Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Smart Guide to Twitter Lists for Local Business

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Twitter lists for local business


When it comes to social media, local business owners can quickly become overwhelmed. Should I be posting, tweeting, pinning, chatting or something else! Of all the social media sites that are currently popular I believe it’s Twitter that has the most potential for success across the board for local businesses. Twitter lists are a great tool to help achieve that success.


There are close to 1 billion registered Twitter profiles and around 320 million active users, with somewhere in the region of 12-15 million of them here in the UK. That’s a lot of profiles producing a huge volume of tweets every minute of every day. For a local business the simplest way to sort through the noise is by using Twitter lists. We’ll get to some specific local ideas in a minute, but let’s start with what Twitter lists are and how to create them.


What is a Twitter List

From Twitter’s own support section:

“A list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list. Note: Lists are used for reading Tweets only.”

You don’t have to Follow a Twitter profile to put them in a list. It’s basically a way of grouping users that you find interesting together in one spot that’s then easy to sift through. Bit like opening up a newspaper (people still do that, right?) and heading to different sections for different content, depending on what your interests or needs are – local news, finance, sport, etc. Building the right lists can help you monitor and engage with your target audience.


How to create a Twitter List

There are a couple of ways to create Twitter lists and add profiles to them, but here’s what we’ve found to be the simplest method. First, click on your profile avatar to get the dropdown menu and then click on Lists.

how to create a twitter list step 1


That takes you to your profile Lists page where it shows any that you may have already created. To create a new list just click on the Create new list button.

How to create a Twitter list step 2


A popup box will appear where you can enter the name of your list along with an appropriate description. Please do remember that for any public list the name and description will also be public, so think carefully! As noted in the screenshot below, anyone can see Public lists but only you (or anyone with access to your account) can see your Private lists.

How to create a Twitter list step 3


To add Twitter profiles to your list simply navigate to a relevant profile and click on the settings gear icon over on the right hand side. From that dropdown box you can add a profile to any of your Twitter lists.

How to create a Twitter list step 4


When you add someone to a Public Twitter list they’ll receive a notification, so it’s another good way of letting someone know that you appreciate their content. They won’t receive a notification if you add them to a Private list, which had its advantages as you’ll see below.


5 Ideas for Local Twitter Lists

Now that you’ve read why Twitter lists are so useful and you know how to create them, let’s start looking at a few ideas of Twitter lists specifically for local businesses. Next to each list we’ve marked what type we believe it should be, i.e. a Public list or a Private one.

1. Clients and Friends (Private)
Staying in touch with existing clients, along with friends of the business, partners and suppliers is important. The ability to offer support in the form of a retweet, especially if it’s a client tweeting about success, can help to amplify their good work and that should reflect well on you also. Nurture those relationships.

Twitter also works well as a customer service platform. If a happy customer mentions you in a tweet then be sure to respond and add them to your list.

2. Target Customers (Private)
There are multiple touch points when it comes to building sales from face to face meetings and phone calls through to email and social media. Twitter can be a great way of building relationships with prospective customers and show a more personal side of your business. It also gives you a direct way to answer any questions they may have or offer suggestions to them. Say you’re a local accountant and you see a tweet from a prospective client with concerns about auto-enrollment; there’s an opportunity to connect, help and gain a new customer.

3. Competitors (Private)
Building a competitor list gives you the ability to monitor what they’re up to and also how they use Twitter in general. It’s a great way to see what they’re tweeting about, how or if they engage with other users, if they have any offers on and staying up with their current activities. You may get additional ideas for your own business, especially if you see them having success in certain areas. Keeping the list private means that they won’t know you’re tracking them.

4. Local “Your town/city” (Public)
If you’re a local business then connecting with other folks in your area is going to be key to your success on Twitter. A local dentist in Basingstoke, for example, isn’t going to be too interested in what’s happening in Bury or Boston. Building a local Twitter list will really help you engage in your local community and that can have all kinds of benefits for your business, chiefly more local customers! Couple of quick tips on how to build a local Twitter list:

  1. Use the following search string on Google to look for existing Twitter lists for your town or city – inurl:lists <your town/city> – then check any profiles that look both interesting and relevant to add to your own local list.
  2. Use this recipe on IFTTT to automatically build a list that contains a hashtag relevant to your location, for example #wigan. Check the list every few days to weed out any irrelevant or unwanted profiles and you’ll quickly start building a targeted list containing people who are interested in your local area.

