Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company

Twitter lists are one of the biggest hidden secrets in social media, an under-utilised tool to help gain followers and interact with potential new customers. The challenge for businesses is that the platform has more than 330 million users, and more than 500 million tweets are sent each day through these accounts. Twitter lists allow you to cut through the cluttered news feeds and interact with accounts based on interests, keywords and topics. They also give you the chance to keep one eye on your competition!

Simply click the three dots (…) next to an account name and click add or remove from list. This will give you the option to create a new list or add accounts to an existing one. This is ideal for garment decorators as you can group lists of potential customers by sector, existing customers, local schools and many other targeted groups. Simply engage with these lists on a regular basis instead of using a slapdash approach or using your general news feed.

To get started here are some tips for help with maximising your lists:

■ Create separate lists for your target audience – a list for existing clients, prospects, accounts of interest and so on

■ Create a list dedicated to your competition – keep track of what your competitors are offering in their social media campaigns and keep a private list to see what is and isn’t working for similar businesses

■ Grow your followers – as well as creating your own list, it’s likely your account will be added to someone else’s list. You can see all lists you are a member of — and this will also display all their followers who may also be a target audience for you

■ Find existing lists online – there are tools to find existing lists based on whatever your search might be. Use these to identify, and potentially replicate, existing lists

■ If you use social media management tools like Hootsuite and Crowdfire, you can integrate your lists and create custom feeds to use and monitor on an hourly, daily or weekly basis

Lists require a bit more effort than conventional social media techniques, but the results can lead to an increase in your following, plus increased coverage and engagement, which can only be a good thing for driving traffic to your business’s website.

Andrew Langridge is from eTrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK.