Larry Brauner

Importance of List Building

Reach and frequency are basic advertising metrics. Reach refers to the quantity of people your message reaches, while frequency refers to the number of times on average each person is reached.

It is frequency that builds trust and drives your message home. Advertising without frequency is hardly ever effective. Marketers are relying more and more on list building to repeatedly reach people in their target market and achieve desired frequency levels in their marketing campaigns.

List building possibilities are endless. Last week we discussed list building using Ning social networks. Today we turn our attention to Twitter, possibly the fastest and simplest way to build a list.

Building Your Following on Twitter

As I stated in Brand Yourself and Market on Twitter:

Twitter may very well be the hottest online social media venue today. It’s a social network, micro-blog, instant messenger, mobile communications tool and giant party — all rolled into one site.

Creating a following on Twitter is easy, even for someone new to online social networking and social media sites. Here are three remarkably simple steps to get you started:

  1. Twitter Training - I used to recommend Bill Hibbler’s Affiliate University. Bill’s Affiliate University was dissolved, so I refer you to the Twitter articles and resources in Tons of Twitter Tools, Tips and Resources. If you’re looking for a complete step-by-step Twitter course, the Twitter Power System is your best choice. You can read about it in Twitter Power System Review.
  2. Build Your Reach Instantly - Here is a cool trick you can use to quickly get some very influential followers. Start with the top 50 Twitter users based on reach listed at, one of my favorite Twitter tools. You will notice that the majority of those listed have as many “friends” as they have “followers”. They are the ones you should follow. They will almost certainly follow you back and increase your reach.
  3. Manage Your Connections - Once you have completed Step 2, many people you don’t know will start following you, and for the most part you’ll want to follow them all back. You can manage your Twitter connections using Twitter Karma, another of my favorite Twitter tools. After some time has passed, you’ll notice that many of the people you’ve been following become inactive — they haven’t “tweeted” in months. Stop following them in order to improve your ratio of followers to friends, a measure of your Twitter influence.

I applied this method myself about a month ago, and now about a hundred Twitter users begin following me each week.

When I “tweet” a link, roughly one to two percent of my followers click to see what the link is about. Isn’t that how any list is supposed to work?

This approach is easy, and it’s free.

Respect your followers and they’ll keep following you. Spam them, and they’ll stop following you in an instant.

That’s all there is to it. Please leave a comment. ;-)

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36 Responses to “List Building Using Twitter”

  1. Dianne Hansen on January 11th, 2009 7:17 pm

    Thanks, I’ve followed your advice. Looking forward to more people joining me weekly…

    You have great ideas!

  2. Larry Brauner on January 11th, 2009 7:24 pm

    Thank you Dianne.

    By the way, everyone is free to post a link to their Twitter page.

  3. Jen Boone on January 11th, 2009 8:35 pm

    Thanks for the great tips Larry. I loved it so much I added to my twitter group.

    To check out your post go to Jenslife on Ning.

    Jen Boone

  4. Prabakaran on January 11th, 2009 11:39 pm

    Thanks for your advice. You have a nice blog.

    If possible, try to visit mine and give me your suggestions on how to improve.

    Have a nice day!!!

  5. Denise on January 12th, 2009 1:08 am

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks as always for the great tips. I hadn’t heard about Twitter Karma. I tried it and loved it. Found a few people that I didn’t realize were following me. I like it better than Friend or Follow.

    Btw, I’m SimplyD on twitter. ;)

  6. Debbie Morgan on January 12th, 2009 3:07 am

    Hi Larry!

    Thanks for helping me figure out Twitter. I never really got how it all worked. I bookmarked this article so I can work on this when I get the time.


  7. tobi on January 12th, 2009 3:47 am

    Hi Larry,

    I love Twitter Karma — great tool. Tried it, and I have to say that it’s the best Twitter tool I have come across so far.

    Thanks again for sharing your insights and ideas.


  8. The Fitness Diva on January 13th, 2009 10:47 pm

    I will definitely have to try some of these methods.

    I am under using my Twitter capabilities without a doubt. I’m not being the least bit active in trying to get new followers… I just let them come as they will.

    I’ll see what happens when I implement some of these tips that you’ve posted! ;)

  9. Justin on January 14th, 2009 8:19 pm

    Check out one of my Twitter accounts. Feel free to add it. Every time someone rates a recipe on Five Star Recipes, a tweet is sent out with a link to the recipe and the name of the recipe. I enjoy coding for Twitter’s API.

  10. Eunice Coughlin on January 19th, 2009 9:41 am

    Some very helpful tips about Twitter. However, I would caution you on following anyone just to “build your list”. First of all, you don’t know what kind of fruitcake or spammer might be following you so always check out their website and twitter page before clicking. If they don’t have a profile picture up and their tweets consist of their affiliate URLs, I won’t follow. Saves time in the long run and influential people that I want to follow won’t think I’m a fruitcake. :-)

    I enjoy your thought-provoking articles. Thanks!

  11. Larry Brauner on January 19th, 2009 10:54 am

    I agree with you Eunice. I too make an effort not to follow total spammers. Thank you for your important comment.

  12. pinkrenegade on January 22nd, 2009 12:31 am

    I have been VERY resistant to the social networking field, but I know I have to step up or I will be left behind.

  13. Dan Nappi on January 23rd, 2009 10:14 pm

    I have been going crazy on Twitter the past few days. I am addicted now. It is very useful once you figure it out.

  14. Dean Henry on February 2nd, 2009 2:43 am

    Excellent advice. Thank you for sharing.


  15. Moke Morrison on May 3rd, 2009 2:29 am


    There is some sound advice here but I would have expected a little more in the way of links to the research.

