Updated September 23, 2016

One of the most powerful ways to exploit the capabilities of Twitter is the Twitter list, which is simply a curated group of Twitter users.

You can create your own lists or you can subscribe to lists created by others. For example, I have created a list of members of IABC/Toronto, so each time I open TweetDeck or Hootsuite, I instantly see the latest tweets from the members of this group. I’m more likely to retweet their content when I can see it! I also subscribe to a list of members of Silicon Halton, although I didn’t create the list.

Here's how two of my lists appear in TweetDeck.
Here’s how two of my lists appear in TweetDeck.

Don’t worry if you don’t use TweetDeck or Hootsuite (although I think you should). You can also view your lists from your profile page on Twitter.com.


Here’s how to create a Twitter list:Screenshot_2014-02-27_12_54_PM

  1. Go to your Lists page via the gear icon menu in the top right nav bar or by visiting your profile page and clicking on Lists.
  2. Click on Create List.
  3. Type the name of your list and add a short description. Choose whether you want the list to be private (accessible only by you) or public (anyone can subscribe to it).
  4. Click Save List. You’re done!

When you want to add someone to a list you’ve already created, click on the gear icon in their Twitter profile and choose Add to List. You can also add people via TweetDeck or Hootsuite.

Adding someone to a list via TweetDeck.

Some of my clients use private Twitter lists to “follow” competitors without actually following them on Twitter. Each day they can check on their competitors’ tweets just by viewing their lists. You can also use a Twitter list as the basis for publishing a “newspaper” via Paper.li, which I will cover in a future post.

What’s your favourite way to use Twitter lists?

If you want to learn more stuff like this, and you’re in the Toronto area,
check out the Toronto Twitter Workshop on October 21, 2016.

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Writer, speaker, podcaster, communications and social media consultant, workshop leader and part-time university instructor. As a consultant, I emphasize the importance of storytelling and relationship-building, and enjoy helping people understand how today’s technology, combined with tried-and-true tactics, can help them communicate better with employees, customers and prospects.


  1. Another helpful post! I have a list that includes fellow independents, and sources that tweet about things relevant to indies. I often find content to retweet myself, and that goes into a weekly Paper.li publication.


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