We all follow people on Twitter who give the impression they’re online all day and night.
While tweeting every few minutes makes sense for some people, it can be annoying if you’re on the receiving end and tired of the onslaught.
Sure, you could unfollow or mute them, but that means missing out on the occasional gem. A better solution for me, and this might work for you too, is using a Twitter feature called Lists.
What is a Twitter List?
It’s essentially a separate feed to which you assign Twitter accounts. If you’re following thousands of people your main Twitter feed moves at a fast pace and you can easily miss tweets from people you’d like to interact with. Having the ability to filter those accounts into separate lists means you can stay in touch with the people and businesses who matter to you most.
Using Twitter Lists to create a better user experience
You create a list based on whatever criteria you choose. Typically it’s the person’s field of expertise or your relationship with them, then, when you log into Twitter, you can check the list to see what the people in it are tweeting about.
I’ve used lists for a long time.
Initially, I created way too many, and they were all in very specific niches: friends, WordPress, social media, SEO, Manchester.
After a while, I tired of switching between the lists and started merging them.
The ‘SEO’ list joined ‘internet marketing’, the ‘writers’ and ‘bloggers’ list became one, and the ‘Manchester’ list merged, and here’s my top-tip for using Twitter Lists, into my alternative main feed.
How does it work? It’s simple really.
Create a list featuring all the people you really want to hear from, and when you log into Twitter, choose that list as your main feed. Each time you spot somebody worth following from the real main feed, add them to the list.
If someone on the list gets a bit shouty, remove them.
I’ve found it makes for a much better user experience.
You don’t have to follow somebody to add them a list. I’ve ‘listed’ many people who I know would never follow me back.
A few more things worth mentioning about lists:
- You can set them to private or public.
- You can subscribe to somebody else’s list, as long as the list is public.
- You can add the same person to multiple lists.
- When you add somebody to a public list, they get a notification.
- You must be logged in to see somebody else’s list.
What do you think? Would creating and using lists make Twitter more enjoyable for you? If so, read on to find out how to create, manage and view Twitter Lists.
How to create a Twitter list
(The following instructions are for desktop only. If you’re using a smartphone, you should be able to figure it out. If not, check out the instructions on the Twitter.)
- Click on your profile icon to show the drop down menu.
- Click on Lists.
- Click on Create new list.
- Give the list a name.
- Write a description (optional).
- Choose between making the list Public (anyone can see and follow the list – the default setting) or Private (only you have access to the list).
- Click on Save list.
How to add or remove people from your Twitter list
Once you’ve created your first list, it’s time to start adding people.
- Click on the overflow icon (the three vertical traffic light dots) on the account’s profile page.
- From the drop down menu that appears, click on Add or remove from lists.
- Click the checkbox next to the list name to add the account to that list (you can add them to more than one), and untick the checkbox to remove the account from a list.
How to view tweets from a Twitter list
- Go to your profile page.
- Click or tap the Lists tab.
- Click or tap the list you’d like to view.
How to subscribe to a public list on Twitter
- Visit the profile page of any user and look for Lists in the account’s navigation menu (it only shows if they have created at least one list).
- Click on Lists to show a list of public Lists.
- Click on the name of the List you’re interested in.
- Click on Subscribe.
How to use Twitter Lists
So now you know how to set up Twitter Lists, how can you use them in your business? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- High profile people within your industry.
- People who you would like to connect with in the future.
- Hashtags (conferences, events, Twitter chats etc).
- News outlets.
- Top blogs in your niche.
- Useful resources for your clients.
- Your clients (you’re best keeping this one private).
- People in your town, city or county.
- People you regularly engage with on Twitter.
- Real-life friends.
- Blogs and websites whose content you share most often.
- If you’re using affiliate links in your business, create a list of your affiliate partners.
- Online mentions of yourself or your company.
As I hope you can see, if you’re finding Twitter more than a little overwhelming, creating and using Twitter Lists could help you get more out of the platform. The lists help you bypass the constant barrage of promotional tweets you’re probably seeing every time you log in. Filtering the people you want to hear from into separate feeds helps you take more control of your account.
If you’d like to check out our public lists, you can do so here. We also run a few private ones too.