Twitter: Increase Your Influence with Twitter Lists

Some Social Media Experts I respect recommend limiting how many you follow on Twitter. I respectfully disagree because I am not a buckle bunny.

If someone is not interested in interacting with me why would I follow them? Or put them in my TwitterFeed?

And if I am not following them I won’t see what they share and they have lost me as a source of having what they Tweet shared there or anywhere else.

Yes, I know that you can interact with someone even if they don’t follow you – and that many do just that – but why limit your followers now that you can organize them using Twitter lists?

Use Twitter lists to easily hone in on
just the conversations you are interested in.

Twitter allows us to create up to 20 lists and follow as many lists others have created as we wish. You could put your friends in one list, your closest collaborators in another and your woodworking buddies in another. Or you could have all your gardening friends in one, your co-workers in another, and your blogging buddies in another.

Click a list to see only the tweets by the people on that list.

Lists are very easy to use. You can probably figure them out all by yourself, but just in case you run into difficulty finding them or using them here are screen captures for both the original and new Twitter layouts. You can go step-by-step or if you get stuck just look for the image that looks like the screen you’re on for details.

In the original twitter version, lists are found in the right column below the Twitter search box and above trending as shown in the blue circle in the image below:

Twitter Lists Location Original View

In the original view simply click Lists, and then New List (at the bottom of any existing lists).  To add someone to a list go to their Twitter page and click the Lists drop-down arrow and select the list or lists you wish to add them to by checking the box as shown in the blue area of this screen capture:

Original Twitter Add to List

In the new Twitter format, lists is just below the box where you type your Tweets, on the same line and to the right of Timeline and searches as shown by the yellow circle in the image below:

Twitter Lists Location New Twitter

If you click on lists you will see the create a list function and a lists following you option. Simply give your list a name and a description and select public (to let others use your list) or private (so only you can see it).

Create a Twitter List

You will probably have to refresh the page to see your new list. Select the list and you will see “Find people to add to your list” and an empty box as shown in the image below. Just type their Twitter username or their name into that box. (You can also simply go to their Twitter page yourself or add them the next time you are there.)

Find People to Add to TwitterListWhen Twitter shows you their name you can follow them if you aren’t already and/or add them to a list. Click the gray arrow to choose the list to which you want to add that Twitter user as shown in the image below:

Add To Twitter List

In the original Twitter layout, lists are in the right column under the search box and below any searches you have saved as shown in the blue oval in the image below:

Twitter Lists Location Original ViewClick view all to see all the lists you follow and all the lists following you:

GrowMap's Twitter ListsAs always if you can’t figure this out you are invited to Tweet to me @GrowMap, leave a comment in this post or use the contact information on the contact tab. I am always happy to assist.

I invite you to #followfriday the Blogging Buddies list that should include all of the current awesome members of the Secret Blog Club.

Members need to know that our forum went down the first time Murray Newland’s blog did. Murray’s blogs were moved to a new server, but the forum is still down. I sincerely hope it comes back up or he can at least get me a copy of what was in it so it can be resurrected somewhere else.

P.S. The reason Twitter lists can increase your influence is that they allow you to follow everyone who follows you and still hone in on Tweets by your favorites.

The more lists you are on, the greater reach and influence you will have because many use Twitter lists to find new people to follow and to see who others believe are influential.

Want some excellent tips on how to use Twitter? Read Jeremiah Owyang‘s How to Use Twitter.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. Must admit to being in the older generation (62) so although I do have FB; G+ and Twitter accounts I still haven’t really caught up with social media yet and wasn’t aware of the “create lists” option on Twitter.

    This is a very informative post. Have made a note for myself to set aside time later to read again and check out the other posts you linked to.
    Jon would love you to read ..How To Write For Pleasure and ProfitMy Profile

  2. Nicole O'Brien says:

    What do you do about spammers, the girls with bikinis on and no bio so you don’t know who they are or what they do and somehow they’re following you? Do you block or block and report or put them in a separate list and ignore them? And do you follow them back? After one day on Twitter I had some 50 odd followers, about 3 of them were genuine. Please advise on this etiquette. Great article too, thanks, you’ve really helped me.

    • Hi Nicole and welcome to GrowMap,

      If I can tell for sure they’re spammers I block and report them. When I can’t tell I just ignore them. I do use the auto-following tool Social Too so sometimes I end up following them, but if I notice them spamming I block and report them and if I don’t notice usually eventually Twitter deletes their accounts. Either way end of problem.

      User names with numbers in them, suggestive photos, specific types of tweets, or an account promoting all the same links are giveaways that they may be spammers.

      I recommend doing what I do – focus on what is good and ignore what isn’t. They aren’t worth our time so just create lists for the tweets from the people you want to be able to focus on and use them regularly.

      It looks like Twitter may be selling, creating or protecting some of these spam accounts which I explained in a post about possible Twitter Spam Income.

