Twitter Lists are the New “Follow”

Image by Kyle Steed via flickr

By Karolina Nowak | 1 year ago | No Comments

Twitter is a very open and active social network. As a small business owner, it may be difficult to sort through all of the chatter on Twitter and focus on those who will make an impact on your business. As a Social Media Coach, I speak with a large number of small business owners on a daily basis. I often get asked, “what is the best way to organize my Twitter feed?” And I always point them in the direction of using Twitter Lists.

What is a Twitter List?

The Twitter Lists feature is a way to organize the people you are following (or not yet following) on Twitter in preferred groupings. Lists offer a way to see updates from specific people you have decided to focus your attention on. These lists are not just a listing of selected Twitter profiles, but rather a curated stream of members’ most recent tweets.

How to Create Twitter Lists in Twitter

Step 1: Go to “Lists” Page

When you are signed into your Twitter account, you can access the ‘Lists” section in two ways:

From the Gear Button – located in the top right corner of the page, a drop down menu will show your “Lists” option.

Adding a Twitter List from the gear button on Twitter
From Gear Button

From the Sent Tweets Page – You can get to your sent tweets by clicking on your profile picture from the top left side of the navigation panel. Once on that page, you will see “More” located next to the button for your Favorite Tweets. By clicking on “More”, a drop down menu will give you the option to click on “Lists”.

Adding a Twitter list from the sent tweets pages

Step 2: Create List

Once on the “Lists” page, you can create a new list by simply clicking on the “Create new list” button found on the right side of the page.

Create a Twitter List from the Lists page

Step 3: Manage your List Settings

After clicking on the “Create new list” button, a pop up window will open where you can enter your list details. This is where you will provide the name for your list, a description, and whether you want your list to be Public or Private. It is important to note that a list that is public can be seen and followed by anyone. A private list is only accessible and seen by you.

Create a new Twitter List

Step 4: Start Adding Members

You can add members from any individual profile page by clicking on the gear button next to the “follow” button.

Start adding members to your Twitter List

Or you can add members by going to your own or anyone’s “following” or “followers” links and clicking on the gear button.

Add people your following or your Twitter Followers to your Twitter list

Note: You can add members to more than one list.

How to use Twitter Lists in Hootsuite

For any Twitter account you have connected to Hootsuite, you can import the Twitter Lists you have already made or create new ones. Here’s how:

Importing Twitter Lists

  1. Login to Hootsuite
  2. Choose an existing tab or create a new one
  3. Use Add-Stream Helper to select your Twitter network
  4. Click on Lists
  5. Import any existing Lists associated with the selected Twitter account by pressing the ‘+’ sign

Creating New Twitter Lists

  1. Login to Hootsuite
  2. Choose an existing tab or create new one
  3. Use Add-Stream Helper to select your Twitter network
  4. Click on Lists
  5. Click on ‘Create New List’ at the bottom of the stream
  6. Manage list settings by creating a title, adding a description (optional), and setting the List to either public or private. (Please note that the same rules for privacy settings apply on the Hootsuite dashboard as they do in Twitter. Public lists can be seen by anyone and private lists are exclusive to your account).
  7. Click Save!

Whether you are selecting a list that was previously made or creating a new one, the given stream will only show updates from the members of the list you have selected.

Creating a Twitter List in Hootsuite

Here are four ways you can add people into your Twitter lists in Hootsuite

1. From contacts page: From the navigation panel, on the left hand side of the dashboard, you can find your Contacts Page. There you can find all of the Twitter Lists that are associated with your Twitter accounts. You also can see all of the people you follow and those who are following you. To add any of these people into your Lists, you can just drag and drop them directly into your Lists.

2. From streams: To quickly add or remove users from a Twitter List, open the drop-down menu at the top of your List stream and click “Preferences”. From there you will be able to add Twitter users to the List just by typing their username. You will also be able to explore the List and remove any users you no longer want on the List.

2. Drag and drop: As you may have noticed, Hootsuite is very click, drag, and drop friendly. You can click on any Twitter user’s profile picture within a stream (such as your Home Feed), then drag and drop it into the appropriate List stream. (Note that you can only drag and drop users into List streams within the same tab.)

3. From user profiles: You can view any Twitter user’s profile by clicking on their Twitter name. Once doing so, a snapshot of their profile opens. From there, you can click on the “add to list” button found at the bottom of the profile snapshot.

