Twitter Tips: How to Find, Monitor, and Engage Your Audience

Ben Ortiz Digital Marketing Associate, Internet Creations

Posted on October 17th 2013

Twitter Tips: How to Find, Monitor, and Engage Your Audience

When managing a business account on Twitter, it can be easy to get caught up in the promotion of your business and forget about the benefits Twitter provides when used to locate, engage and join in on relevant conversations.

Last year, 77 percent of Fortune 500 companies were active on Twitter with a tweet in the past thirty days. While it is essential to have your company active on Twitter, it is also important to let your employees know that they can benefit from using the network. Whether you’re a marketer looking to engage your target audience, a sales rep seeking potential clients, or a recruiter searching for talent, utilizing the information provided in an individual’s Twitter bio is a great way identify and communicate with potential leads.

Below is a simple process I use to find, monitor, and engage on Twitter. And the best part is, you can do this for free:

1. Create a Twitter list
A Twitter list allows you to categorize Twitter users into specific groups and see tweets only from these individuals without having to follow them. Creating a Twitter list is an excellent way to organize your account and reduce the amount of time it takes to find the valuable information you are seeking.

Creating a list in Twitter is very simple. First you navigate to the “me” tab located on the top navigation and click on “lists”

find Twitter audience

Then click the “create a list” button:

twitter best practices

Now, think about your target audience. For example, I am seeking graphic designers located in New Jersey.

After you click Create list, a box will pop up for you to fill in a list name, description, and if you want the list to be private or public. If you select public, anyone can view the list and subscribe. Choosing private allows only you to access and view the list.

Note: I recommend making a list public if it would benefit other users, such as a list of industry leaders. On the other hand, lists that contain company information like your customers or competitors, should be private.

2. Search Twitter bios for keywords
The next step is to use an outside tool to filter profiles based on certain keywords. There are plenty of free tools out there that will allow you to do this. My personal favorite is Followerwonk.

To get started, go to and click the “Search Twitter bios” tab. Then enter in your keyword or phrase and click “Do it”. Selecting “more options” will allow you to filter further based on location, name, URL, or number of followers.

See my example below:

social media marketing with twitter

Adding users to a Twitter List
After your search is complete, a list will populate below. If you want you can now filter the list  based on number of tweets, following, followers, account age, and social authority.

audience engagement

To add a user to your newly created Twitter list, click their name and you will be directed to their Twitter profile. Click on the icon next to the follow button and then click “add or remove from lists…”

twitter analytics

Finally, check the box next to the list you want the person to be added to. Each Twitter list can contain up to 5,000 separate accounts.

3. Follow and engage using Hootsuite
After you’ve added the desired users to your list, you’ll want to be able to easily view and track their updates in a central location. This step is particularly important if you are going to create and monitor multiple lists. I prefer to use Hootsuite; they offer a free account that allows you to add up to 5 social profiles.

After you’ve signed up and are logged into Hootsuite, select the list(s) you’d like to follow. Click the “lists” icon and choose the list you want to add:

hootsuite toolengage on Twitter

Now you will be able to easily monitor and engage your lists from one location. To respond to a tweet, hover over the right hand corner and you’ll be given the option to reply, retweet, or direct message that user.

Twitter engagement

Additional Tips
If you are monitoring a business account you might want to keep separate lists such as:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Prospects
  • Industry leaders

When engaging your lists, it is important to not only share useful content about your industry, but to also be human, talk off-topic and connect with others about their interests. This will give you a better understanding of the tone required to warm people up before you start your pitch.

How do you find, monitor, and engage your following on Twitter? Leave a comment below or send me a Tweet @benortiz21.


Ben Ortiz

Digital Marketing Associate, Internet Creations

Digital Marketing Associate for Internet Creations. Social Media Marketing, PPC, and SEO enthusiast.

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Posted on October 18th 2013 at 4:51AM

Thanks Ben. 

This is great!!!
I never knew this is available. 

Hoping for more useful tips. 



Posted on October 18th 2013 at 10:49AM

Hi Ben, thanks for this useful tips! Twitter is sometimes hard to discover, especially when you're new into social media analytics. But I wonder why you didn't mention Quintly. I've started to use this tool because some people hadf recommended it. You can eaaaasily track Twitter with many features. even analytics newcomer like me check it :D Do you know the tool? 



Posted on October 18th 2013 at 3:01PM

Thank you Ben for sharing an extremely important article about twitter lists. I absolutely agree with your point of views about how to use twitter lists effectively for managing a huge personal or business account. I myself also created lists of followers according to their category for instance - The people who share my content I named that list "Social media fans" and also done for other categories. Thanks once again for letting us know about your great thoughts.

Posted on October 18th 2013 at 3:11PM

Very good article Ben, very helpful. Lists are often forgotten by marketers, but they are a great way to gain real and interested followers.