As 2008 comes to a close, I'd like to officially deem it "The Year of The List". I cannot tweet a mere 140 characters, cannot comment on a Facebook photo, cannot do a simple google search without stumbling upon a list of some sort. Perhaps you are interested in the Top 5 Viral Marketing Campaigns of 2008. Maybe you want to see the top Hispanic "A Listers" on Twitter or, less specific, just the Top 10 people to follow on Twitter. (You will find tons of these all over the Twitterverse.) Top 30 blogs? Got it. Here at Buzz Marketing Daily, we post lists occasionally too! There's the 10 SM tools we're thankful for on Thanksgiving, our top 20 ways to market in a bad economy, 10 tips for Facebook, and of course 9 Social Media Resolutions for 09 in the New Year. I just had some buzz builders doing research-- and they found over 1200 "Top of 2008" lists for social media posted within the past month. In additon to positive lists, there are negative ones too....see? Top Ten Marketing Flops Bigger than Caroline Kennedy and Worst in 2008 Media!
So here's another list: Why you should post lists on your blog
1. Content: Lists automatically reference/link to other good content. If you don't have anything great to say, link to people who do.
2. Flattery Will Get You Everywhere: Referencing people and their content brings them to your blog. They usually comment, or post a thank you, which is a nice way to gain awareness from their audience.
3. Traffic. Speaking from experience, our list posts are the most trafficked, most linked to, most commented on posts. The only exception would be when our friend Marvin Tang was "brandjacked" on Facebook and asked us to wire money to London.
4. Organized and Easy To Read: Long cluttered blogs are annoying. I know, because I have written them. A list is organized and easy to skim/read.
5. Establish Yourself as an Authority: Truth be told, Adam Kmiec is no more equipped to tell you "who to follow" on Twitter than anyone else. But, when he publishes this list, he establishes himself as a searchable authority. And, until we all follow Loic LeClerc's new concept of searching by "twithority", i.e. having posts of those with the most followers show up first, he comes up WAY early when I am searching for lists. That's because he does a lot of them, and does them well. Creating lists allows you to demonstrate your expertise.
Now, I am absolutely positive that many of you "true experts" hate lists. One of my favorite Twitter folk, Loren Feldman, for instance, HATES them. And it's true that when I see the posts on "who to follow", I kind of feel like I am back in High School. (For the record, this is not a list I would ever do, simply because even though I have my favorites, I am positive that it would feel like a "Vote For Me for Most Popular" post.) But I would argue that a good list is a great way to start getting people interested in your blog.
Thoughts? Feel free to make a top five list as to why I am wrong!