Deadly Women (with Matt Fullerty)

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

'Twitter lists' expand author networks!


Twitter recently launched a lists function, which will help users separate followers into categories that other Tweeters can follow with the touch of a button.

Mashable wrote an article about Twitter lists (still in Beta) in mid-October. Twitter announced the move in a blog post in September.

When I first started exploring the lists function today, I thought it would be a terrific tool to meet new authors, publicists and publishers, and others who have similar political views as myself.

After working with it a while, though, I wasn't sure just how it would fit into my daily Twitter life. There are some highlights - and functionality that could help authors with Internet promotions. There are also some drawbacks.

Pros:

When I logged on today, I found myself already on 14 lists. By the end of the day, it was nearly 20. I went to each of the lists to see who thought I was cool enough to add. Then, I made sure I followed them. I also checked out the others on the list and added those I liked to my own network. I may not have found these contacts otherwise.

The most lists you are on, the broader your network. That means more people can find you. This works for me well, as I want to expand my network, particularly with authors and publicists.

It is terrific at sorting tweets. As with some third-party applications, you can group your followers into categories. You click on each category for a limited list of Tweets just from these folks. This is much more manageable than the current @replies system.

Lists have their own URL, so you can share these on your blogs and Web sites to direct readers to your favorite Twitter users. For example, a paranormal romance author could create a list of other authors in the genre and share it with readers.

On the flip side, you can see which other authors link to you in lists. This will give you a good idea of different readers to target with marketing efforts.

Cons:

As with most things new to Twitter, the function is not user-friendly. It takes a LONG time to add folks to one list. I don't have hours to create lists; I have minutes. Twitter needs to devise a way to make it easier to sort through followers and categorize them appropriately - especially those with several thousand.

If you already sort your followers on Twitter programs like TweetDeck, this may be too little, too late. However, it is worth a look if you visit the actual site daily, rather than access it via a third-party application.

It appears that you can be put on a list without actually following, or being followed. That could lead to some issues for authors who have a very strict genre brand.

As with anything, the most lists you have, the more Tweets you check. I have several lists already and, of course, will want to check them. I will also want to check out the new lists I am on, just to see who likes my stuff.

Have you used the new Twitter list function? If so, what are your thoughts? How does this function compare with those in third-party applications?

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Get added to my list! If you would like to be part of my authors and books list, leave a comment with your Twitter handle. I will add you to my personal books list, as well as one for @marketmynovel. Thanks!

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1 comment:

  1. My twitter handle is Raptorita. I'd like to be added to your twitter list. I don't think I'm on anyone's list yet. I'm a writer, too. I already have four books on amazon and I have one being published this year through PublishAmerica.

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