What's a Twitter List and How Do I Use it? - Steph Nissen

If you’re here you’ve been asking the question “What’s a Twitter list?” or “What do I need Twitter lists for?” – And lucky you, I can help with that. Honestly, I think Twitter lists make Twitter worth using!

What is a Twitter List?

Right from Twitter HQ a Twitter list is:

A list is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list.

The simplified version is that Twitter lists organize your Twitter followers. You pick and choose who belongs on which list based on any number of criteria. For example a few of the Twitter lists I use are:

  • Clients
  • Prospects
  • Affiliates
  • Partners
  • Influencers

I also create lists for events and conferences I attend, local meet-up groups, and to organize people by profession. For example, you can create a list of all the life coaches you know and put all the fitness coaches you know on a different list. This creates multiple streams of tweets that are organized typically by one unifying factor.

But Why Put People on a Twitter List?

Each time you put someone on a Twitter list, it could be for a different reason. You can do so to monitor tweets to find content to post yourself or to make sure you regularly engage with certain accounts.

If I create a list of competitors, I’ll want to only use this list to monitor them. These are not accounts I want to engage with.

If I create a list of prospects, I’ll want to engage with them by replying to their tweets, retweeting as appropriate, and liking regularly. I want to show up in their notifications constantly to remain top of mind.

Using a list on Twitter keeps you organized! The twitter stream moves too fast for you to be able to see the tweets from the people that matter most to you all the time. In fact:

[clickToTweet tweet=”The average lifespan of a tweet is only 18 minutes! according to @Moz!” quote=”The average lifespan of a single tweet is only 18 minutes according to the folks at Moz!”]

How Do I Make a Twitter List?

This is how you create a Twitter list if you are on your iOS device:

  1. From the Me tab, click on the Gear icon at the top of the page.
  2. Select “View Lists” from the drop down menu.
  3. In the top right corner, click on the plus sign (+).
  4. Add a name and description for your list.
  5. Choose whether you want your list public or private.
  6. Hit save.

To create a Twitter list from an Android device:

  1. Tap on the overflow icon and then select View Lists.
  2. Tap the plus icon to create a new list.
  3. Select a name for your list, and a short description of the list.
  4. Choose if you want to make the list public or private.
  5. Tap Save.

To create a list from a desktop or laptop:

  1. Click on your profile icon to show the drop down menu.
  2. Click on Lists.
  3. Click Create new list.
  4. Select a name for your list, and a short description of the list.
  5. Click Save list.

To add and remove people from your lists:

  1. When you’re creating a list, you will be prompted to start adding people immediately. You can then enter the username or full name of anyone you want to add and then select them from the dropdown by clicking on their name.
  2. To remove a person, click the “x” by their name.
  3. When you’re finished, click “Done.”
  4. You can also add people directly from their profile by clicking on the Gear icon on their page and selecting “Add/Remove From Lists.” Click on the lists in the dropdown menu that you want to add or remove them from and hit “Done” when finished.

What Twitter Lists Should I Create?

These are the types of Twitter lists that I use for myself or my small business social media clients:

  • Current Customers
  • Past Customers
  • Prospective Customers
  • Competitors
  • Local Community
  • Influencers
  • Partners
  • Affiliates
  • People Who Retweet Me
  • Event Attendees
  • Resources
  • Supporters
  • Friends and Family
  • Employees
  • Twitter Chat Participants

 

Are you using Twitter lists? What’s your strategy for them? I’d love to hear how you’re using Twitter lists in the comments.

About Steph Nissen

Steph Nissen is the CEO and lead digital marketing strategist at Nissen Media based out of Union, Missouri. She's a self-proclaimed social media junkie (in the best way!) and is passionate about helping startups and small businesses thrive in the social space. She's a proud Mompreneur to two amazing kiddos and a highly competitive board gamer!

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