The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Lists: What They Are, Why They’re Beneficial, and How to Use Them

There’s no denying that I love Twitter.

And one of the things I enjoy about the platform is the ability to create Twitter lists.

Unfortunately though, it seems this is one of the most underused features of Twitter, with many people forgetting all about it or simply not knowing how to use it. But the good news is, that ends today!

I’ve put together this ultimate guide to Twitter lists so you can learn what they are, why they’re beneficial, and how you can start using them today!

So, What’s a Twitter List?

If you aren’t familiar with Twitter lists, it’s essentially a curated group of Twitter accounts that you can save and follow. When you access a list, you’ll be able to view tweets from just the accounts that have been added. It helps you cut through the noise of a busy timeline by seeing only posts from a selected few accounts.

As seen above, creating a new list will prompt you to name your list, give it a description, and set its privacy. When creating lists, you can set them to either be public or private. A private list is for your eyes only. However, a public list can be viewed by other Twitter users and followed by them as well. You’ll want to keep this in mind when creating your lists, as some are better as private!

Why Twitter Lists Are Awesome

Twitter lists really come in handy when you follow a lot of people. With thousands upon thousands of people in your “Following” list, it’s impossible to keep up with everyone. And the updates from people you really love will go unseen. That’s why you want to create dedicate lists that allow you to stay updated with your favorite accounts and topics. Instead of sifting through tons of tweets in your timeline, you’ll have this perfectly curated list to view.

Plus, Twitter lists are great for staying educated with what is going on in your industry. You can easily create lists of relevant topics you want to learn about or experts you want to learn from. Your lists are perfectly curated to your needs, making Twitter a much easier platform to use and enjoy.

Some of my public Twitter lists that you can follow!

10 Ways to Use Twitter Lists for Your Online Presence

Now that you know all the basics of using Twitter lists, you might be wondering how you can make them work for you. And as someone who has 89 (!) Twitter lists of her own, I know a thing or two about using them efficiently. Here are a few ideas you can use:

1. Keep in Touch With All Your Best Twitter Friends

Here’s the thing… Twitter is a busy place, especially if you’re following a lot of people on the platform. Because of this, it can cause you to miss tweets from your favorite people since they’ll quickly get buried in your timeline. Instead of having to visit their profiles individually, you can use Twitter lists to stay updated with what they’re sharing.

Compile all of your favorite Twitter friends into one list for easy access. It’ll allow you to cut through the noise and see just the posts that matter the most to you. You’ll never miss a thing this way, which is a huge plus! And it’ll be easier for you to continue fostering relationships with these people.

TechCrunch has a public list that includes all of the active writers on their staff.

2. Group Team Members to Create a Staff Directory

Is there a company that you love and engage with often? You can easily keep up with their entire team by creating a list of their employees that are active on Twitter. Many brands these days have their team build a presence on Twitter and other social media platforms. All you have to do is find them! A quick search on Twitter can usually reveal fellow team members easily. This way, everyone is just a click away if you need to reach someone at the company.

On the flip side, if you have a team of your own, you can create a list that houses all of your employees. At a glance, you’ll be able to see all of their most recent updates so you can stay in touch. You can choose to make this list public, so others can find your entire team as well. Think of it like a staff directory on Twitter! However, if your teammates post some questionable things, you might want to keep that list private!

3. Create a List of Potential Clients for Future Opportunities

When you’re running an online business, you’re bound to have people reach out and say they love what you do. If you find that people are often expressing interest in your content or your offerings, you can save them all to one list of potential clients or customers. This way, you can work on establishing a relationship with these people and build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor over time.

Once these followers have developed a genuine relationship with you, they’ll be more inclined to make a purchase in the future. But if you’re feeling bold and you know you have a product or service a specific person would be interested in, you can pitch it! This is a great way to use Twitter lists because it can boost sales when business is slow.

