Filter Your Twitter Stream – Use Twitter Lists

Is your Twitter feed overwhelming? Spend more time engaging your targeted audience using Twitter Lists.

Organization is important in almost every area of our lives whether we’re categorizing seeds (like in the photo), filing receipts for tax time, or following people on Twitter.

Often those new to Twitter complain that there is so much to read.  They unfollow “prolific” (often used as a derogatory term) tweeters because they “clog up” their Twitter stream.

You know you don’t have to read every tweet, right?

You can scroll. And you can filter.

Lists are the most under-utilized tool available to Twitter users.

The Tool Belt:

You create and edit lists on Twitter (desktop). You can add people to existing lists from Twitter mobile or Hootsuite. I primarily use HootsuitePro because the columns you setup are the same on desktop or mobile .

For In-Depth Tutorials See:

Listing: What you need to know.

When you go to a user’s profile, click the person icon (next to the follow button), click “add or remove from lists,” and then choose the list.

You do not have to follow someone to be able to list them.  This can be helpful for celebrities and news people (that you make lists for).

So give your lists some thought.  It is so much work to go backwards and fix these.

Lists can be public or private. People know what the name of the list is and can subscribe to your public lists.  I don’t use private lists.

More: Twitter Help Center:  Using Twitter Lists

Why List: Following Ratios

It sucks when you don’t realize you can only follow 2000 people and then you hit a following wall, literally. You can’t follow anyone else unless more people follow you. If you followed no one back and are following 2000, you’ve got a lot of work to do, my friend, both to follow and unfollow.

From my experience, I have found additional glass ceilings that you hit at 5,000, 9,000, 14,000, and 19,000. It seems to me that the sweet spot is about 1.1 but Twitter says it depends on the individual account.

This is why I had to start unfollowing people who don’t follow back.  I really like for this.

This is why I follow people back. The few exceptions are porn, how to get more users people, how to make money on the internet people, #TeamFollowBack (spammy, in my opinion), and eggs.

Like your cholesterol’s HDL versus LDL ratio, it’s important to shoot for a “good ratio.”  Carol Stephen

Only verified accounts can grow without following back. This behavior can be viewed as arrogant, so proceed with caution. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason. This behavior can be viewed as arrogant, so proceed with caution. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason.

As Twitter says,

Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following.

More Info: Twitter Help Center: FAQ about Following

Listing by Relationship:

In my talk, “You Are What You Tweet,” I emphasized the importance of listing and relationships. It is important to think about what relationships you may want to list.

Pencil out some of the choices you might have. Think about your business and or interests. Humor, automobiles, travel, politics, and sports are just a few of the endless possibilities.

Think of your three target demographics you need to stay in touch with. Write those down. Be aware that they will be notified of the name of the list.

When I worked for Riggins Construction, I put our clients and brokers on and another for our subcontractors. Those were people whose tweets I always want to see, reply to, and share.

When I worked for GiveWP, I wanted to see our team, nonprofits, and WordPress users.

Listing can be done for any industry.

Listing by Topic:

Sometimes it’s hard to remember a follower when you need to. Usernames are often hard to remember (exactly) and avatars frequently change.

When I wanted to remember the two painters I followed in Orange County, I was so frustrated.  I had a “construction” list for the @RigginsConst account, but it was too diverse.

I finally ended up making several lists and put the floor and tile people together the HVAC and roofing people together, the General Contractors on their own list, etc.

For GiveWP, I started an #NPChat list. This helped me engage with those who are participating in our weekly chat during the week.

Listing by Geography:

There are many benefits to listing by geography.

For business and networking purposes, it’s good to put people who live in your vicinity, say county, on a list. This is especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses who depend upon local clientele.

For example, I have an Orange County list, I can go to that column on Hootsuite, and read only those tweets.  The list filters out my whole twitter stream (currently following 11,600) to show only the 376 on that list. Obviously, making the information more relevant and manageable for me. This gives me the ability to scroll through tweets and find gems even from four hours ago that I missed while otherwise occupied. I simply reply to start a conversation or share (retweet) their post.

