Don’t worry – I’m not about to tell you to buy an email database with 20,000 names! Well you can if you like but that’s not really social media marketing. Social media marketing is all about knowing your audience and platforms like Facebook can give you all kinds of intriguing information that can help you target promotions and better serve your customers.
The kinds of lists I’m talking about are the ones you make yourself on Facebook and Twitter (this facility is also available on LinkedIn if you upgrade your account).
You can make a list for anything you like, and you can add people to more than one list so you don’t need to worry about defining people too narrowly.
As I run workshops across East Anglia I have lists that work geographically, so if I was planning a workshop in South Suffolk I would be able to see all those that live or work in that locality so I can promote it to them. This also saves those that live outside that area the inconvenience of receiving promotions not of interest to them.
But you could also choose to build a list based on the kinds of business that your followers have, if I was a marketing consultant for lawyers I would have lists for corporate lawyers, family lawyers, property, lawyers, international lawyers and so on.
Once you have created your lists you simply select a list and your news feed or twitter stream will be filled with posts ONLY from those people. To do this on Facebook click at the top of the news feed where it says most recent and a drop down list will appear allowing you to select the particular list you are interested in.
On twitter it is easier still, over on the left hand side of the screen you will see your lists, hover the cursor over the list and click the one you want.
You can also email to a list on Facebook, however it won’t allow an email to go to more that 20 people at a time so if you intend to do this it is worth having duplicate lists, ‘local business 1′ local business 2’ and so on.
You can do this on twitter, but it’s a little more long-winded, first you need to call up the list and then you can click on the direct message icon beside each name to send them the message. Marketing through DM’s isn’t often done so do make sure the message is as friendly and unspammy as is possible in 140 characters!
On twitter you also have the option to keep your lists private or share them publically, an open list can often help those that are following you and looking for more people to follow as they can click once to follow the whole list.
Personally I also have lists of people whose posts I like to read (and often share!), the social media world is full of smart people sharing tips but sometimes it goes so fast that you miss posts, so this helps me keep up with those I respect.
In fact this is really what lists were created for, and certainly when it comes to twitter the more lists a person is on the higher their Klout or PeerIndex score is, so those that value this will be happy to be put on a list!
Listing can be long-winded, particularly if you have a lot of connections, but long-term these lists can save you time and allow you to direct your messages more clearly so they are worth doing, and the sooner the quicker!