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What Do Twitter Lists Say About Your Personal Brand?

Authors: Jay Baer Jay Baer
Posted Under: Social Media
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Taking a long overdue page from the Seesmic and Tweetdeck playbook, recently launched Twitter lists, enabling you to segment the people you follow on Twitter into groups.

This is particularly useful in organizing people by industry, geography, or even the type of content they typically tweet.

But what’s more interesting is that Twitter Lists help define your personal brand.

You Are What You Are. Not What You Wish You Were

A long-standing tenet of search engine optimization is that the search terms that people use to find your Web site reflect the reality of how your site is perceived by Google (and thus by searchers). Sure, you may want to be ranked #1 for “financial services PR”. But, if nobody ever finds your site when searching for that term, you’re not “financial services PR” – but rather something else entirely.

Twitter Lists work exactly the same way. The names of the Twitter lists on which you appear gives you a tremendous pool of information about how your personal brand is perceived by Twitter users.

If you’re in public relations, but very few of the Twitter lists you’re on are about public relations, maybe you need to increase the amount of public relations content that you’re tweeting?

Gaze Into My Crystal Ball of Twitter List Linguistics

To better understand this effect, my friend (and programming warlock) Joseph Jaramillo created a Twitter List Converter. It’s freely available at

Twitter _ Lists following jaybaerTwitter List Converter

  • Just go to and click on “listed” below your name in the right hand corner.
  • Highlight all of the Twitter list information on the page, and copy it.
  • Then, paste into the “Input” box on the Twitter List Converter. (you may need to do this a few times if you’re on many lists, as Twitter only shows 20 at a time).
  • Check the “remove hyphens” box, and press Submit.
  • Voila! A list of all the Twitter lists that you’re on, in an easy-to-browse fashion.

Want an even better understanding of how you’re viewed on Twitter?

  • Copy the “Output” column from the Twitter List Convertor.
  • Go to Wordle and click “create”.
  • Paste into the box, and click “Go”. Presto! Now you have a visual word cloud that shows the frequency/density of the words used to describe YOU on Twitter.

I’m Not Funny. But I Know Social Media

Here’s the Twitter List word cloud for me, vs. the word cloud for @shitmydadsays (perhaps the funniest Twitter account in existence).

Twitter List @jaybaer-1

Twitter List @ShitMyDadSays

On the social Web, “tags” are how we organize information. Are you being “tagged” the way you want to be on Twitter Lists?

I’ve just started working on this concept, and Joseph was nice enough to build me a tool. Use it, and let us know what you think about Twitter Lists and personal branding.

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