Twitter, how do I use thee? Let me list away

 
Menu and Wine List - Enoteca Vino Bar
Image by avlxyz via Flickr

No, this time it isn’t THAT kind of wine list.

This is about the the Twitter List facility. This particular social media tool is somewhat flawed in my opinion, however, if you want to provide value to others then you should consider using them.

Lists are a means of keeping up with a particular group of twitterers. It isn’t just about the group of people that are included, it is a way of seeing all their tweets in one … list*.

If you are in the wine business, you should consider using them to provide value to yourself and others. Many users simply create generic categories such as “wine” or “friends” with 100+ members. If they follow thousands and need a way to separate this group, that’s fine, but the value to anyone else is very limited.

Instead, you might consider putting together something specific to your area of interest, relating to your own brand values & story. Your knowledge (and time) could be worth lots to someone else, a value they may repay in other ways.

For example, I don’t have a generic ‘wine’ list (apart from anything, I follow almost 3000 and lists are limited to 500 people). Instead, I have created 4 lists of reasonable value, I hope, to different people but which would have been difficult for them to put together themselves:

Masters of Wine on Twitter (Members: 30 – Followers: 93)
UK Wine Merchants on Twitter (Members: 72 – Followers: 43)
UK Wineries on Twitter (Members: 12 – Followers: 6)
Bordeaux 2009 En Primeur Campaign (Members: 56 – Followers: 40)

Some have ongoing value (such as the MWs list), some are more temporary.

The last list is what prompted me to write this post. I wasn’t greatly involved in the En Primeur campaign, but others asked me my views on twitter. Rather than retweeting lots of individuals’ thoughts, I created an easy way to track comments about the campaign from those who were actually there. An amazing development compared to past campaigns.

Now anyone could easily see hundreds of tweets each day about the Bordeaux 2009 primeur tastings from some of the top names in wine writing and retailing. Reading all their columns and reviews could cost you hundreds of dollars/pounds/euros in subscription charges (not to mention the cost of the wines). This was free and immediate.

I’m not sure the Bordeaux list has ongoing value (little binds this group of 56 individuals other than their shared interest in wine), but for a moment it was a valuable service.

What lists could you create? Wineries in your region? Tourist resources in your town? Wine merchants selling your wines around the world? Wine bloggers you have met?

* Note; one thing often forgotten about Lists is that they do not include @ replies (messages to another person directly) UNLESS that other person is also on the same list. Confusing!? Thought so. In any case, this is not the entire output of the listed members, but should represent their most ‘public’ messages.

If you’ve got a list that is particularly popular, or should be, let me know. I might create a list of wine-related Lists on the blog

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