Use Twitter Lists to Engage Your Community Members

Getting people to join, subscribe or follow is only one step in the process of building the powerful community around your brand or product. Another hard, yet crucial step is engaging your community members, getting them to return to your site and participate.

Twitter lists can be a great help in reminding your community members about your site. I’ve been playing a lot with the tool and found it great in some cases.

Step 1: Create a Separate Twitter List for Your Community Members

Obviously, this is a must-do step in our today’s tutorial.

  • You can do that manually: just include every new member who publicizes his Twitter profile to your list or
  • You can get members to apply (like I did for my MyBlogGuest list) and thus hear back from your active community members again (which is never a bad thing!)

While creating a Twitter list of your community members, make it obvious it will be giving them more exposure:

  • Promote your Twitter list on your site and newsletter;
  • Publicize the Twitter list widget on your blog (create the social proof for your community member and readers!)

Step 2: Remind Your Community Members of Your Brand

I’ve been looking for a tool that would legitimately and regularly mention my Twitter list members on Twitter for them to receive those Tweets. This way they would be randomly be reminded of our community and encouraged to check back often.

The best tool for that is (public alpha). What the tool does is the following:

  1. Tracks your Twitter list (or Twitter profile);
  2. Fetches recent Tweets from your Twitter list members;
  3. Creates a pretty magazine-like daily paper containing the Tweets.

Here’s an example of my new Twitter list paper for example:

If you choose the option to promote your magazine on Twitter, each daily issue will be announced through your Twitter stream and credit the issue authors:

And even a more engaging one:

Step 3: Track What Your List Members are Talking About

Another great way to leverage the Twitter list feature for your community building efforts is to track who and how often of your community members mentions your brand name. This way you can:

! Identify your community promoters to get connected to them closer and build stronger relationships.

Listi Monkey is a nice tool that will alert you of each Tweet within your Twitter list mentioning any word or phrase (e.g. your brand name):

Do you leverage Twitter lists in your community building efforts? Please share your tips!