4. Save Your Most Extraordinary Customers to One List

Do you have some amazing clients you’d like to keep up with? Maybe you have a virtual classroom of happy course students? Either way, you can create a list that features your current clients and customers. You’ll see what they’re posting about and maybe even new topics that you can help them with. Plus, you can take the time to reward your most valued customers.

5. Stay Updated With Your Competitors

If you aren’t already keeping up-to-date with what the competitors in your field are doing, you’re missing out! You can really learn a lot from what they’re working on, what’s performing well on their social media platforms, and what their audience has to say. Gathering this information isn’t so you can copy them. That’s a no-no! However, it is useful for shaping your own content and offerings.

You can create a list that features their Twitter accounts. You’ll be able to see their posts to discover what they’re talking about how they’re interacting with followers. You want to see what others are saying about your competitors because you can address their problems and concerns through your own business. You never know when you might convert someone over to your side!

My Social Media Smarties list is great for all the latest social media news and tips.

6. Save Accounts for Your Favorite Topics

We all have favorite topics that we love to learn more about, whether they’re business-related or not. Take a moment to think about what you love to Google. Perhaps you want to learn more about social media and you’re always searching for the latest news? You could start a list that features some of the top social media experts. With just a few clicks, all of the latest social media tricks are right at your fingertips.

You can do the same no matter what your interests are! Whether it’s social media, knitting, or your favorite actress… You’re able to stay updated on all the latest tweets regarding that topic thanks to one Twitter list.

7. Follow Local Businesses for Updates, Events, & More

If there are local businesses in your area that you like to stay updated with, Twitter lists can help you out. Find their accounts and add them to one list where you can see their updates, any upcoming events, etc. You’ll never miss important details this way! It’s perfect if you enjoy doing some in-person networking and you want to make sure you hit up all the latest events.

8. Add Conference or Meet-Up Attendees (and Speakers) to Stay in Touch

Building off that last tip, you can then add anyone you meet at those events to a list. Then, you can use that Twitter list to keep in touch long after the event is over. After all, that’s crucial if you want to work on fostering relationships with new people.

I’m also a big fan of creating a list of speakers at a conference. This will serve as two-fold. 1) You’ve done the heavy lifting for fellow attendees. They can view and subscribe to your list. You saved them the time! It’s an easy way to get known at the conference. As an added bonus, the speakers will get a notification that you added them to your list. It’s a great way to get on their radar before the conference. 2) You’ll be able to easily look up speakers Twitter handles so you can tag them when you tweet them.

I share more tips like this in my article, How to Tweet Your Way Through a Conference.

9. Create a List for Your Twitter Chat Participants (and Guests Too!)

If you manage a Twitter chat, it would be smart to add the participants to a list. It will allow you to stay updated and informed on what your community is talking about. Pay attention to the tweets they’re posting, the questions they’re asking, etc. What has their interest? This can be a great resource for future Twitter chat topics, but it’s also a fantastic way to continue the relationship-building after the chat has ended.

I have a list for #TwitterSmarter participants, as well as guests who have been on the chat. Currently, it has 126 members and there are 54 people who follow this list since it’s public.

10. Increase Your Twitter Visibility With Optimize Lists

Did you know that public Twitter lists will show in search results? You can take advantage of this by creating public lists that would appeal to your target audience. Let’s say you offer SEO services. You can create a list of other SEO resources and experts, as your audience would likely be interested in checking out those accounts too.

The key here is to make sure your list is adding value to your target audience’s life. You want something they’re going to be interested in, otherwise they won’t discover it in search, they won’t follow your list, and they won’t bother following you either. Use searchable keywords in the title and description of your list for best results.

Call to Action:

  • Head over to your Twitter account and see if you have any lists already created. If you do, clean up those lists or delete them so you can start fresh.
  • Next, think about what you’d like to use Twitter lists for. From there, you can start creating lists that suit your needs.
  • Make it a priority to check your lists on a regular basis so you stay updated with what others are sharing on Twitter.