fireman's hose split into three outletsTwitter can be difficult to consume if you follow more than a handful of people. Instead of trying to sip from Twitter’s mighty firehose, you can enjoy the different flavours from several different taps, using Twitter lists.

Curate content with Twitter lists

It’s impossible to read every tweet from everyone that you follow on Twitter. We can use Twitter lists to filter content by topic. For example, I’ve created lists for Australia News, World News. free music, South Australian wineries, Adelaide Pubs, and many more.

Create a Twitter list for an event

If you know of an event coming up build a Twitter list before the event. The list can be made private for you own use or it can be made public and you can promote it and encourage others to use it during the event.

Be aware that when building a public list each person added will be notified, but accounts added to a private list will not be notified.

Use this to your advantage.

Create Twitter lists related to your business

Two private Twitter lists that every business should create and regularly monitor are:

  • one of all your clients
  • one of all your competitors

The first one is obvious, it’s important to support your clients online. But the need to monitor competitors is one that sometimes gets overlooked. By keeping a close eye on others in my field I am more able to compete with them, and in many cases, they can become collaborators or even clients.

Some public lists that you could create to benefit your business are a list of your supporters or customers, a list of thought leaders in your field, or a list of local venues or people. See the end of this post for some more examples of my local lists.

How to create a Twitter list

Twitter Lists are a practical way of filtering this torrent of information. In the example below I show you how to create a list called “Tech News”:

  1. Tap on the cog
  2. Tap on ‘View lists’
  3. Tap on the + sign to create a new list
  4. Enter a name & description of the list
  5. Tap ‘Save’

You can use this new list when ever you want to learn the latest in technology news. But first, you’ll need to add some quality sources to it to make it a useful list.

How to add someone to your new Twitter list

Now that we’ve created a Tech News Twitter list let’s add someone to it. I find the best way to do this is to slowly build it up, adding people to the list one by one as I discover people that I think would be good to have on my list. Once I’ve found someone worth adding, like technology journalist @Adam_Turner in this case, I do the following:

  1. Tap on the cog
  2. Tap on ‘Add/remove from lists’
  3. Tap on the list you want to add them to
  4. Tap ‘Done’

Now I can enjoy a stream of the latest technology news by visiting this list instead of my main Twitter stream. If you look at the Tech News stream now, you’ll see that I have added many more technology news sources, making it a valuable source of filtered, focused content:

You don’t have to do all the work!

The main reason a lot of people don’t use lists is because it takes time and effort to find and collect all the good sources. More general lists such as this one, Tech News, most likely already exist, having been created by someone else. It might be wiser to first search for existing lists and subscribe to them before creating your own lists on general topics.

The flipside of this is that by curating such useful lists yourself you can create something of value that others will also want to use. Being the owner of a popular list with many subscribers can raise your profile, so it pays to then promote your list regularly.

An important point to be mindful of is that you don’t have to be following people in order to add them to a list.

Vintuitive’s Twitter lists

Here are some more unique Twitter lists that I prepared earlier. Notice that they are quite small, local niche topics but are quite popular as a result, most of the subscribers probably being locals:
Aussie Live Streamers
South Australian Foodies
South Australian Wineries
Adelaide Pubs

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