The Law Enforcement Social Media Blog

The authoritative resource for news and information about law enforcement social media. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Nixle, we discuss social media and its use as the ultimate community policing tool.

Twitter Lists

Twitter Lists
What Is A Twitter List?
 

Twitter lists is a feature that allows you to organize the people you’re following in groups and manage how you look at Tweets. This doesn’t just allow you to group people together, but it allows you to view their tweets. You can also include users you do not follow and you can subscribe to a list created by another user. A common misconception is that you can use lists to send tweets to multiple users as you might do with a group email list. Although this is not true, lists prove an efficient manner in which to read tweets from list’s members.

Why Would You Use Lists?

Using Twitter lists will help optimize your Twitter experience. As the users you follow grows, your Twitter timeline can become cluttered with news and information you just don’t find useful. With Twitter lists, you essentially create a “filter,” by narrowing down the information you want to see. Let’s say you create a Twitter list for all law enforcement agencies within your county. You can then open that list and see all the latest tweets from those agencies.

Again, Twitter lists lets you narrow down your focus. Some of the lists you’ll find on my Twitter account are:

  • #SGVLESM
  • PD Personnel
  • Media
  • LA County Sheriffs

The “#SGVLESM" list contains members from the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Social Media, and the “PD Personnel” list is comprised of the individual, official accounts of police officers, sheriff deputies and dispatchers. To view all of my lists, visit https://twitter.com/MPDMarc/lists.    

How Do You View Your Lists?
 
To view your lists on a mobile device, simply follow the steps below:
  • Click on the gear wheel to the right of your profile photo.
  • Select “View Lists” in the menu that appears.
  • Tap on the name of the list you wish to view.

If you are on a computer, you can click on your photo or name on the upper left of the page. Once you arrive on your page, click on “Lists” on the center of the page under your header photo.

How Do You View Who Is On Your Lists?
 
Follow the steps above to view a particular list. On a mobile device, click on “Members” at the top of the screen, and on a computer, click on “List members” on the left side of the screen.
 
Want To Create A List?
 
Follow the steps below to create a new list using a mobile device:
  • Click on the gear wheel to the right of your profile photo.
  • Select “View Lists” in the menu that appears.
  • Tap on the “+” symbol on the upper right of the screen

If you are on a computer, you can click on your photo or name on the upper left of the page. Once you arrive on your page, click on “Lists” on the center of the page under your header photo. From there, click on “Create a list” on the upper right of the page.

create

Give your list a title and make sure to fill in the description field. This is very important, and can also act as a message to those you place on the list. You see, when you add someone to a list, they receive a message in their notifications area that they have been added to a list, what that list is, and who added them.
 
So, if you title your list “Awesome People on Twitter,” the automated message sent to their notifications feed is pretty cool, without you really having to say anything.
 
If you don’t add a description into the description field, here’s a negative example of what can happen. My co-host on the podcast, Mike Bires, had a list titled “Cyberbullying.” Before he himself knew better, he didn’t create a description for the list. As he added people to the list, knowing that it’s purpose was to be a collection of people or organizations who were against cyberbullying, some people didn’t see it that way. In fact, he received some very vile and vulgar messages demanding he remove them from the list. You see, some people thought the list was a list of people WHO WERE cyberbullies. Mike very quickly saw what he needed to do and corrected the error.
 
create list
 
Public or Private?
 
You have the option to choose if you want to make your list private or public.  Anything you want to keep to yourself, should be marked private. For example, the personal Twitter accounts of officers, families and friends, you should keep “private.” If you decide to make it private, only you can view it. 
 
How Do You Add or Remove Someone To A List?
If you are on a mobile device, find the person you wish to add to a list. Once you have their page pulled up: 
  • Click on the gear wheel to the right of their profile photo.
  • Select Add/remove from lists.
  • Your lists will appear.
  • Click on the name of the list where you want to add the user.

If you are on a computer, again, click on the gear wheel, and select whether to add or remove them from a list.

Save Yourself Some Work - Subscribe To A List
Don’t want to hunt down everyone to make a list? You can view lists people have created, and subscribe to them by:
  • Click on the gear wheel near their photo and select “View lists.”
  • Once their lists appear, click on the name of the list you want to add to your lists
  • Select Subscribe or Unsubscribe 
Intel: Know Your Followers Interests
Part of law enforcement social media’s success is to publish content which interests your followers. By clicking on your followers lists, I can see whose lists they are subscribed to, i.e.; who or what their interests are. Additionally, I can see whose lists they are members of as well.
 
list members.fwWhat About Keeping Up On Those You Don’t Want To Follow
You can always add someone who is following you, or you have found on Twitter, without “following” them, if that makes sense. Simply add their Twitter handle into a list and now you can click on the list, and see those tweets of those you’ve added to this list.
 
Now keep in mind, if you title a list “Suspicious People” and you are a police department, you might start fielding calls from lawyers, the ACLU and might cause an issue in court should it ever arise that someone on that list is arrested. Be careful how you title a list, and how you intent to use it.
 
What About Twitter List Management?
Please keep in mind, that many of the web-based apps out there which help you manage your Twitter lists will add their name or twitter handle into the description field of any lists you create using their app. To delete the name or handle, you’ll need to login to your actual Twitter account, navigate to the list, and physically remove their information from the description area.
 
There are several platforms out there which manage social media and manage lists, as well as just manage lists. However, the below two we found are solid and work 99% of the time. The others we looked at appeared to be not fully developed or have kinks in them.
 
Tweez - Once you select one of your lists on the left, a screen will appear with your members on the left, and your friends on the right. From there, you can click on the green “add” button which will appear when you hover over your friends, and quickly add them to the list.
 
Twitlistmanager - Once you authorize it to access your account, you can mass  add users to certain lists, as well as create lists.
 
Creative Uses For Twitter Lists
We have found some cool ways to use Twitter lists, such as:
 
Personnel Directory: Any member of our department who has an official Twitter account can be added to this list.
 
Emergency/Disaster List: Let’s say your city is bordered by a national forest. If you had a fire in those mountains, not only would your fire department respond, but the forestry fire department, state and county resources, as well. You will have to stay tuned to weather, the news media, public health issues, pet evacuations, school closures, public transportation availability, flight restrictions, and so forth. Gathering all of these agencies on one list can make staying in touch with the incident far more manageable.
 
Helpful Resources For Your Community: You can have all of your cities resources compiled on a list, which you can share in a Tweet, to your community. From city hall, the fire department and parks-and-rec to the local hospital, this list can be a blessing to some in your community.
 
Industry Sectors: Place law enforcement news and information accounts here in this list, such as PoliceOne and the Officer Down Memorial Page.
 
Law Enforcement Supportive Celebrities: Think of the possibilities if you have to gain some attention to something you’re going to tweet out. By adding a LE friendly celebrity into a tweet, they just might retweet it out to the millions who follow them, thus getting your information out to a larger reach.
 
It’s More Than Just A List
As you can see above, you can really use the Twitter list feature to make managing Twitter easier, as well as for investigative and marketing purposes as well.
 
Join our Law Enforcement Social Media Group on Facebook to share your ideas and thoughts on this article. We want to hear what you have to say.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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