Twitter Lists Present Cool Possibilities for Brands

If you haven’t seen it already, Twitter has announced it’s testing “Twitter Lists,” essentially lists of users that can be categorized according to who they are or what they write about. According to a Twitter blog post yesterday, “The idea is to allow people to curate lists of Twitter accounts.”

In non-pretentious language, that means eventually anyone will be able to assemble a group of Twitterers, allowing people to easily follow all those accounts.

So, I’ve been thinking about what this could mean for brand marketers. Well, if anything, it should mean that marketers will have a number of options when it comes to creating their own lists. For CRM or customer service, they can readily compile all their brand-related Twitter accounts into one. Think @ford/teamtwitter. Or whatever.

I also see a ready opportunity for cause marketing. Let’s say a brand really wants to connect with charity activity around breast cancer, or wants to establish itself as a leader in the movement towards clean energy. If I understand Twitter’s offering here, a brand could assemble a list of Twitter accounts associated with individuals or organizations it believes are influential in that particular category and promote the list on their own sites and through their own Twitter accounts. Think @google/netneutrality.

Of course, this could work for non-cause stuff, too. Say a brand wants to get noticed among running enthusiasts or among fans of Asian cinema. It could put together a list of Twitterers who post about those topics. How about @Asicsamerica/running?

This is akin to what Microsoft has already done in conjunction with Federated Media and Twitter in its ExecTweets site.

Then there’s politics. The parties can compile lists of people or party organizations aligned with their side. Or a candidate could assemble a list of thought leaders he’d like to draw attention to (or he’d like to draw attention to him). Think @lpnational/thoughtleaders.

Though I think this offering alone presents some good opportunities to brands, it ultimately could become a good source of revenue for Twitter. A brand could sponsor an official Twitter List, for example.

So, now, before Twitter actually launches this feature, brands ought to start thinking about how they might want to use it.

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