The Benefits Of Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are a very effective way of organizing the people that you follow, but it is an often underutilized feature. This article will explain what Twitter lists are, how to create them and why you should be using them.

What are Twitter lists?

A Twitter List is simply a collection, or group, of Twitter users. You do not have to follow someone to add them to a list. These lists can be used to create columns in both TweetDeck and Hootesuite, and make it very easy to see tweets from a specific subset of people.

Twitter allows you to create up to 1,000 lists, and each list can contain up to 5,000 users.

There are 2 types of Twitter lists – Public and Private. Public lists can be viewed by anyone. Private lists are for your eyes only.

How to create a Twitter List

To create a list, simply log into your Twitter account, click on your profile image, and choose “Lists” from the drop-down menu.

Creating A Twitter List

Here you will see a button labelled “Create new list”. Click on that button.

Creating A Twitter List

You will then be asked to give the list a name (required) and a description (optional). The list name is limited to 25 characters, and the description is limited to 100 characters. You will then have the option of marking it Public (so anyone can see your list) or Private (so only you can see the list). Once you are done, click the “Save list” button.

Creating A Twitter List

How to add users to a Twitter List

To add a user (a Twitter account) to a list, open the user’s profile, click on the Gear icon, and choose “Add or remove from lists …” from the drop-down menu.

Adding A User To A Twitter List

Then simply check the list that you want to add the user to.

Adding A User To A Twitter List

Now you know what Twitter lists are, how to create them, and how to add users to them.

Why use Twitter lists?

There are a couple of reasons for using Twitter lists:

1. Organize your followers

By organizing your followers into lists, you can essentially create categories of content. For instance, if you are interested in Social Media, you could add users that primarily Tweet about Social Media into one list. You can then add that list as a column in applications such as Tweetdeck or HooteSuite. This makes it very easy to see information about a particular topic without having to search for them in your main Twitter stream.

2. Following/Followers ratio

Once you are following more than 2000 people, Twitter puts some restrictions on your account. You will not be able to follow any additional users until you have a certain amount of people following you. Although Twitter does not publish their rules about this, our research suggests that in order to get past the 2000 following limit, the number of people you follow must be at least 80{f6f7d31e87099d0d6b7ac3a4bf513410b4bc7fc64f9a286f558d07e02807de3e} of the people that you follow. So, if you are following 2000 people, you will need at least 1600 users following you before you can follow any additional users.

There are 2 ways around this. The first is to wait until you have a sufficient number of users following you. The second is to use Twitter lists. I mentioned above that you do not have to follow someone in order to add them to a list. Using lists, you can still see these user’s Tweets. You will not see them in your main Twitter stream (only user’s that you follow show up here) and you will not be able to Direct Message them, but you can still see their Tweets in your list.

So there you have it. Are you using Twitter lists? What advantages or disadvantages do you see with using them?

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Mark Pridham

Mark Pridham is the owner of The Pridham Group, a digital agency based in Saint John, New Brunswick. A life long resident of Saint John, Mark is passionate about design, entrepreneurship, and supporting and promoting local businesses.

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