Here’s my take on how to set up Twitter lists, At the bottom of this post are two links to guest posts / interviews of me on using Twitter lists to be more effective on Twitter. This feature was rolled out in October 2009, but many twitter users still haven’t really figured out how to create or use them. It allows you to organize or group how you see the Twitter messages (or tweets) from various individuals using Twitter‘s main web interface.
How Twitter Lists work
To use your lists, once set up – just select the list you want to see from the lists tab. Instead of showing you the most recent tweets from all of your followers, it shows you only the recent tweets from those people who are on that list. Hit Home to go back to your main view of the recent tweets from all of those you follow. Lists allow you to focus in on those whose tweets you most don’t want to miss, and to group people who provide certain types of info you think is useful, for easy reference. (see post links at the end for more on using lists).
A similar feature has been available on some of the third-party tools such as Tweetdeck and Seesmic for a while, but Twitter now has it’s own version. To date, it seems like you can have a maximum of 20 lists (I kinda “geeked out” and created the max already). This feature is more useful the more people you follow on Twitter. BTW – you do not have to follow someone to put them on a list.
How to create a Twitter list (as of current writing – features do change over time):
- Decide on the name of your list
- This name can be changed later.
- There is a limit on list name length – balancing short with telling us what it’s about is best. You can tweet and share your public lists with others.
- I’ve seen many people with “must follows, ” friends,” “social media,” PR, “small business” etc
- Think about how you will use your lists, see below for ideas.
- I have a friends lists so I don’t miss the tweets of those: I’ve interacted with on Twitter, those I’ve met in person, and those who I’ve talked with on the phone etc, (I’ve made this a private list – so someone isn’t miffed that they aren’t on it). It also have a clients list and a prospect list – also private. Since I’ve followed so many people back, and don’t always catch their tweets, and this list makes it much easier. I also have a PR peeps list, and social media follows list, moms on Twitter, small business etc.
- Decide if each twitter list will be public or private
- You can make your list private, so that only you know who is on your list (but be aware – nothing is really private on the internet, things can get hacked, or a problem with the site can make it unprivate; I’m just saying.)
- You can make each list public. This means that it will show on your profile page the name of the various lists you have, and who is on each list – other people can see who is on this list, and even “follow the list” which adds your list to their page of lists.
- Find people to add to your list – see below
- If you click on a person’s Twitter username (in your Twitter stream/timeline or from the who you follow/your followers pages) – and when you see their profile – you click the down arrow in the little gray box (it kinda looks like a bulleted list). Then you create a list – as above. That person you selected is now on that list. Once you have a few lists created, you then check or uncheck the box next to a person’s name to add or remove them from a list.
For more ideas on how to use Twitter lists to be more effective on Twitter – please see my two guest posts on the topic:
- Cathy Larkin Shares How to Effectively Use Twitter Lists http://twitterandyourwebsite.com/cathy-larkin-shares/
- More Advice From Cathy Larkin on Using Twitter Lists http://twitterandyourwebsite.com/twitter-lists-second-post/
both by Phyllis Zimbler Miller.