      The way to be successful is to always focus on whatever is the next highest priority. Have you seen the post I have that contains links to everything from How to Get Started on Twitter videos to advanced strategies? That post is Twitter Best Practices.
      growmap would love you to read ..Are You Playing Hide and Seek With Your Market?My Profile

  3. I’ve glanced over several twitter guides but I’ve never seen the lists function covered before. Perhaps this is an indication that most of these people never get enough followers to need lists and should not be listened to in the first place.
    Rico would love you to read ..Rotator Cuff Pain Treatment and PreventionMy Profile

  4. What do you do about the “infomercial” and/or multilevel marketing type followers? I generally block them. Should I keep them instead and put them into a “spammer” category or something?
    ColeenDeGroff would love you to read ..Neighborhood spotlight – Haile Plantation – Chickasaw WayMy Profile

    • Hi Coleen,

      When you follow many people you don’t really see their tweets much. There isn’t really any reason to put those whose tweets don’t interest you in a list; lists are for those you DO find interesting so you can tune into what they have to say at will or at least as time allows.

      I only block people if they go out of their way to be annoying unless they’re spammers. Those I report if they are foolish enough to spam me.
      growmap would love you to read ..Small Business Influencer 2011 @SmallBizTrendsMy Profile

  5. How do i get unlimited “following”?

    currently my twitter only allow 2000 “following”..

    Please help me ..

    • Hi Ojoc,

      If you click on the link that tells you that you can not follow any more people it should have taken you to information about Twitter Following Limits.

      It can be very challenging to get beyond the 2000 limit. You basically have to unfollow those who don’t follow you in order to follow those who will. Why Twitter doesn’t realize that the reason for following and unfollowing is their silly limits.

      Even after you get past 2000 there are still limits. You can not follow more than a set percentage over the number who follow you.
      growmap would love you to read ..Building Traffic Using Anchor TextMy Profile

  6. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post

  7. I agree that if you have good number of followers then it would be very advantageous as well.

    What I realized that in short period Twitter grew up much and it is mainly due to business stuff….
    Alex Smith would love you to read ..Secret Technique to Make Money by BloggingMy Profile

  8. Just spent an hour and a half finally setting up Twitter lists. This article finally gave me the inspiration for what to actually DO with my Twitter account! Thanks so much…
    Glenn Dixon would love you to read ..Debt ReductionMy Profile

  9. I tried getting into Twitter a couple of years ago, but stopped using it because of all the people who didn’t interact. Lists sounds like a great way to improve Twitter’s usefulness for me. I didn’t know about it. Thanks.
    James would love you to read ..HSV – What is ItMy Profile

  10. Twitter lists have become a way to organize my followers and to keep a handle on conversations as well. I also use Hootsuite, which allows you to add streams (another type of lists). I use my Twitter Lists but change them up frequently so I can connect with, read blog posts, retweet, etc. from my lists. Not only does this help me stay in the know, it also helps my Klout score. As someone who believes in sharing information it helps my followers as well.
    ConnieFoggles would love you to read ..InchBug Orbit Labels Review GiveawayMy Profile

  11. I agree, list can be a great way to get noticed on Twitter. I have created a couple on a unique profile and both have many very targeted followers. If you can think of a profile for your clients and create a list of interest to them, they will follow the list and you at the same time. This also helps you appear as an authority in your field.

    Tip: publish one or multiple posts on your blog about your list(s) using the list “theme(s)” and title(s). That way you will get followers to the list via your blog for people using Google to find people to follow on twitter.
    Leo would love you to read ..Websites for HairdressersMy Profile

  12. Gail, believe it or not, the lists thing is just confusing enough (the way Twitter explains it) that I just played with it instead of seriously using it.
    I’m going to study this post and see if I can’t get a better understanding of it.

    Where does this fit in with 3rd-party list utilities like TweepML? I find that one to be very easy and you can mass edit the entire list.


    Mitchell Allen would love you to read ..Barbara Ling to Relaunch BarbaraLingcomMy Profile

  13. Very nice tutorial too! I will be recommending it to clients.
    laptops would love you to read ..Acer AS7741G-7017 173-Inch Laptop BlackMy Profile

  14. Yes site like twitter will help to increase traffic. Now a days each and every one accesses social media sites so possibility of clicks will increases.

  15. After reading this post, I realize twitter lists are a powerful method to increase traffic to your blog. I will start using the list and see how it goes for me.
    Cole Stan would love you to read ..Anniversary Gifts For Men – Rock His World With These Romantic GiftsMy Profile

  16. The influence on twitter can benefits you in both campaigns that in SEO and SEM. You can get benefits of traffic as well as marketing.

  17. John Sullivan says:

    Wow what an awesome post Glad I stopped by really just missed you.
    I will be on the move this week where who knows :)
    Hope your doing excellent

  18. Dennis Edell says:

    “If someone is not interested in interacting with me why would I follow them?”


