Twitter lists

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What is a Twitter list?

A list is essentially a curated feed of a limited number of accounts. They are a great way to make a newsfeed more manageable.

Here’s a few examples of lists you could use:

Public vs Private Twitter lists

When creating a Twitter list, you will have the option to make it public or private.

If your list is a commercially sensitive one (i.e. one created to follow competitors) then it’s best to take the option to make it a private list. Only you can see this information.

A public Twitter list, however, can be viewed by anyone viewing your profile; and anyone can subscribe to a public Twitter list. If you can find a Twitter list already created, then that’s saved you a heap of work!

Anyone added to a public list will know that they have been included by way of a notification. If you’re looking to get in front of someone then name the list something flattering that will stroke their ego, eg ‘social media experts I admire’.

Don’t be too obvious adding people to a public list of ‘my top prospects’… this will attract attention but your prospect will also be able to see who else you are considering and they won’t feel quite so special in a long list, which no doubt includes their competitors.

How to set up a Twitter list

Creating a Twitter list is simple.

Adding profiles to a Twitter list

When you find a profile, you wish to add to a list, simply click on the three dots (circled below), to see a dropdown box appear, showing a list of all the Twitter lists you have created. Tick the box for the Twitter list you want to add a profile to. You can also create a new list by scrolling down to the bottom of the dropdown.

Managing Twitter lists

You can view your Twitter lists by visiting your own profile. Go to ‘Lists’ and you will see the latest Tweets from list members. You can also see your list subscribers (if it’s a public list).

Here you can also edit your list – change the name, description and switch from public/private. You can also delete your list if it’s no longer required.

Note, you do not need to be ‘following’ to include a profile on a list. This is why they can be invaluable for competitor monitoring and prospect list building. Using lists can also help maintain a credible following:follower ratio.

If you are using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck as a social media management tool, you can set up any of your Twitter lists as a column view.

You can view your own lists at any time by selecting ‘Lists’ from your home page. Here you will also see all lists you are subscribed to (not just your own lists), and lists you are a member of.


I’m only a fan of automating actions on social media when you have tried and tested something, know that it’s working… but could really do with a tool to make life easier!

Zapier is a tool that allows you to connect apps you use every day to automate tasks and save time. It’s similar to If This, Then That… but Zapier has the functionality to allow you to automate the building of a Twitter list whenever someone uses a specific hashtag… that’s my specific reason for using Zapier.

Here’s a screen recording to show you how easy it is to create a ‘Zap’.

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