How to Get Started with Twitter Lists

Can you benefit from the new Twitter Lists feature?

If you’ve been using Twitter to search for jobs and make professional contacts, then Twitter’s new list feature can help you to better organize the tweets of those you follow. It can also help you find interesting groups of people to keep track of.

Over the past few weeks Twitter has been testing the new Lists feature with a portion of its users and, although it is still in Beta, last week they made Lists available to everyone.

In this article we’ll take a look at how Twitter Lists can help your freelance business and how you can get started using them right now.

What Is Twitter Lists?

Twitter Lists is a new Twitter feature allows you to group the tweets of certain users into categories. There is also an option to view and subscribe to the Twitter Lists of other users.

Right now, the Create a new list option appears at the top of the Twitter screen. (I’m not sure if this is a permanent location, or just a temporary measure to highlight the feature while it is being introduced.)


There is also a New List link at the bottom of the displayed lists.

A Twitter user chooses the categories of the lists they create and decides which Twitter users they want to include on each list.

This post will show you how to create usable lists that other freelancers will want to follow.

Create a Twitter List

The following steps will guide you through the process of creating a Twitter list:

To create a new Twitter List, click the Create a New List option. The Create a new list dialog box opens.


Type the name of your new list. Choose whether you want the list to be public (available to anyone) or private (the list is only available to you).

You now have the option to add people to your list through a search. You can search for users to include.

Type your search term. The profiles of all the Twitter users who match the term that you typed display.

Twitter-List Member

To add a Twitter user to your new list click the manage lists button to the right of their profile.

You now have the chance to add the selected profile to any of the lists that you have already created by placing a check next to the list name.

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of creating a Twitter List, you should consider how to make the lists feature useful for you. There are at least two areas to consider to get the maximum benefit from lists:

  • List names of your lists
  • Lists you choose follow

The next few sections examine each of these areas.

Your List Names Are Important

Right now, the Twitter Lists feature is fairly new. Most Twitter users are just figuring out how to make this feature work for them.

If you are creating a list with the hope that other Twitter users will subscribe to it, remember to choose a list name that makes sense to everyone.

A list name like “StuffILike” doesn’t really describe what’s in the list. Instead of using that type of name for your Twitter List, I suggest choosing names that mean something to most people.

As an example, I named my lists:

  • testing
  • blogging
  • pr-marketing
  • freelancing
  • social-media
  • writers

(You may find other names that suit your personal needs or the needs of your followers better.)

To Subscribe or Not to Subscribe

If a list is not marked as private, then anyone can subscribe to the list. As a freelancer, you should consider subscribing to the lists of tweeters who have shared valuable information with you.

Select the lists that you follow carefully. They will be visible on your home page to anyone who looks at your profile.

There’s also the question of whether or not to subscribe to the lists of those who have included you in their list.

This decision is a personal choice, but I would advise you to subscribe to a list only if you believe the tweets from the list will be beneficial to you. The lists that you follow will also be visible on your home page.

Do You Use Twitter Lists?

Are you already using Twitter Lists? What other uses have you found for this new tool? What great lists have you found to follow?

Share your suggestions in the comments.