If your tweet stream feels like it’s moving too fast, you’re missing tweets from those you want to keep up with, or you feel overwhelmed and like you aren’t using Twitter effectively, it’s not you! You need Twitter lists!
What are Twitter lists?
A Twitter list is a list of Twitter users organized into a group. You can organize groups any way you’d like.
Each list gets it’s own page on Twitter that shows only the tweets of the people in that list.
For example, here’s a link to my Twitter list of tweeters I consider mentors/coaches/really smart tweeters. I add whomever I’m learning from.
Here’s what the list page looks like (click to view a larger version of the image):
How do you create a Twitter list?
To organize those you follow into easy lists so you can view each group once at a time, make use of the Twitter feature called “Lists” by following these steps:
- Login to your Twitter account
- Go to your profile page
- On the right side, look for “Lists” and click the “New List” link
- Enter a list name, description and choose public (everyone can see/follow your list) or private (only you can see it)
- Click “Create List”
- Now your list will appear on the right side of your page
- Search for the people you’d like to add to your new list
- On the profile page of the person you’d like to add, on the same line as “Following” you’ll see a “Lists” button to click
- A drop down will appear where you can check a box to add the person to your list
- Repeat for anyone you’d like to add to the list
Once you’ve created your list, you can view a tweet stream that includes only the tweets of people in that specific list.
What types of lists should you create?
Here are the 5 basic list types I use to sort my Twitter connections.
Fun: Friends & Family
Connect with your friends and family for fun. Do keep in mind that if you’re using Twitter for business, each tweet will reflect on you and your business.
Information: Broadcast Accounts
Some Twitter accounts don’t interact much with their followers and are setup primarily to broadcast information such as new blog posts, updates to a website, news articles, inspirational quotes, or other tidbits. I follow a dozen or so local news sources to keep up with their breaking news tweets.
Business Building Relationships: Target Market
Small business can use Twitter as a great way to get in touch with their target market and find potential clients and customers. Use Twellow (the Twitter Yellow Pages) to find people by categories of interest. Choose some to follow and many will follow you back. When you watch this list, look for questions you can answer or resources you can share based on what they’re asking and looking for.
Business Connection Opportunities: Colleagues
Twitter’s a great place to connect with your colleagues. You can build your relationships with them by re-tweeting their tweets and watching for opportunities to be of help to them.
Learning and Growth: Mentors
If you have newsletters or business blogs you regularly learn from, chances are good the authors are on Twitter. Add them to a Mentor group where you can go for great business building advice and inspiration when you want it.
How do you follow a Twitter list?
You’re automatically following any lists you create for yourself. But another great feature of Twitter lists is that you are able to follow any list made public by another tweeter. For example, I’ve created these lists:
- Blogging Brilliance (people I’m following to learn how to write/blog better)
- IHMB (people I met at Nancy Marmolejo’s I Heart My Biz conference)
You can follow either list by clicking the “Follow this List” button near the top of the page.
Some of the lists I’m following that are curated (created and managed) by other tweeters include:
Any public list can be followed by anyone on Twitter. Any list you create that’s public can be followed by any other tweeter.
Quick Twitter List Tutorial
Here’s how to work with Twitter lists:
Or click here to view this video on Screencast.com: http://www.screencast.com/t/GPNNATB6
Over to You!
Are you using Twitter lists to sort and follow your Twitter friends? How do you organize yours? Any tips you’ve got to share? Tell us in the comments!
P.S. If you liked this post, you’ll love what I’m putting together right now — watch my blog for details!
Squawking Bird Credit: fizzgig/StockFresh