How Small Businesses can use Twitter Lists

Twitter lists, in my opinion, may be the most underutilized, useful feature on twitter. Twitter lists are exactly what they sound like: lists created by users of other users & organized according to a common theme, location or other characteristic. The list creator chooses a name to reflect the lists members, choose what twitter users are on the list, remove & add users, as well as set the lists visibility to ‘Public’ or ‘Private’ in order to allow other users to see the lists & its members.

So how can twitter lists be helpful for small businesses?

Well, twitter lists provide a place for you to organize and “store” the potential customers you come across on twitter in a way that is easier to access them then by simply following them. For example, say you own a small car repair shop. Your target customers are local community members who own vehicles. You may want to create a twitter list called “Community Members”. To this list, you will start adding the twitter users who you identify as members of your community. You may still follow these users, a likely will for most, but by adding them to the twitter list, you can now see all the users you follow who are in your community, instead of searching through your entire following list, which may be made up of some community members, but likely also includes news outlets, celebrities and other interested tweeters, but not necessarily potential clients.

Now that you have created a twitter list of your potential clients, how can this be helpful for your business?

Well now you can use that list to filter the twitter feed you are viewing & can view a feed made exclusively of tweets by your potential customers. Back to our automobile repair shop example, as the owner of the shop, you may want to view your list called ‘Community Members’ twitter feed and set aside some time in your marketing plan to specifically view this feed, respond to tweets & engage with all those twitter users who are your potential clients in order to solicit their attention & create that relationship that may drive their business into your shop.

To get you started, here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to create your first twitter list & then view your list’s feed:

Step 1 – Login to twitter & select your user icon on the top right hand corner. From the drop down menu, select ‘Lists’

twitter lists


Step 2 – Click ‘Create new list’ on the middle, right hand screen.


twitter list


Step 3 – Complete the pop-up screen by entering the name of your list & a brief description of the list or its users. This is also where you set the lists visibility to ‘Public’ so everyone can view and subscribe to your list or ‘Private’ so only you may view the list.

twitter list pop up

Step 4 – Click ‘Save list’ & your list has been created! The next screen is your lists feed. As you begin adding users, your list’s twitter feed will begin to generate. This page allows you to add users, but also view the number of users in the list, recently added members & if your list is public, any subscribers to your list (other twitter users who are following your list).

twitter list feed

Step 5 – You can add users to your list by simply typing their handle into the search bar & clicking ‘Search’. The returned search will take you to the user you want to add to you list. You add this user to the list by clicking the wheel next to the ‘follow’ button & select ‘Add to or Remove from Lists’. A pop-up box called ‘Your Lists’ will appear. Check the list you want to add the user to & ‘x’ out of the pop-up menu. As long as the box is checked, that user will appear on your list.

twitter liststwitter lists

Alternatively, you can add users to your lists by clicking their profile and choosing the same wheel to prompt the ‘Your Lists’ pop-up menu.

Once you have finished adding members to your list, you can view your list’s feed by repeating step 1 and then clicking the list you wish to view.

And that, is twitter lists! Have fun with them, create & delete as many as you like until you find the lists that are most helpful for you & your business.

Questions about twitter lists or anything else? Send us an email & let’s chat!