Incase you didn’t see my previous post, I love Twitter! #TwitterRocks. I follow thousands of accounts on Twitter and for some, that idea appears crazy! I mean, how on earth do you keep up with your Twitter feed? In short, you don’t and you don’t have to either. This is where Twitter Lists can really help.
What are Twitter lists?
Think of a Twitter list as a list of carefully curated accounts and content. All Twitter users can create a list; public lists are visible to everyone and private lists are only visible to the list owner/creator.
Creating a Twitter list
When you create a public Twitter list (the default setting), give your list a meaningful name and description. The example below is of a public list I created a few years ago for members of my MSc degree course community.
Each time you add an account to a public list, the account owner receives a notification; whether members choose to subscribe to the list or not, doesn’t matter. All public lists that we are added to (including the ones we have not subscribed to), are accessible from our profiles. Some other members of the TELIC Community also have their own lists, similar to this and that’s ok; we can only own our own list and like most things on social media, we cannot stop someone from setting up a list like our own.
Using Twitter lists can make your Twitter life much easier, enjoyable and valuable.
When to use Twitter lists
There are lots of reasons why you might want to use Twitter lists. Here are a few ways I love to use them:
- Filter your Home Feed: I can hop on Twitter, access a list and catch up with the latest tweets from a specific community, or on a particular topic. I create lists for all kinds of things e.g. destination-specific Twitter accounts, local services and accounts sharing news.
- Increase your visibility: One of the key advantages of Twitter lists is that you do not need to “follow” every account that you place in a list. So if you are looking to increase your visibility on Twitter and grow your following, find accounts that might be interested in your tweets (and reason for being on Twitter) and add them to a relevant list. You have to do this with purpose, otherwise it will look like you are spamming people.
- Stay connected with people you have met or interacted with: For example, I’m always meeting lots of new people at conferences and events and it can be hard to keep track of who you met where, unless you love creating spreadsheets and keeping a record. Me and spreadsheets, not the best of friends. 😉 Twitter lists are so much quicker to create and you can add people as you meet them, when they tweet with the event hashtag, or later when you rummage through the bag full of business cards you brought home. Find out the event hashtag and add people who are tweeting. It is possible to automate this with third-party tools but I currently prefer to do this manually so I don’t end up adding accounts that are spamming the hashtag with irrelevant or inappropriate nonsense. If you participate in a very large and active Twitter chat, it can be useful to remember who you interacted with during a chat. I have a list for people I’ve directly chatted with during #Bufferchat.
- Co-workers: Whether you are collaborating on a project together or just want to keep track of what the other people in your team are tweeting about, stick them in a list!
- Case studies: If you need to do some research whether that is into your competition or you are just looking for great examples of Twitter accounts that you can learn from, add them to a list. Remember, not all Twitter lists need to be public; only create public lists when they serve a purpose for other people.
- To support informal learning: Find Twitter accounts of the people who inspire you and that you can learn from; you might not ever share their tweets (if their content isn’t aligned with your use of Twitter), but don’t let that stop you from getting some daily inspiration when you take a break; just dive into the list and see what’s new and what you can learn from and implement. If you got some great tips, like the tweets and/or hit “reply” and let them know.
- Content curation: social media is about community, not the individual so it can be useful to identify accounts on Twitter that you can share from. Have those accounts handy in a list and you have a source of content you can re-tweet and share with your following, whenever you visit Twitter.
- People and businesses you personally recommend: If you’re feeling the love for people or businesses you’ve worked with and want other people to know how awesome they are, use a list to share the love!
- Add value for your community: Twitter lists can be used to curate content based on topics that will appeal to your community on Twitter; for example, I was able to use my “Create awesome graphics” list to answer the following question:
— Kirsten Thompson (@_KirstenT) April 20, 2016
Don’t forget yourself! 😉
Don’t forget to add yourself to some Twitter lists, for example, if other people are subscribing to your list of attendees from a conference, they might also be using it to identify accounts to follow; if you’re not on the list, you might get missed!
How are you using Twitter lists?
I’d love to know, tell me in the comments, below.