Are you using Twitter Lists to keep up with your franchisees?

twitter-logoTwitter Lists is a new feature Twitter recently rolled out that enables users to sort their favorite Twitter accounts into topically organized lists.  As a Twitter user you can create any type of list from funny people to motor-sports personalities and everything in between.

Lists add more value to the Twitter experience by allowing users to better organize information on Twitter.  A Twitter List is public by default (but you can make it private) and it is linked from your account (i.e. twitter.com/username/listname).  In this way, public Twitter Lists increase the discovery of unique and interesting Twitter accounts.

Big brands such as Whole Foods use lists to raise awareness of their individual stores’ Twitter accounts.  Whole Foods currently has 12 separate lists.  One list contains all the stores’ Twitter accounts and the rest are broken down into geographic regions.  This allows Twitter users to be able to quickly find Whole Foods stores’ accounts that are closest to them.  It also allows Whole Foods to be able to see whats going on with all its stores’ Twitter accounts with just a few clicks.  Franchisors can use lists in a similar fashion.

Why should I create a Franchisee Twitter List?

Creating a Twitter List of all your franchisees currently on Twitter enables you to:

  • Monitor each franchisee’s tweets to ensure that they maintaining a consistent brand message
  • Quickly spot and respond to an unhappy franchisee venting anger through Twitter
  • Drive your Twitter followers to your franchisees’ accounts to increase their reach within their local Twitter community
  • Ensure that all franchisee marketing and promotional tweets are in line with franchise policy

Once you create a list of your franchisees, you can see what all of them are up to with a single click.

How to create a Franchisee Twitter List

To create a list, click the “new list” link located in the sidebar of your twitter account.

Give the list a name, the name you choose will be the URL for the list (ex. twitter.com/alliemims/my-zees).  Then choose to make the list either public or private.  You can always change this later.  Then click Create list.

create-twitter-list-step-1

Congratulations.  You created a Twitter List, now we need to add your franchisees.  If you only have a few franchisees currently using Twitter, then it may be easiest to simply enter their user-names in the search box.  Otherwise, click the “following” link to go to your follow page.

create-twitter-list-step-2

From here you can add each franchisee to your new list with just a couple of clicks.

create-twitter-list-step-3

To the right of each franchisee account you will see two drop-down buttons.  Click the list drop-down button and click the check box beside your franchisee list.  Viola! Now that franchisee is in your Twitter List.

create-twitter-list-step-4

Now just repeat the process with the rest of your franchisees’ accounts and you will have a complete Franchisee Twitter List.  To access the list later, simply click on the list’s URL located in the sidebar of your Twitter account.

Take a look at the list I made of Abrakadoodle franchise Twitter accounts.

At this point I’d like to suggest that you periodically perform a search of Twitter to make sure that you are following all your franchisees as they join Twitter.  Start by clicking the “Find People” link and enter your brand name.  Click the follow button on each of the franchisee accounts that you aren’t currently following.

TweetBeep is a helpful tool, not only for finding franchisees, but also for finding Twitter users who are fans of your brand, product, or service.  TweetBeep allows you to keep track of conversations that mention your brand, your products, your services, anything, with hourly email updates.  You can even keep track of who’s tweeting your website or blog, even if they use a shortened URL like bit.ly or is.gd.

I hope this post helps you with managing your brand image and presence on Twitter.  Do you use Lists in some other way to help market your franchise or small business on Twitter?  Please share with us in the comment section.

Stumble Cards: A Growing Pandemic

Welcome fellow Stumblers. I’m sure most of you are well aware of this latest sensation to sweep the web. What started out as an ill conceived viral marketing campaign, by the web design firm uP’n’@tom, has quickly morphed into an all out spam attack on the StumbleUpon Community.

The problem with uP’n’@tom’s stumble cards is that they lack creativity and are extremely easy to duplicate. Spammers have quickly made their own stumble cards to drive traffic to their sites serving advertising. This is degrading the user experience of StumbleUpon. Another problem is that ad-driven blogs, like Cult Press, are jumping on board and posting collections of stumble cards to drive stumble traffic to their blog posts that are loaded with ads.

The biggest problem fueling the stumble card pandemic is the collection of stumblers who thumb up the cards. If the majority of StumbleUpon users, who dislike the cards, can get the word out that these cards are nothing more than spam, then maybe fewer and fewer people will thumb them up. Over time these spammers will see less and less traffic coming to their stumble card pages and it will not be worth their time to create new ones. As long as people keep thumbing up the cards, the more of them we will see on StumbleUpon.

So my question to the StumbleUpon community is this: what do you think the SU community should do to address this problem?

Social News Site Mixx Adds Private Message Functionality

Today Mixx added private mail functionality to its site. Mixx joins Propeller as the only two social news sites to offer private mail. Currently, you are only allowed to send private messages to your Mixx “friends.”

I’m sure there will be some folks out there that will say that offering private mail functionality is bad for social news sites, because it will encourage shameless marketers and promoters to create voting blocks and send messages back and forth on what to vote up and what to vote down. I think its a good move by Mixx because it’s just another little thing that differentiates them from the mighty Digg. Plus, if marketers, promoters, and spammers start using private mail to artificially inflate votes on their submissions, Mixx admins will surely be able to track messages and who is sending what to who. As with most socially focused sites, there are systems in place at Mixx to report spammers. So if users become “friends” with some one who turns out to be a spammer, they can simply report that they are getting spam private messages.

So do you think this is a good move by Mixx? Let us know.