Twitter growth

5 Ways to Use Twitter Lists to Grow on Twitter

Organise contacts, find new users to follow and grow your following, all using Lists.

Orana Velarde Orana Velarde    ·   · 

There are plenty of techniques you can use on Twitter every day to harness growth. Today we’ll take a look at one productivity hack that will assist in always seeing tweets from the people you’re interested in.

I’m talking about Twitter Lists, the ones that live in that icon on your left toolbar that’s a square with three lines inside it.

Twitter lists have many uses. They go way beyond just being an organisation feature inside your Twitter account. Keep reading to find all you need to know about leveraging Twitter lists to grow your following and improve your engagement.

Here are five easy ways to become a master at Twitter Lists.

1. Group your contacts into Twitter lists by topic or interest

The first reason Twitter lists exist is to keep your contacts organised into groups. Practical beginners lists can be, for example;

  • your favourite thought leaders
  • writers you admire
  • creators you want to keep up with
  • fellow startup owners

If you’re new to Twitter lists, there are two ways to get started:

  1. Create a couple of lists from inside the lists area of your profile. Start with the topics you’re most interested in.
  2. From your main feed, choose one person and create a new list via the ‘add to lists’  menu item inside the three dots in their profile.
Add a user to a list

To find new people for your lists, search for them using hashtags or search terms. Once you find one that looks promising, check out their tweets and decide if they’re worth seeing more of.

2. Organise and pin your Twitter lists for easy access

With time, you’ll find that you want to have people on multiple lists, and that’s fine! Not everyone fits into one neat box. To get value from your Twitter lists, keep them organised with names you can easily understand. Use emoji to make the titles more unique.

In your Twitter List area you can have;

  • pinned lists, where you can pin your favourite lists
  • lists owned by other users that you can subscribe to
  • lists you’ve created (Public or Private)
  • lists you’re subscribed to
  • lists you’re in

Pin your favourite lists to the top of your list management page by clicking on the pin icon to the right of the list name. Once they’re pinned, they’ll be at the top in a horizontal section for easy access. You can pin any list, yours or ones you’re subscribed to.

On the top right of the lists section are three dots where you’ll find the lists you’re on. If you discover that any of those lists is of interest to you, simply subscribe to it, and you’ll have it in your collection.

To make any list private, enter it and click on the ‘Edit List’ button. In that popup, select the ‘Make Private’ toggle. Also, inside this modal, you can manage the people inside your list, remove people you’re no longer interested in and find others you haven’t discovered yet.

3. Optimise your lists so others will want to follow

Your best lists will start to get noticed, and Twitter will show them on people’s feeds that share the same interests.

But how can you leverage that?

Here are a few tips to get your lists noticed faster and for all the right reasons.

Make them attractive with an engaging title

Use your keyword and SEO brain for this. If your list is for collecting startup founders, put that in your title. For example, ‘Inspiring startup founders’ and not ‘my peeps.’ If you want to name a private list ‘my peeps’ go ahead,, though!

Include a description

Craft a short and catchy description to remind people (and yourself) what the topic of the list is. You have 100 characters to work with.

Add an attractive visual

Use something that captures the topic of the group. Use an illustration, photo, collage or graphic with the list name in bold letters.

Twitter says, “The specs for a List banner image are the same as a profile header image: 1500x500. When sizing the image, know that 60 pixels on the top and bottom could be cropped.”

Add members regularly

Whenever you find people with interesting tweets that you don’t want to miss, add them to the list.

Interact and engage inside your list

Leave comments, retweet and make friends with the members. Especially the ones you care the most for. When people subscribe, you can see them in the ‘followers’ area. Then you can decide if they warrant your follow and being on the list as well.

4. Subscribe to Twitter lists created by your favourite contacts

When you’re scrolling Twitter, you’ll see once in a while that Twitter itself offers you to subscribe to popular Twitter lists. Subscribe to the ones that sound interesting but don’t forget to check them first, just in case. You’ll start to notice when lists are being nurtured and when they’re not.

Engage in the lists you subscribe to; you’ll find new contacts that you might not have found otherwise. And, of course, add more people to your own lists this way.

Plus, your favourite contacts might have worthwhile lists. Go check them out. You’ll find them when you click on the three dots in their profile.

5. Use private Twitter lists to do market research anonymously

The last use case for your Twitter Lists is private lists. These are lists where you can add people without necessarily following them. This is an ideal scenario for doing market research of your competitors.

Making a list private

You can look at what they’re sharing and posting and get an idea of what works for them. You can get ideas for your own marketing, and they’ll never even know you’re doing it.

Check their Twitter lists as well to see who they’re interested in. Click on the followers of those lists to see an extended web of people connected to them. You can do this on any list; it’ll help you find more contacts to interact with on different levels.

Over To You

Have you started using Twitter lists yet?
What uses have you got from them?
Did we miss anything in this guide?

Orana Velarde Orana Velarde

Orana is a multi-faceted creative. She is a content writer, artist, and designer. She travels the world with her family and is currently in Kyiv.


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