How to Use Twitter Lists Effectively

February 16, 2018

It will be 5 years this July that I jumped on the Twitter train. As a then-journalism college student, I made sure to follow not only my favorite internet influencers and musicians, but also news outlets and renowned journalists. Trust me when I say that my feed was always cluttered (and still is) with a smorgasbord of content. I probably spent more time on Twitter than any other social platform because of how much content I had to skim through. If only I knew how useful Twitter lists would have been before I started following almost 250 accounts, I would have utilized it a lot sooner.

Twitter lists have been around since late 2009 and it has a pretty straightforward purpose: to declutter your feed through ad hoc groups that the user manually creates. With Twitter lists, you don’t have to be following accounts to add them into your lists. And other users can also add you to be part of their lists without following you. Additionally, you can choose to make your lists “public” for others to view and follow or “private” for your eyes only.

This feature is being used by more than just personal accounts. Marketers and organizations are utilizing these lists as well. So if you’re an active Twitter user looking for ways to use Twitter lists effectively, here are some ways you can incorporate them:

For Personal Use

  • Community. If your neighborhood or city is active on social media, then they would be the first point of contact regarding announcements and events in your area.
  • Interests. Whether it’s your favorite sports team, company, brand, musician or food, you can’t go wrong creating a dedicated list just for them.
  • Family/Friends. Don’t want to miss out on what your friends and family members are tweeting about? Create a separate list to mute the rest.

For Professional Use

  • Thought leaders. Think about those that inspire and motivate you to reach your goals and strive for greatness. Group those individuals together to create an enlightening and energizing list.
  • Industry news. You may want to make several lists within this category. Gather news not only relating to your field of interest, but also your department or your company.
  • Niche. Your work position may be very specific or a bit broad, so following people who fit this same mold as you can help give you ideas for future content.

For Business Use

  • Your competitors. I’d recommend setting this list to “private”. Keep tabs on what your competition is saying about their brand and to their followers. It will keep your business in the know and help you craft your ongoing social strategy.
  • Your customers. Bring your brand advocates and other loyal customers and followers into one list and keep your ears open for their ongoing sentiment of your brand. It might be worth making this one “private” as well.
  • Your internal team. From a consumer standpoint, it’s nice to see who the people are behind-the-scenes of the business. For you, it helps build the company culture and gives everyone a chance to follow and interact with each other.

What kinds of Twitter lists do you have set up? Let us know in the comments below!