    For example you say “It is frequency that builds trust and drives your message home” - what is an effective frequency and what is in-effective? 1-10 11-20 20-30 …

    At what point is trust lost?

    As for Twitter Karma - I have had mixed results - its a great way of looking at the various relationships - but when I have asked it to stop following those that don’t follow me it just locks up - I once left it for over 4 hrs - and no impact on follower numbers ;(

  16. Larry Brauner on May 5th, 2009 12:48 am

    Fortunately Moke I’m not writing for Wikipedia, so my readers grant me certain liberties.

    As far as effective frequency is concerned, there’s no one size fits all number.

    There are many factors such as trust, ad recall, risk, etc. which might figure into the equation.

    Not sure what you mean by “At what point is trust lost?”

    Are you suggesting that there’s such a thing as too much frequency?

    I suppose in rare instances that might be possible.

    I agree with you about Twitter Karma, but I still haven’t found an adequate replacement.

  17. Omar Zaibak on May 27th, 2009 7:14 pm

    I agree with you about the dangers of sounding like spam. I find this pretty frequent in the community and lowers the value of a follower in my opinion. I wrote about how to build an efficient list. I think the most important thing in building a Twitter list is to place more importance on the quality of your list than the quantity of people on it.


  18. Larry Brauner on May 27th, 2009 7:44 pm

    Quality is important Omar, but depending on your approach, quantity can be equally important.

  19. Sheldon Gale on June 15th, 2009 7:39 pm

    Hi Larry.

    I clicked on your link to Affiliate University for the 3 hour Twitter training and received a server error notice. I “Binged” Affiliate U and the website shown was different than the link displayed for your blog. Has something changed?


  20. Larry Brauner on June 18th, 2009 11:13 am

    Yes Sheldon. Thank you for pointing this out. Despite its great content, Bill Hibbler’s Affiliate University broke apart in mid air.

    I’ve edited my article accordingly.

    Incidentally, since the time when I wrote List Building Using Twitter, I’ve added tens of thousands of Twitter followers without using any of the Twitter follower-getting gimmicks being touted by the “gurus”.

    Anybody looking to follow a sensible Twitter success strategy should obtain the Twitter Power System and study it carefully.

    It takes work to get to the top of Twitter, but it is doable, and it isn’t rocket science.

    I also recommend joining two of my personal networking sites, Beyond Business Coaching and Let’s Follow Each Other.

  21. Rod Macbeth on July 28th, 2009 12:12 pm

    I think your statement, “Respect your followers and they’ll keep following you. Spam them, and they’ll stop following you in an instant,” sums it all up nicely.

    Spam does not go over well whatsoever. I don’t have a huge following but I do take satisfaction in having several people include me on their Friday #FF posts. It lets me know I’m doing something right. :)

  22. Larry Brauner on July 28th, 2009 12:20 pm

    Thanks Rod. Keep up the good work.

    You might like my articles on spam.

  23. Andy on August 9th, 2009 6:29 am

    Good list building ideas. Thank you Larry.

  24. Sinela on August 18th, 2009 4:06 pm

    Hi Larry,

    I am pleased that I didn’t miss this great post. Your advice is very helpful and easy to implement.

    Thank you.

  25. Jacques Snyman on August 31st, 2009 1:31 pm

    2009 will be remembered as the year that Twitter came of age. People are “getting” Twitter now, and the buy in is phenomenal. The lack of interest in Twitter amongst the youth tells another story though….

  26. Larry Brauner on August 31st, 2009 1:44 pm

    Two reasons for low levels of participation among the youth:

    As Twitter becomes more mainstream, it tends to become more skewed toward older people, since there are more older people in the world than younger. Older people simply aren’t cool.

    Generation X is very business oriented, Generation Y and beyond, much less so. As Twitter becomes more business oriented, Gen Y loses even more interest.

  27. harold on September 3rd, 2009 2:39 am

    Very nice list building stuff, will try.

  28. Greg on December 2nd, 2009 2:28 am

    Wow, a little concept that many overlook, including me. Thanks and will try.

  29. 5 Top List Building Destinations on February 1st, 2010 9:49 am

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  30. Refine Your Marketing Message To Build A List on March 8th, 2010 11:55 am

    […] Building A List With Twitter – […]

  31. Veda Matin on April 27th, 2010 12:04 pm

    I love to use Twitter whenever I want to know the latest buzz about my friends. I also use Twitter to know the latest buzz from famous people.

  32. Peter Davidson on February 5th, 2011 1:53 am

    I just want a list of my people I’m following to be automatically created and updated so that anyone else can ’see what i see’ so I don’t have to tell people to follow 600 of others. Can someone tell me how to get this list on my twitter as I don’t want to blow away a week end looking it up?

  33. Larry Brauner on February 5th, 2011 8:11 pm

    The feature to use is Twitter lists that let you categorize profiles and share those categorizations with others.

  34. The Heart of Success on Social Media | Coffee Shop Insights - Interviews with Inspiring Individuals on February 27th, 2011 5:50 pm

    […] it is as important to know where to build your lists as it is how! In List Building Using Twitter Larry Brauner discusses that ” It’s frequency that builds trust and drives your message […]

  35. Maria on April 26th, 2011 11:00 pm

    Hi Larry, I’m pretty new to Twitter but I just want to make sure I got this right. When you talk about a “list” in Twitter, it is not like a normal email list, right? You’re referring to the number of followers as being “the list”, correct?


  36. Larry Brauner on April 26th, 2011 11:03 pm

    Relevant and engaged followers, Maria.

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