Ultimate Guide on How to Use Twitter
In the previous lesson I covered how to tweet and various techniques on how to tweet and how to make them stand out.
In this next lesson we'll discuss Twitter lists and how they can help us.
What Are Twitter Lists?
When you have a decent amount of accounts you are following, your timeline will start to get flooded by tweets from the various accounts and it can become overwhelming to the point where you don't know what you're reading. Twitter lists are a great way to stay organized and group Twitter accounts in an efficient and logical way to help you focus on certain topics.
For example, if you are following a bunch of accounts related to online marketing you can make an "Online Marketing" list or if you follow accounts related to sports you can make a list for that. Once you go to that list, it'll only show tweets from accounts you added to that list so it's a lot more specific. It's a better way to sift through tweets and categorize them so there's a less chance that you'll miss them.
The other cool thing is that you can make your list public. What this does is it lets other users who are interested in your list that you made like "Online Marketing" to follow people in the list or the list all together. By following a list you're not actually following every user on the list, you're just following the list. So those users' tweets won't show up in your main stream but you'll see them when you view the list stream.
How Do I Set Up a Twitter List?
First, click on your profile icon on the top right and you'll see a list of menu options. You'll see one that says "Lists". Click that option and you'll be taken a page that displays all the lists you are subscribed to which includes lists you've created. If you click on the "Member of" link it'll show all the lists that people have added you to.
To create a list, simply click on the "Create new list" button.
Give your list a good descriptive name and add a description so people will quickly know what the list is all about. You also have the option of making it public or private. Public meaning anyone can follow and view the list, and private meaning on you can see the list.
Once your list is created you'll be able to add people to your list. You can search by username, first or last name, business or brand. You can also add people from your Following page or anyone's profile page.
Accounts will display as results. To add them to your list, click on the gear icon to the left of the "Follow" or "Following" button then click "Add or remove from lists...". You can do the same method to add people to lists from their profile.
Next you'll see a all your lists and you'll be able to check off which list you want to add this account to. In our example above there's only one list so I checked off "Ways to Make Money". It's automatically saved once you check or uncheck so just click the "x" on the top right to close the box and continue adding other accounts.
You'll also notice that you can create a list from here as well. If you find that you want to create a list when you find an awesome account, you can just do it from here instead of going to your lists page under your profile and creating a list from there.
Accessing Your Lists
To access your lists you can either go the same way we started by clicking on your profile icon on the top right navigation bar and clicking "Lists" or you can go to your profile by clicking either your the snap shot of your profile on the left, clicking your name, or your Twitter handle. You'll notice that there's a "Lists" category beside "Followers". Click on that and you'll be taken to your lists.
Once you select a list to view, you'll see general information like the list name, who created it, the description as well as the ability to edit or delete the list if it belongs to you.
By default you'll be taken to the Tweets for the list which displays tweets only from those that are in your list. This gives you a great way to quickly see what's going on for the topic of your lists.
There are two other links on the left side under "Tweets" that let you see the "List members" so you can quickly manage your list by clicking the gear icon beside an account, and "List subscribers" so you can see who is subscribed to your list. If you have no one subscribed you'll just see a search box to add more accounts to your list.
Share Your List
You've made a great list for you to monitor and easily see what's hot. Other people will probably find it useful so you can share your list. In order to do this, just go to the particular list you want to share then highlight and copy the URL in the web browser to get your link (you can click the left mouse button and keep it held while you highlight the entire URL and then right-click the highlighted text and choose "Copy"). You can then paste it in your tweet to share it with others (right click your tweet message area and choose "Paste").
Some great ideas for lists are
- Industry Leaders - monitor industry leaders so you can learn from their expertise. You can also interact with them which will give you even more exposure in Twitter
- Events - If you are organizing an event you can add speakers or even attendees to the list. It helps everyone connect and would also be great for marketing.
- Customer Relations - social media is of course, social. Make a list of all customers who mentioned you so you can quickly see what they're up to or interact with them and see how they're doing
- Interests - Make a collection of accounts who have the same interest as you
- Industry News - Follow accounts that talk regularly about industry news. You'll be able to quickly catch up by taking a glance at the list feed.
- Competitors - Keep an eye on what your competitors are up to (you'll probably want to make this a private list)
- Friends and Family - Have a list dedicated to friends in family to keep in touch
Subscribe to Lists
Subscribing to a list is easy. First go to a profile and view their list by clicking on their lists. There may be only 1 list or several so choose and click on the one you want to subscribe to.
Once in the list view, simply click the "Subscribe" button and you're done! You can go to your lists page to see the newly added list under "Subscribed to".
So today you learned:
- What Twitter Lists Are and why you should use them
- How to set them up
- Accessing them
- Sharing them
- Subscribing to them
Hopefully you know how to make use of lists and how handy they are by grouping accounts together so you can quickly filter out only tweets related to your groupings. It's a great way to organize accounts and is definitely a lot easier than sifting through your main feed which contains tweets from all the accounts you are following.
Do you have your lists set up? Do you find it helpful? Let me know.
If you have any trouble with lists or have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
In the next lesson we'll learn about some cool Twitter keyboard shortcuts and how they can help us quickly and efficiently use Twitter.