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Twitter Lists are arguably the most underutilized feature on Twitter. When it comes to social selling, they are unquestionably a tremendous asset that too few marketers and salesmen leverage.

For starters, a Twitter List allows you to organize a specific subset of prospects and subsequently follow their tweet activity, just like you can on your normal home feed. The biggest benefit of this is the ability to pare down your stream from the total number of accounts you follow to a manageable list of prospects.

Building Your Lists

When building these lists, I'd recommend breaking them into several highly dynamic categories, with 50-100 people on each:

  • Cold Prospects

  • Warm Prospects

  • Hot Prospects

Fortunately, Twitter allows for both public and private lists, and considering you'll essentially be stalking their feed, make sure these lists are on private. Assuming you build each list with at least 50 Twitter accounts, you should get in a routine of checking them every couple hours.

How to Engage

You're ultimately looking for opportunities to engage these prospects in an informal context, and keep in mind, an engagement does not have to strictly be messages. There's a concept called social currency that refers to the value associated with taking a variety of actions towards your prospects such as follows, favorites, and retweets. Best of all, the majority of Twitter users keep their default mobile notifications turned on so when you take any one of those actions towards them, they can't help but notice.

When to Engage

If you're a true social salesman, you understand that social media is a 24/7, 365 days a year activity, and social selling is absolutely reflective of the same time commitment. Many of the best opportunities to engage your prospects come outside of the work environment on the nights and weekends when they're just hanging out and turning to Twitter for a distraction. 

When it comes to specific opportunities to make the most of your Twitter Lists, some of the best moments to live in these streams happens to be during big events, including: major sporting events, awards shows, or even more frequent opportunities such as popular weekly television programs. Everyone is tuned in, and everyone is talking. If you're watching the same thing as them, you'll have plenty of color commentary to add on to their analysis.

Why It Works

As a social salesman, you should understand the overwhelming majority of Twitter users are narcissistic at the end of the day and are looking for people to acknowledge their written feelings. Best of all, there's an unwritten rule with public Twitter engagements that essentially require the recipient of a tweet to respond. Unlike LinkedIn and email, a non-response is almost sacrilegious on Twitter.

Have you leveraged Twitter Lists to date? If so, feel free to share in the comments how it has impacted your social selling. 

About the author

Adam WexlerAdam Wexler is Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Insightpool, a leader in social marketing automation. Insightpool helps innovative brands, from Docusign to Demandbase, drive real social ROI through a suite of social prospecting, lead generation, and nurturing tools. Follow Adam on Twitter @thewordpainter
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