    I follow those that interest me; those with something to offer in my niche of passion, not just those that will chat with me when I’m lonely. 😉

    I always advise others to do the same.
    Dennis Edell would love you to read ..Time for YOU to Play Catch-Up! While I Launch Two Blogs –My Profile

    • Hi Dennis,

      If you look at my Twitter stream you’ll see I’m not big on chatting and I’m never lonely. I simply don’t believe in class differences. I don’t fawn over the rich and famous and don’t think I’m too good to talk to others and to me that is the message I get when I see someone only follows their click and ignores everyone else.

      I prefer to work with those who desire to be my peers and let those who want to set themselves apart find other sheep willing to follow them silently.
      growmap would love you to read ..San Francisco Blog Club Blogger Meetup Mon Nov 15My Profile

  19. I remember when twitter first introduced the list option, I created one just because it was new, but I didn’t really understood how to use it or what is it’s purpose (aside from the obvious one of partitioning your follower after your criteria).
    After reading your post and some of the comments I an now going to make my own lists, maybe this time I’ll find a useful use for it.

    And having thousands of followers and following only a few can sometimes mean that you do no interact with your followers, which may put some people off. Having a balanced number of followers and people you follow(of course that doesn’t mean you have to stop following people just to keep your ratio in check)
    Alex would love you to read ..Impuscaturi de commandoMy Profile

  20. Cool tip and very useful, of course tweetdeck users had groups option which basically did the same thing.

  21. Interesting stuff, I just now looking into Twitter to see if its worth joining, just can’t seem to grasp how it all works yet, it seemed simple but now i realize it’s bigger than i thought.

    [Sorry Louise, I do not allow links to any content that is not suitable for audiences of any age. If you have other sites that are suitable I will not remove links to them.]

  22. I make extensive use of lists to better keep track of my interests segmented in various niches, like social media, tech news, 3d news etc.
    It’s mostly painful to go through the live Twitter feed, and you don’t have time to sort out relevant Tweets all the time, lists help you in just this.
    They are also awesome to find potential new people to follow, for example, I like to check the lists people added me to, ’cause most of the times it means I am paired with similar people I might share interests with.
    Gabriele Maidecchi would love you to read ..7 Simple and Effective Ways to Promote Your New Blog PostMy Profile

    • Hi Gabriele,

      Thank you for mentioning that important tip I left out – that the lists you are added to are rich sources of people you don’t know who are likely to be in your niche!

      I regularly discover entire communities of other thinkers like me that prior to that discovery had no overlap with anyone else I know. As we “meet”each other our reach multiplies.

      Love your new post about promoting blog posts. I sincerely believe that promoting is more important than posting every day. If you can’t do both focus on promoting existing content first.
      growmap would love you to read ..Guest Post with My Blog Guest- for Networking and ExposureMy Profile

  23. This is a great post and very insightful. Until recently I actually kept my personal Twitter lists down below 100. I found it too hard to follow people and truly understand what they’re talking about and what they represent as an individual, but recently I threw that out the window so I could grow my own personal brand and I agree lists are the way to manage various people.
    You have to remember as well though, not only do they serve this awesome purpose of managing your followers but they can serve as a jumping on point for the people who follow you as well.
    David Clay would love you to read ..Auto Power Chair Lift 350My Profile

  24. Lists have definitely changed how I use Twitter, as they do help me sort out a lot of the “noise” of everyday conversation.

    • Hi Sophia,

      Thank you for coming by regularly and commenting. I do follow you at Twitter and congratulate you on recognizing the value of Twitter lists early on. I wrote this post for those who aren’t as comfortable jumping into something they don’t know and also to share tips on how to use them more effectively.
      growmap would love you to read ..Word of Mouth MarketingMy Profile

  25. I find the Twitter Lists very useful, having a list for favourites and other lists enables me to follow those that I am interested in without getting to mixed up via the normal twitter feed.
    Karen would love you to read ..Do You Have Missing Artists On Your iPodMy Profile

  26. Gail, I’ve been thinking a lot about Twitter lately and how I’ll make the best use of it. I started using lists early on and they have been very helpful to me.

    When someone follows me, I look at their profile, their recent tweets, and their website. If they are legit Twitter users and are not doing anything I consider unethical on their websites, I follow back.

    Another good reason to follow back: If you don’t follow back, that person may eventually unfollow you, and then you lose your chance to influence him or her to spread your message, comment on your blog, buy your stuff, etc.
    John Soares would love you to read ..What Benefits Do You Get From Blogging NetworksMy Profile

    • Hi John,

      You are completely correct that if you don’t follow back that eventually the most active Twitter users are likely to unfollow you. That is because when they hit the artificial following/follower limits and we must unfollow someone we use tools that tell us who doesn’t follow us and they are the first to go.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your expertise and wisdom with my readers. I believe your interview would be a good addition to the How to Make a Blog eBook and I will ask Murray to include you.
      growmap would love you to read ..New Free How to Make a Blog eBookMy Profile

  27. I could not agree more. Used to be careful following too many people but since the lists have been introduced I am following anyone who seems to be human and real.

    It is the best way to treat people – that is all.

    Very nice tutorial too! I will be recommending it to clients.
    Anders would love you to read ..Er priserne på forsikring på vej opMy Profile

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