advertising expert.|
|Scott researches social media and teaches marketing strategy. Also speaker and SEO.|
|Shari is a website usability guru. She has been an in-demand conference speaker since 1998.|
|Creative content marketer and Director of ShellShock UK.|
|Todd is an SEO coach teaching his students how to out-smart and out-rank the competitors by employing expert keyword optimization and other advanced methods.|
|Tom is the man who steered Distilled towards the SEO side of things. Works for Google! Do I have to say more?|
|Tom is an SEO consultant at Capture Commerce.|
|Vanessa used to be the main person behind Google Webmaster Central, currently CEO of Nine By Blue - a company providing strategy and tools helping companies make the most of SEO.|
|Wiep is a link acquisition expert from the Netherlands. He runs a consultancy, regular training sessions and speaks at leading SEO industry events.|
|Founder of Distilled agency - a global success story with offices in London, Seattle and New York.|
|While others consider it a chore, Wil admits he loves acquiring links. One of the few true visionaries of the industry.|
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Arvid Linde is an independent SEO consultant, award-winning journalist, MSc in engineering, published author and a technology addict. More info on the about page.