Now that you are following a vast quantity of people, keeping on top of your following can now be quite daunting. More than likely you have over two hundred people that are providing you instant news, interesting topics that cover you personal interests and business synergies. For example, someone in sales should have at least five lists including: Companies (in your industry) Clients, Competitors, Potential Prospects, Partners.
Lists on Twitter can allow you to categorize people in groups, you will have already started to group types of people in your head, allowing you to start to make sense of the noise. By accessing your lists from the main account icon you will be able to monitor the tweets from smaller groups that are important to you. You can share your lists publicly or make them private, for instance a list called "potential prospects" would be good to have as private.
Lists that have been created by others, public lists, are available for you to follow (subscribe) and your public lists are available for others too.
I have taken the next step and now use a third party tool to listen and monitor these lists better. The tool I use is Hootsuite but another favorite is Tweetdeck. I will cover these later.
You can utilize your lists to help others, in turn help you increase your value and followers.
Share your lists. Already you have public lists created, but it will not be clear to others you have them. Plan to share your lists on your blog or website. The URL for a list would typically look like this: http//twitter.com/username/listname You could even add them to you email footer!
Make sure you add yourself to these lists, as people subscribe to them they will also be following you too.
Name your lists well. The name will form a part of the shared URL, avoid acronyms, make them enticing "Worldwide CMO List" or "My Favorite Bloggers"
Think of your lists as a marketing tool and ask yourself the following questions
Who are my target customers? ("audience" if you are a blogger)
Do they have different needs or interests? (If so, define each)
What are their goals, as they relate to my area of business?
What information helps them reach those goals
What kind of information do these customers find interesting?
Who on Twitter regularly tweets this information
Using the answers you get you can then define and build lists for each customer segment, designed to meet their goals.
Remember these lists can be followed by competitors! Be mindful of the environment.
You know have created powerful resources for List members providing a real service. In the process you have met a whole bunch of new potential customers that you can share you thoughts views and products with.