Get Organized: A Tactical Guide to Twitter Lists

shutterstock_109380005The more people you follow on Twitter, the more overwhelming (and ultimately distracting) it can be. It doesn't have to be that way! I'm all for helping you make social media help – not distract – you from your blog.  There are lots of ways to use it for blog inspiration, networking and resources. One of my favorite ways to keep myself focused is through Twitter lists. For long-time Twitter users and beginners alike, Twitter lists are an excellent way to stay organized. I get a lot of questions here on IFB that are super-tactical in regards to Twitter, so I thought I'd dive deeply into this one Twitter feature I think is often overlooked and underused.

What are Twitter lists?

A Twitter list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of tweets from only the users on that list. (source)

Why lists?

Creating lists makes life on Twitter a million times easier. You might be following a few hundred people, but your lists allow you to read through your Twitter stream swiftly and smartly. Want to check in on your favorite bloggers? You can read through all of their latest tweets in your “Favorite Bloggers” list. Have a list of dream brands you'd like to work with on your blog? Put all of them in your “Dream Brands” list and tweet at them to get on their radar. Worked with a few awesome PR firms or local bloggers in your area? You can also easily follow their latest moves in a ‘PR' or ‘Local Bloggers' list.

Lists vs. columns

Lists are made in Twitter, while columns can be added in your favorite third-party Twitter client (like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.)

How to create & build a list

It's simple; in on your computer, head over to your profile page and click “Lists.” You can also find ‘Lists' under the Settings gear icon. From there, head to ‘Create List.' Set a list name, description and mark it public or private and you're ready to go!

The ‘painful but worth it' part is adding users to a list. I'd start by heading to the profiles of people or brands you want to add to this list. Next to the Follow button is a person icon – click on that icon and “Add to List” there. There's no quick way to do this unfortunately, but over time you can save yourself a lot of time by organizing your favorite Twitter users to follow in neat lists.

Subscribe to others' lists

Don't want to create your own lists? If there's a blogger, brand or other inspiration you're following on Twitter who's pretty social media-savvy, most likely they've got their own lists they've created. You can easily subscribe to other users' lists as long as they're public! I found Lauren Indvik of Mashable‘s “New York Fashion Week” list fun to follow during the NYFW frenzy, as it's filled with fashion editors and bloggers on the scene. IFB has  its favorite fashion glossies and news sources in its “Fashion Media” Twitter list.


Hope this was helpful!

Do you have an interesting Twitter list you've created? Share it in our comments!

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6 Responses

  1. Melissa

    I just started following bloggers on twitter today and I was wondering how to organize my twitter *I actually just tweeted about it! Lol*. I seems like Jess was reading my mind 🙂 Since I’m fairly new to blogging, I guess my first list will be simply named “My Blogging World”

  2. Bike Pretty

    A caveat: I get a notification when someone adds me to a list. Be very careful what you name your lists in Twitter!
    Maybe pick something flattering like “Must-Read Bloggers” or “Greatest Products Ever”.

  3. Danielle Phillips

    I recently started organizing my contacts into lists and it has helped me be a lot more targeted at networking when I hop on Twitter. I make my lists private and categorize them into “Fashion Bloggers”, “Travel Bloggers” etc. so I can be more streamlined, which is especially useful when I only have a few minutes to browse posts that I want to read and share. I’ve never noticed columns in Hootsuite though, so thanks for bringing that to my attention!

  4. Lauren

    So glad you like the NYFW Twitter list! I’m continually updating it, so do let me know if there were sources you didn’t like, or that you think should be included.


  5. Mio

    I love this!! Doing this as we speak.. It is like the answers to all my prayers with Twitter! Thanks a bunch!