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Twitter List has been around for some time and it’s already proven to be a nifty and an ingenious tool in Twitter. Though the perception about it has been positive and encouraging, there many people who are not even aware that such a feature exists in Twitter. Before we look at the specifics and best practices, let’s get down to the basics of Twitter lists.


Twitter List


What’s a Twitter List?


Simply put, Twitter list is a smart way of finding, tracking, and organizing new people in Twitter into groups. In other words, it’s a snapshot of the latest curated Twitter streams from a specific set of users. You can use Twitter lists to manage information by narrowing it to specific topics or users. Once you create a Twitter list, your timeline will display a stream of tweets from users subscribed to that list.


Why is Twitter List Important?


If you have used Twitter, you will realize how easy it is to get distracted by the fast stream of information that trickles in from followers. Some of the information that is displayed may not be useful or interesting to you. To overcome such inconvenience, you can use Twitter list to effectively curate streams of content from multiple Twitter groups. This way, you’ll get a general view of their conversations without having to track each person.


How to Create a Twitter List


There are two ways to create lists. You can subscribe to lists created by other users or create your own specific list. You can create a list that groups people according to their subjects of interests or location and then get a snapshot of all the things they are saying (aggregated) in their list’s page. However, you can only read lists, but not send or direct your tweet to specific members on your list. Below are simple steps of creating a Twitter list.


1.) log into your Twitter account


2.) Go to the visit the list option that’s located in the drop down menu to the right of your profile page.


3.) Next, click on “create list” option and then enter the name and a short description of the list.


4.) Set the privacy options (public or private) of your list and then save it.


5.) Start adding new members to your Twitter list by going through the people you are following and all your followers.


NOTE:  To add or remove people from a list, just go to the drop down menu on the user’s profile and select add or remove from your list


Best Practices in Using Twitter List


While there is so much you can do with your Twitter List, I recommend that you start by doing the following things first.


Create a Twitter Group – since Twitter lists create a stream of tweets from members in a group, you should create a blog or group-specific tweet to organize your tweeps. Once you create a list for a specific group, you can view or follow the conversation of members in that particular group. The beauty of it is that you can apply it to your circle of friends, colleagues, and even family based on their location or subject of interest.


Here are a few suggestions that’ll help you maximize your Twitter list today.


Endorse Cool Tweeps – it’s not enough to create a Twitter list, you should use it to recommend notable people to users so that they can follow them. You can easily do this by creating a public list of interesting or notable people that you feel other Twitter users should follow.
Follow New People – when you follow any Twitter List, you’re not following each member or user; rather you’re following the entire list. So, when you visit a specific list, you can view the tweet stream and not each user’s tweets (without having to follow them). For instance, you can add users (whose tweets you’re interested in) into a list without including them into your main Twitter stream. This way, you can catch up with their latest tweets from time by just viewing your Twitter list.


Keep Your A-List Lean – as you Twitter list grows so does the necessity to make it lean.  You’ll need to review the list regularly to ensure that you end up with a list of followers who tweet useful or interesting stuff. As you will soon find out, there is a lot of hullaballoo and noise that blocks the voice and sense and reason in social media, and Twitter is no exception.


Cross List your accounts- depending on who or what you’re following, you should also think of putting accounts in multiple Twitter lists. Remember, Twitter has a limitation on the number of lists (you can create) and accounts you can add.   Look for related categories and combine them so that you can track your favorite users and their conversations simultaneously.


Keep Your Lists up to date – it’s very important for you to maintain your Twitter list by removing and adding accounts when it’s necessary. Once you near the 500 user limit, you should look for easily accessible accounts to remove from your list. By removing dormant accounts, you will create room for adding more interesting accounts in the near future. Make sure that you’re careful so that you don’t remove accounts that you’re following.


Don’t delegate your decision to apps – you cannot afford to substitute your brain with apps. No matter what your intentions are, you should remember that apps don’t take into consideration your decision of whom to include or exclude from your Twitter lists.


Even though Twitter lists have some limitations, they are indispensable tools for organizing your followers and the people you are following on Twitter. You can use them to track conversations in other accounts and become part of the conversation.  The most gratifying thing about Twitter list is that it gives you an audience with influential people who shape industries and the future of communities. I believe Twitter list is great for business and for promoting just social causes in communities around you.


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