5. Influencers (Public)
Finding people who can amplify your message will give you a massive win on Twitter. These folks don’t all have to have huge Followings either. Influencer marketing is not about getting a retweet from Twitterati such as Katy Perry or Cristiano Ronaldo! It’s about identifying who in your local area or your specific industry is influential. Who’s word in your local area carries weight? They could be local journalists, bloggers or other local area businesses. Find and connect with those accounts and you’ll be on your way to having a good deal of success on Twitter.

Twitter lists help to cut through the noise so you can focus on building targeted and successful relationships that will help to grow your business. If you’re not already making use of them then hopefully this will have persuaded you to get started.

How To Make The Most Of #Hashtags

Thursday, March 20th, 2014


“Hashtags” is a term that many may have heard, but not necessarily know very much about. It has fast become a social buzzword and it’s now encroaching on more and more social media sites. In essence, the hashtag is a word or full phrase prefixed by the hashtag symbol (#) which are hyperlinks to relative topics. Originally a stand out feature belonging to Twitter, it can now be found on Google Plus, Facebook and Instagram.


How It Works

When using hashtags, you are posting links directly from your update into a forum of related, categorised topics, words or phrases. In essence, it allows both you and others to search for keywords or phrases related to your market by collecting all updates which share the same tagged content and grouping them into one place. For example, if you hash tagged #SocialMedia in an update and then clicked on the tag, you would be taken to a page where that tag has been used by others. From there, you can reply and connect with people who  you know are talking about the same interests.


How To Make It Work For You

Hashtags are a simple yet effective social marketing strategy for any business simply because they are a really great way of connecting with people and thus, expanding your audience or customer base via social marketing. By adding a hashtag to your social posts, you are increasing the level of engagement as you are creating links to allow others to find you.

For example, if you’re a book shop, you could be using #Books followed by the genre #Crime #SciFi #Romance and so on. This way, people can not only see what you have on offer if they are searching for those keywords.

If you’re company is having a sale, be sure to hashtag #sale so that you have an extra marketing tool at your exposure to target more people.


Avoid Making A Hash Of It

Although they are a fun, quirky and key social marketing tool, it is possible to use them in an adverse manner which could do your brand more harm than good.  Key hashtag do’s and don’ts are:

  • DON’T jump on the bandwagon. Just because a certain hashtag is trending, don’t try and use it to your benefit if it’s irrelevant to  your brand. For example, if #OneDirection is the days most popular tag, adding it to one of your updates about the new kitchen appliances your shop is now selling is inappropriate and could result in ridicule and bad feedback.
  • DO keep it simple and keep it short. Single words are great for hash tagging and so are short phrases, but adding full sentences wont work as it becomes hard to read and looks odd. For example #thiswouldbearathersillyuseofhashtags!
  • DON’T use spaces or punctuation between words if you’re using more than one. You can differentiate between words by using capitals instead. #ForExample
  • DO remember to use it across all social platforms. Long gone are the days when it was a Twitter exclusive, be sure you use them on Facebook, G+ and Instagram also to really make the most of them.
  • DON’T over hashtag. You only need one or two tags per update. Hash tagging too many words per update will look wrong and defeat the purpose of impact key word marketing. #Do #Not #Hashtag #Every #Word – Watch the video at the end to see how using too many hashtags can look.
  • DO remember that you don’t need to just think of what it is you’re hash tagging. Search the various platforms for keywords that hashtags flag to see who else is talking about those topics and then reach out to them.



Social media hashtags are a really excellent way of both marketing your goods and offers as well as finding others who have posted about them and allowing you to connect directly. It’s a proactive tool which all businesses should be embracing on social and increasing engagement and consumer audience.

#Over #Use #Of #Hashtags!

Photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc

How to easily share Instagram photos to Twitter

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Share Instagram photos to Twitter

Back in December last year Instagram disabled support for Twitter cards making it slightly trickier to share Instagram photos to Twitter. What this meant was that instead of having your carefully crafted, wonderfully edited photos showing up directly in your Twitter feed, all you’d get was a link over to the image on Instagram. Here’s what a tweet now looks like direct from Instagram:


32 Profiles to follow on Twitter in Wimbledon

Friday, June 21st, 2013

twitter in wimbledon

Here’s a list of Twitter profiles I think are pretty handy to follow if you live in or are visiting Wimbledon. Whether it’s places to eat or shop, buy property, looking for things to do or simply staying in touch with local news I hope you’ll find these profiles as helpful as I do.


Twitter Cards: How to make your content stand out on Twitter

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

twitter cards


Twitter cards have been around since June 2012, although they were originally called expanded tweets. You may recognise them showing up in your Twitter feed from time to time. They’re the tweets that have buttons below them with phrases like “View photo”, “View media” or “View summary”.