How To Use Twitter Lists

twitter lists, geekalicious,
One of the current social media conversations centers around Twitter Lists.  You may have heard them mentioned from time to time, you may use them for a variety of reasons, you may have no idea what they are.  I'd like to show you how I use Twitter lists to enhance my time on the Twitter platform and I would love to hear your hints and tips too.

What Are Twitter Lists?

Twitter lists help you organise other users of Twitter into categories and enables you to see their updates in one feed.  Twitter lists can be made public (so that anyone can see the members of that list) or private (so that only the creator can see the members of that list).  Other Twitter users can follow public lists.  

How To Curate A Twitter List

twitter lists, geekaliciousIf you navigate to your own Twitter profile page at Twitter Home > View my profile page or by vising[twitter name]/lists you will see Twitter Lists that you have created or are following (more of that in a minute) and Twitter Lists that you are a member of.

To create a list it is as easy as hitting the "Create list" button and filling in the necessary details.  You can give your list a name and a description and set it to Public or Private.  Twitter will then take you to a page that gives some options of how to add people to your list such as searching for a username/real name or to add members from the people you follow.

twitter lists, geekalicious, When you click on the title of a list you will be taken to the twitter feed for that list as a default.  In the left hand menu you will be able to switch between Tweets (live feed), List Members (who has been assigned to that list) and Subscribers (who is following that list).  You will also see a Subscribe button which enables you to 'follow' the list of people on twitter.

NB: You follow the list and not the individual twitter accounts on the list.

Public or Private?

Having your lists private or public is entirely up to you. I have created one private list which houses approximately 150 people with whom I converse on a regular basis and is this the first list I check when I switch on.

How To Use Twitter Lists

I curate lists to help me keep up to date with a number of 'groups' of people so that I don't have to follow an enormous amount of people.  This enables me to engage with the people I do follow effectively.  My list content and my follower count change on a regular basis so that Twitter remains an active and interactive exercise.

When you view someone's Twitter profile you can add them to a list very quickly by clicking on button that looks like a silhouette of a head and shoulders and ticking the box next to the list you want them in.  Their tweets will automatically be added to that feed.  Also, people can belong to more than one list.

Twitter Lists that have been curated by commercial accounts are very useful.  Marketing or P.R. departments spend a great deal of social media activity interacting with their public so it makes sense for them to use lists for specific campaigns.

You can add a named list as a column to your Twitter app (eg. Tweetdeck) which will generate a live feed of the members included in that list.

Do you use Twitter lists?  What is your top Twitter List Tip?  Let me know in the comments.