Another reason to list by geography is if you’re researching an area to travel and/or move.

My backup plan, should I ever have to leave California, is to move to Arizona.  I started putting people on a list with other Arizonans.  I can read their tweets, interact, get to know the area, learn new things, and make friends before I even move.

Organization is the Key to Being Effective

Listing is the only way I think I could be truly effective at building relationships on Twitter. Prioritizing who you engage with is not bad, it’s just common sense.

The truth is, there are a lot of non-sense tweets, check-ins, and such, but those are also the tweets that show an individual’s humanity and personality. Discovering shared interests is the start of any friendship.

Happy Listing.

Feel free to check out my lists here.


Go read: “Twitter Lists for the Power User” by Carol Stephen for more ideas

Why I Favorite Tweets (Even If They Are My Own)

What’s your favorite social media platform?  Or do you believe that like with children, you shouldn’t have favorites? If you spend any time getting to know me you will soon discover that Twitter is my favorite by far.

Speaking of favorites, I’m often asked why I favorite a tweet (or accused of favoriting my own tweets in order to artificially inflate my ranking on some system I’ve never heard of but whatever).

Here is my official, un-official brain-dump on why I use the favoriting tool.


As I told R3 Social Media, I learned to “bookmark” tweets by favoriting them from @BrianDaltonCRE.  Once I have read the link in the tweet and know for sure I don’t need to refer back to it, I unfavorite it.

I often check Twitter while watching T.V., for example.  I’m not going to stop the show to watch a cat video, but since my friend tweeted it, I want to watch it later.

Another reason I bookmark (favorite a tweet) is if I see a tweet in the stream and it has a link. The link seems interesting, so for sure I want to read it later.  It’s too hard to find those tweets later when you do have 20 minutes or so, at the end of the day, to read them.

Read more Why I Favorite Tweets (Even If They Are My Own)

Hotspots and Hangouts – My reflections from jumping off the ice.

Hangout On Air
Here I am waiving to the online live hangout audience.

Have you ever thought to “live broadcast” a presentation while out on the road?

During last night’s #KidneyChat, a few of us were talking about Hangouts On Air and some of the challenges on the road. At Carol Stephen’s suggestion, I am writing this post.

By the way you can watch the actual presentation on my Facebook Page.

I thought a live broadcast would be fun to try when I was invited to be one of Darrel Cole’s panelists (blog post is here) for the ACEC Annual Conference in Monterey, CA.  I wanted my boss and my mom to see it. First part of the live HOA is here:

Read more Hotspots and Hangouts – My reflections from jumping off the ice.

Lists: It’s Your Only Hope


Do you remember the iconic scene in Star Wars when Princess Leia says, “Help me Obi Wan Kanobi; you’re my only hope?”  Well, that’s how I feel about lists on Facebook.

Yes, you can add people to lists on Facebook.

After reading this post by The Fab Social and some comments on her Facebook post here, I decided to take her and a friend’s advice to write this post.

Facebook’s news feed can be very overwhelming.

I always presume people aren’t as self-centered as they seem to be.  Maybe you just need help making lists.

Because I’m rather liberal with accepting friend requests from people I know from work or Twitter or elsewhere on the Internet I have to live by lists.

If I didn’t have lists, I would never see posts from my infrequent-posting crowd: namely, my family.

I always want to see posts from my Aunt Patsy and my cousins.   So I have a list for my family. And I made a list for my husband’s family. And I made a list for our outreach group, professional contacts, and on and on. Read more Lists: It’s Your Only Hope

You’re Not Born A Guru – Twitter Takes Time

Baby Bird 08 by
Baby Bird 08 by “Allie’s Dad” on Flickr

I just realized you can download an archive of your tweets from

Today is my 6th year anniversary using Twitter (my original account is @gidgey).

By no means did I hit the ground running from this account.

Here is my first tweet:

It appears it took nearly a year before I talked to anyone.  My first mention was to Leo Laporte. Incidentally, it was from listening to his TWIT podcasts that I heard about Twitter in the first place and joined.

Read more You’re Not Born A Guru – Twitter Takes Time