Why you should create Twitter Lists

There are many reasons as to why creating a Twitter list is beneficial for individuals, small businesses, and large organizations, alike. Here are three:

Organize your Twitter followers

Whether you have 50 followers or 50,000, you can use Twitter lists to organize those followers based on any grouping method you want. For example, if you are a small business owner, you can create a list that includes all of your customers.

Never miss a tweet

Your Twitter feed can sometimes seem like an endless pit of updates, because quite frankly, it is. Creating Twitter lists allow for a quick and easy way to catch up with those updates you actually want to monitor. You can simply click on the list you want to view, and scroll through its members’ updates any time you want to catch up.

Gain potential new followers

Whenever you add someone new to a public list, they will get a notification letting them know you have done so. This is a great way to increase your visibility with Twitter users who you do not follow. For example, if you add someone to an ‘Influencers’ list, they may come back and thank you with a follow.

Twitter Lists Best Practices

1. Create Lists of People you Recommend

The beauty of Twitter is that it is very transparent. You can create lists of people you find influential in your industry or thought leaders within your own company. These lists can be a way to show off your employees or network of awesome followers.

** Social Media Coach Tip: A good way to monitor your lists from one place is to create a new tab and title it “Lists”. Within that tab, you can set up to 10 streams, each showcasing a different list. **

2. Set Competitors or Clients to Private

When making your lists, one important setting to remember is the Public vs Private setting for each list. Setting the list to Private can give you an advantage over your competitors. You can keep tabs on all of your competitors’ tweets without them ever knowing. This will come in handy whether you are doing a social media audit, comparing promotions, or just making sure you stay one step ahead of the other guy.

If you are managing multiple clients, grouping them in a private list is also recommended. The last thing you want is to have your clients feel like you have a watchful eye on their every move. It is important to monitor these client profiles, but under the discretion of your social media management team.

3. Subscribe to Lists

An added bonus to Twitter Lists is that not only can you create your own, but you can subscribe to other people’s public lists. Find brands and individuals you find influential and check out their Twitter Lists. If the group of users seem like a fit, subscribe to the list. This is a great way to view what key influencers are saying without having to follow them. You can also see which lists your competitors are subscribed to. This will give you an advantage by making sure you are also keeping an eye on the same users your competitors may be looking to for inspiration.

** Social Media Coach Tip: Add yourself to your lists. When others subscribe to your lists, your own Tweets will show up in their List feed. **

Do you have awesome Twitter lists that you follow? What are some of your best Twitter List best practices?  Share them with us in the comments!


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Photography By WeZ
Photography By WeZ 5pts


I am not interested in getting notifications on my main feed, only my lists. . . I would like to know how to ONLY receive notifications of new tweets from my twitter lists? Or be able to enable or disable notifications at list level.



Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

@Photography By WeZ


Thank you for reaching out, my name is Ernesto from the Vancouver office and I'm more than happy to help you.

Unfortunately there is now push notification only for your Twitter list. If you have any other question you can contact us at @Hootsuite_help 

Best Regards,

Ernesto | Customer Advocate | @Hootsuite_Help

BrianThomas3 5pts

How do you unsubscribe from someone else's twitter list?

Armina 5pts

Hi there! Great article! I was wondering, is there any way to make sure you won´t add the same person to two or many different public lists? Like blacklisting the ones you added already or filtering them somehow? 

MadelineMMartin 5pts

I added this to my Hootsuite on the computer and can find the new stream on there, but it's not visible on my phone (where I'll actually use it) - why not? Do I need to do something special? Thank you!! :)

Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts


Hi there! 

Thanks for reaching out to us. To confirm, on the iOS mobile app, from the Streams screen, tap Edit at the top left corner > Add Stream + > Bottom right corner List > Tap on Twitter account you would like to add a list for. 

If you experience any further issues please don't hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter @Hootsuite_Help we'd be happy to further assist!

Very best,

Emilie | Customer Advocate |

pandaman73 5pts

This was extremely helpful! Thanks for the info.

edwindearborn 5pts

Can one tweet to all the members of a specific list?

Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

@edwindearborn Great question!  As it turns out this feature is not currently available.  I invite you to submit your ideas to our Feedback channel, where fellow Hootsuite users can vote on which features to add to a future release. We will then be able to gauge interest amongst other Hootsuite users -carefully considering this idea for a future release. The link can be accessed here:

Thanks for reaching out!

Sharin | @Hootsuite_Help

mariahjavier 5pts

This is some great information on how to fully utilize Twitter. I love how you are teaching us how to create lists and organizing them so we can access the information we want to. This makes it so much easier than just scrolling through until you find something interesting. 

evanlepage moderator 5pts

@Johannahock Hi Johanna. You can only add yourself to your own lists, not to other people's. 

karen 5pts

Right, but why can't I find a single shred of information about editing lists/deleting lists/setting lists to private AFTER they've been created? 

