Twitter Lists – A dual-edged sword for analyst relations

icon-social-media-blue.jpgTwitter “Lists” permit any user to publish a list of Twitter handles. If someone else clicks on that list (e.g., simple example) they can easily see all the tweets from everybody on that list. Also by clicking on the “View List Page” to the right of the list title, you can see all the handles associated with that list. This new feature makes it very easy to follow a list so that you can go to it with a single click.

It is very easy to create a list, just click on “New List” in the right hand navigation bar of your page; type in a title; select the Privacy status of Public or Private; and start adding handles to your list. Adding handles can be done from a simple search function, your “Following” or “Followers” list (Lists icon to right of the avatar), or from someone’s profile page. Your list will then show up in the right hand navigation bar. Lists can be broad (e.g., Gartner’s single list of all analysts) or targeted (e.g., Forrester’s multiple lists of analysts by client type).

You can find links to the analyst firm Twitter Lists on the IIAR’s Twitter page As of this blog post, several Lists by analyst firms have been identified. If you have found other analyst firm Lists please sent a link to “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com” and we’ll add them to the list of lists.

However, there are more aspects to Twitter Lists than the ones mentioned above. SageCircle clients can set up an inquiry to get a quick tutorial on Twitter tips and tricks, which includes the use of Lists.

This new Twitter feature can be a useful tool for analyst relations (AR) teams. For instance, there could be a List for all the member of the AR team to make it easy for analysts to find all the relevant AR team members to follow. There could be lists for your company’s thought leaders or the domain experts for a particular product or market. These are all great ways to promote your colleagues or others and increase their followers, especially analysts.

What about an AR team’s analyst lists? Could they be turned into a Twitter List so that it would be easy for AR’s colleagues to find and follow relevant analysts? While simple to do, would you want to publish a list of your analysts for the entire world – including your competitors – to see? We think not and do not recommend that our clients create such analyst Twitter Lists. Unfortunately, the Privacy setting for Lists currently only provides totally Public or completely Private access so there is no way to restrict who can use your Twitter Lists. This is unfortunate as a Twitter List of analysts would make it very easy for AR’s colleagues to find the relevant analysts to follow, either directly or via the list. SageCircle developed a workaround for this issue that we have sent to our clients in a SageInsight.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Develop an AR team guideline for how to use Twitter Lists
  • Train AR team members and other relevant stakeholders on the best practices for Twitter Lists
  • Invite, where relevant, analysts to follow your lists
  • Promote your Twitter lists in your emails to analysts, newsletters, email signature block, and so on

Bottom Line: Twitter Lists can be a very useful tool for AR teams. However, care must be taken not to provide sensitive information to competitors.

Question: Have you started using Twitter Lists? If so, what do you think?