Lists are one of the newer features that have been added by Twitter. They are also one of the best ways to leverage strategic connections with your followers. Lists are important because they allow you to closely track and respond to specific people—which starts to become imperative once you are following more than a couple hundred “tweeps.”

I like using lists to leverage my time and energy in order to make influential connections across different groups. For example, I created my own list of entrepreneurs that I admire so I could see all of their tweets in one place if I want to—and filter out the noise of the others I am following. I also follow a couple of lists created by others because they contain people I am interested in keeping up with. I recommend you make similar lists that target colleagues, potential clients, influential people in your niche, and perhaps key industries that are in alignment with your own.

Creating and Adding People to a List

To create a new Twitter list, go to your Twitter home page and on the right-hand side click “new list.” Give it a name, short description and privacy setting and then click the “create list” button. You will then be able to search for a username, first or last name, or business or brand to add to your list. Click the “search” button. When you see the person’s profile that you want to add, click on the list button to the right and check off which list you want to add them to. If at a later time you want to add someone new to one of your lists, visit their profile page and click on the list button below their picture and to the right. You can then check off which list to add them to.

Editing a List and Privacy Settings

To edit a list you’ve created, go to your Twitter home page and go to the right-hand side and click on an existing list’s name. Click the “view list page” link at the top of the Twitter stream. In the top right corner, under “You created this list” you will be able to edit or delete it.

You have the option to make your Twitter lists public or private—and it may make sense for you to create certain lists that are only visible to you. However, it is good to be included in others’ public lists—this can lead to greater visibility, credibility, and influence for you depending upon what kind of list you are on. Another benefit of you creating your own public lists is that it can be seen as being very helpful to others. If someone else thinks one of your lists is high quality and begins following it, you’ve just saved them the time involved in creating it themselves. So as you identify quality people in your industry, add them to a list—and others interested in the same topic may choose to follow the list you have put together.

Want to really get the most out of Twitter lists? Use a tool like Hootsuite to import the lists you’ve created, which can then be saved as their own column. This way, you can easily keep a close eye on those key people you want to hear from—and make your Twitter experience more streamlined, organized and fun.

Photo Credit: 7son75

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