Have you heard of Twitter lists?

If the answer is no, keep reading to learn more about my favorite Twitter tip for power users. Even if you answered yes, you might still get a few good ideas!

What are Twitter Lists?

Twitter lists are a way to segment people on Twitter, making it easier to discover great content and engage with your community. For example, if I’m looking for social media news to help me brainstorm blog topic ideas, I can visit my SoMe blogs and bloggers list for inspiration. Or, if I want to start networking for the upcoming Social Media Marketing World, I can create a list of speakers and the people who have tweeted that they’re going and start engaging with them.

How to Create Twitter Lists

  1. Go to your profile page and click Lists.
  2. Click Create List.
  3. Enter the name of your list and, if you’d like, a description.
  4. Decide whether you want your list to be public or private. Everyone can see, and subscribe to, a public list – and the people you add to it will be notified. A private list is visible to you alone.

You may create up to 1000 lists.

How to Add People to your Twitter Lists

  1. Click the User Actions button on a user’s profile.
  2. Click Add or Remove from Lists.
  3. Select the list(s) you would like to add the user to. You can also create a new list from this screen.

That’s it! Each list can contain up to 5000 Twitter users.

Examples of How to Use Twitter Lists in your Marketing

I use Twitter lists on my personal account, as well as on the Meltwater brand account, to curate great content and engage with the Twitter community. Here are a few of my favorite lists:

  • Tweeps who Engage: Whether I’m on my personal or brand account, the people who engage with me are like gold. These are the people that retweet my content, reply to my questions, list me on #FollowFriday, and more – and I want to reciprocate. Creating a list for everyone who engages with me is an easy way to make sure that I share the love with those who love me. I keep this list private because it’s really just for my own use.
  • Marketing: This is a very broad list that I use to keep a pulse on what marketing topics people are discussing on Twitter – and it’s one of my biggest lists. It’s meant to be a catch-all, to separate marketing people from PR people, news sources, and parody accounts I follow. I also have smaller sub-lists, like social media, advertising and content, which I add these same users to if they tend to focus on a particular topic.
  • Competitors: I’ve added competitors to a private Twitter list, so that I can see a stream of their Twitter updates without following them.
  • Industry Journalists: I like to keep track of the journalists that cover my space for a couple of reasons. 1) It’s a great way to stay on top of industry news. 2) It’s important to network with them well ahead of when you need it, so that they come to think of you as a resource. I frequently share content from my favorite industry journalists with my community, which helps me build a relationship with them. Later, when my PR team has a relevant story to share with that journalist, they already know who we are. Read more about using Twitter lists for Better PR.
  • Social Media Blogs and Bloggers: As I discussed above, I often use this list to brainstorm my blog topics – but I also use it to curate great content for my and Meltwater’s social media channels. I have another list for PR Blogs and Bloggers I like. These lists are also great for networking with the other bloggers in my industry, as many of us tend to share each other’s content on social media, as well as link to it within our own blog posts.

In addition to these, I have many other lists that I use to segment Twitter users for different purposes – and I come up with new ideas for lists all the time, especially for conferences I’m attending or specific campaigns I’m running. I don’t view each list with the same frequency – but I do have some that I check out daily, while others are just there waiting when I need them.

What will you use Twitter lists for?