Watch Don’t Follow : The alternative Twitter insights

Watch Don’t Follow : The alternative Twitter insights

The most obvious way of keeping your eyes on the competition, looking for trends, spotting the latest news and keeping up with the gossip is to follow Twitter accounts in which you are interested. By doing this of course your intention is signalled to the account being followed and this may not always be what you need, especially if you wish to follow for more covert reasons.

There is a great alternative way of using Twitter for ongoing monitoring of other accounts on your terms, either in public or privately, by using Twitter Lists.

A Twitter list is a collection of your favourite accounts, grouped together in a similar way to how you would put into folders your favourite bookmarked websites in your browser.

By using a third party application like the popular Tweetdeck or Hootsuite you can create a new column in your dashboard for each type of List. As an example you may wish to create a list called Competitors and mark this list private, in which case the list is only available to you. Perhaps another list could be Great Bloggers and into that you put the accounts of your favourite writers. This list may be great for others to follow so perhaps mark that list public.

The key difference is that there doesn’t have to be a direct association between your Twitter account and those you have in your lists, unlike following accounts where it is openly evident who you are connected with.

The broader value of the likes of Tweetdeck and Hootsuite is that you can easily create and watch multiple accounts and multiple lists on a single dashboard. Great news for the busy social networker of today.