How and Why to Use Twitter Lists

What’s the deal with Twitter Lists? Their a bit wacky & confusing. That’s why to fully explain it I’ve pulled a sample video on Twitter lists straight from my Backstage Pass to Twitter program.

This is actually the first time we’ve released ANY content from this program to the public for free, so enjoy!

To learn all about twitter lists and then create your own list or follow someone else’s, check out this video:


What are Twitter lists? Twitter lists are great way to organize your Twitter contacts into groups. Being included in a list gives you added visibility on Twitter. People can see your tweets if they follow the list your in even if they don’t follow you as an individual. You can follow an entire Twitter list with one click instead of following the individual members. And anyone can create a Twitter list. So, how do you go about making a Twitter list?

To create one, go click on “Lists” from the drop-down menu at the very top right of your screen. That little personal icon, you click it to drop down the menu and you click on “Lists”. Then, when you open up the Lists page after you clicked on Lists in the drop-down, you’ll see all the lists that you currently follow and the option to create a list. So, how do you make this Twitter list?

Once you click “Create a List”, you’ll type in your list name and your description and decide if the list should be public or private. If you mark the list as private, only you can access this list and people in the public cannot see who you listed there and even if that list exists.

There’s where I will type in my client list name. I put in a description and I choose whether it’s public or private. You click “Save” and you’re done creating your list. Once your list is created, you want to add people to it. To add someone to your list, you can search for someone by their username, such as [email protected], or by their ?rst or last name, by their business name or by their brand name. You’ll simple search right here to add people to your list.

Once you’ve typed in your search criteria, in this case I typed in LKR for Laura, you’ll see a list of all the results. When you ?nd the person you will add, you’ll click the little person-looking icon and select “add or remove from list” from the drop-down menu. There’s the little drop-down and once you click that, then you see this pop-up window to prompt you to choose which list to include this person on. The lock icon next to the list name means that that is a private list which only you can see. You can also create a new list right from within this pop-up window by clicking the “create a list” link.

Now you might be curious to ?nd out what list that you’re on. You are probably being added to Twitter lists all the time randomly and it’s not something that you’re noti?ed of by Twitter. In order to ?nd out where you’ve been listed, on the Twitter homepage, you’re gonna click on your name to view your pro?le page. Then, on the left side menu under pro?le page, click the lists tagged to view a list of all the lists you follow and all the lists that you’ve been added to. There’s where you click on your name to access your pro?le and then once you’re on your pro?le, you’ll see a menu on the left side and you’ll just simply click the “Lists” link.

Then, over to the right of the menu on your pro?le page, all the lists will pop-up and you’ll see that you got all the lists that you’re subscribed to and lists that you’re a member of. So you’ll click over to “Member of” up there at the top next to Lists and you’ll see all the lists that are following you, which means these are all the lists that you’ve been added to. Again, you’ll see a list of all the public lists that you’ve been listed on and if you want to stay up-to-date with other people who are on that same list, there might be people in your target market, or people who you wanna see what they’re up to in the world, then you’ll click in the name of the list to access that list’s Twitter page.

In this example, I clicked on “Social Media” list and then I came up with this little window and what you’ll do is you’ll just click the “Subscribe” button underneath the list name and you’ll be a subscriber to that list. You can stay current on what the other list members are doing without needing to follow each of them as individuals.

You can also see who all the other list members are and who else has subscribed to this list. It’s right underneath the “Subscribe” button.

You can also keep track of lists that you’re a member of and lists you’ve created and Social Media tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck. You will need a new list of url or handle in order to add it to one of these tools. You can get this information when you first sign up your list. So for example, my Twitter handle is [email protected], and so if I named my list “List Name”, then the handle would look like [email protected]/List-Name”. Therefore, the url for the list looks just like our Twitter handle but without the accents. So you add the whole website-shebang in front of it, “”, that’s your username of your handle, “/List-Name”.

Now that you know all about Twitter lists, go start one! Create a list of your clients. This is one you may wanna keep private but it’s a great way to keep track of what your clients are saying and doing on social media. So if you check it once a week or so, you’ll know what your clients are up to and you’ll know right away if they have any sort of issues or customer service problems for you. Wouldn’t you be the first one to know?

You can also encourage your in-person networking groups to start a Twitter list for all the members. Maybe you can even volunteer to create a list so that you’d all know what you’re up to on social media. You can also create a list of your favorite local resources and shops or start a list of your favorite bloggers. These are just some of the ideas to get you started with Twitter lists. This is Emelie for LKR and this is Your Backstage Pass to Twitter: Twitter Lists.

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.


  1. Hey Laura,

    I never understood the lists feature on twitter. Thanks for clarifying this for me in this cool sample video..

    Have a great day
    Hector Cuevas

  2. Laura
    Thanks for clearing up for me how I can use lists. I especially like the secret code idea!

  3. I’m glad to be reminded of this great info…I took the whole Backstage to Twitter course and found it to be outstanding and value-packed.

  4. For what it’s worth, I used to be gung-ho on the lists. Six months later — last week — I reversed myself. I used to maintain a dozen lists for different categories of people I both followed and watched to potentially follow. That is, I followed people both by stream and list and many many more by list. But it became too cumbersome to switch between lists, so I stopped all but two lists.

    You can read my commentary at

  5. Chuck Rayman says:

    Hi Laura,

    Is your Backstage Pass to Twitter updated? I understand that Twitter has updated their website and added a lot of new features.


    Chuck Rayman

  6. How many hashtags and @ signs should you use in a tweet? They make the text look cryptic but they help with visibility.

  7. Molly Cait Couture says:

    Thanks for the info. just started using Twitter, and it’s making me feel old at the ripe age of 35! If I can master it, it’ll subtract at least 10 years from the oldness factor!

  8. Thanks for sharing this great info on twitter, it helped a lot!

  9. Thanks so much for the info. I’ve been trying to get more info and you solved the mystery.

  10. Thanks Laura. Great content, useful and awesome!