Matthew_S 5pts

I was wondering how you add people to Twitter lists in the mobile app. Thanks for your help!

Anna 5pts

I'm having a hard time putting people into lists from user profiles.  Only one of my twitter lists is showing up.  How do I get my full range of lists to appear?  There is no option to choose another.

Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

Hi @Anna, 

Thanks for your questions - happy to help!

You can add a Twitter List or create a new Twitter List by following the steps found here:

If you're having trouble viewing those Lists you've created on Twitter, I recommend reconnecting to the Twitter Profile via the steps found here:

I hope that this helps and please let us know if you're still experiencing trouble after the above steps and we'll be here to help!


Kathleen | @Hootsuite_Help | Hootsuite Help Desk -

TravelGlitter 5pts

@Anna Hey Anna---Another thing that isn't self evident is that you have to have your Twitter list appear in a HootSuite stream before you can start adding members to it. So make a readlng list tab (or whatever) add all your lists, and you'll be good to go.

AT 5pts

Thanks for this helpful article! Is there a way to see and subscribe to the lists of people I follow via Hootsuite? I can't figure out how to do this. 

If it's not possible to subscribe to other people's Twitter lists via Hootsuite, does that mean other Hootsuite users are not able to see and subscribe to my lists? 

Thanks in advance!


Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

@AT Hi there!

Thanks for reaching out to Hootsuite through our blog.

At this time, the ability to subscribe to Twitter lists from within Hootsuite is not available. Please add you suggestion to our Feedback Forum. Our Dev Team regularly reviews it to gauge interest in potential future updates. It can be viewed here:

Thanks, AT. Please feel free to reach out to us over Twitter (@Hootsuite_Help) if you have any further questions. We are happy to help.

Christian | @Hootsuite_Help |

Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

@AT Hi AT,

Thanks for reaching out to Hootsuite through our blog!

At this current time, subscribing to another user's Twitter Lists through Hootsuite is not currently available. That said, please feel free to add this suggestion to our Feedback Forum as our Dev Team reviews it regularly to gauge interest in potential future updates. You can find the Feedback Forum here:

Thanks, AT. Please feel free to reach us over Twitter if you have any further questions. We are always happy to help.

Best regards,

Christian | @Hootsuite_Help |

BishAuckBiking 5pts

I used to add people to my lists when I started to follow them, but started to fall out of this habit. Is there an easy way to see who I am following but don't have in any lists in Hootsuite?

marketer_social 5pts

If you're using Twitter to grow your business or grow your online presence for personal use, you'll never use your home feed again. Targeted following - it's cheaper and more effective than Twitter ads. I'm currently getting 1600 new targeted followers per month, through organic, compliant methods.

BishAuckBiking 5pts

This is a great article, thanks for writing it!

I like lists and did start to put my new follows into lists as soon as I followed them, but I soon fell out of practice. Is there a way to see who I haven't put into a list in Hootsuite?

Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts


Hi there,

Thank you for contacting us! We're always happy to help!

As it turns out, there currently is not a feature that allows you to view who you have not added to a list. This would be a great feature though!

Please feel free to suggest this via our feedback forum:

If you have any further questions, please reach out to us on Twitter at @hootsuite_help.

Kind Regards,

Amy | Customer Advocate | @Hootsuite_Help

TTomas0v 5pts


I am trying to work with both Twitter and Hootsuite on my iPad. As far as I can tell, there is NO WAY to create lists in EITHER APP (on the iPad). My browser keeps forwarding me to the Twitter mobile app, which has no facility for creating lists, and Hootsuite (either the app or the site) simply tells me "no lists found" for my user account. The "create new list" functionality is nowhere to be found.

I would love to know if I am missing something, or whether this is a major difference between using the apps on a Windows machine (or a MAC?) and an iPad. I have yet to try this on my Android tablet.

Thanks for any information or advice.


Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts


Hi there,

Thank you for reaching out with your question! 

To create a Twitter list from the iPad app please follow these steps:

  • Tap Contacts .
  • Tap Twitter profile.
  • Tap Manage Lists.
  • Tap Add (plus symbol).
  • Enter a name, description, and then set to private or public by tapping the slide button. Green means private.
  • Tap Create

  • Please let us know if you have any other questions by reaching out at @hootsuite_help on Twitter! 


    Jocelyne | Customer Advocate |