How To Filter Your Twitter Stream by Using Twitter Lists

by Dorien Morin-van Dam April 3rd, 2012 
  • Do you ever wonder how people who follow 100,000+ people on Twitter read those millions of tweets coming in all day long?
  • Do you believe people with large Twitter accounts actually read many of the tweets, or do you think some people don't read many of their incoming tweets?
  • How can someone make sense of the enormous amount of Twitter information and news thrown at them second by second by second when they are following so many?

I used to wonder exactly that when I followed only 500 or so people and could make no sense of my own Twitter stream.

What Is The Answer?

The secret to using Twitter effectively once you follow a large number of accounts is using Twitter lists.

"Twitter lists help you curate your Twitter content into separate, usable Twitter streams. You accomplish this by categorizing each stream; naming each list and adding or removing Twitter accounts to each list, up to 500 per list."

In the following video, I take you on a 'behind the scenes tour' of my own Twitter account and show you how to:

  • Make multiple Twitter lists to create multiple Twitter streams
  • Follow Twitter lists made by others
  • Find Twitter lists to connect with others

With the information I will give you, you can customize your very own Twitter stream into multiple*, manageable, smaller and more targeted Twitter streams.

"Each Twitter list you create, gives you a different Twitter stream, customized to your liking. It will only include tweets sent out by those accounts you have added to the list, making your list a highly concentrated Twitter information stream, customized to your wishes."

Creating and using Twitter lists will allow you to find important content when you need it most, for example when you are writing a blog post for yourself or for a client and you need immediate, up-to-date, highly targeted industry information. It also helps you identify active Twitter accounts in certain industries and Twitter lists help your search for an engaged audience.

Watch The Video For Step By Step Instructions.

I mentioned using Listorious in the video:

"Listorious has build a directory of Twitter lists that helps you find the most interesting people in more specialized subject areas"

Listorious is a great outside source for Twitter users to find new Twitter lists and connect with the accounts on the lists. It's another way to search for new Twitter accounts to follow.

Spelling It Out One Last Time

Whether you are new to Twitter or are a more seasoned Twitter user, I highly encourage you to use Twitter lists to:

  • Curate your incoming Twitter content into manageable smaller, highly targeted Twitter streams
  • Connect with new and interesting Twitter users in your particular industry

Your Turn

  • Are you using Twitter lists?
  • If the answer is 'no', will you start using Twitter lists to make several new Twitter streams?
  • Have you ever checked out people's Twitter lists?
  • Are you following Twitter lists?
  • How will be using your own Twitter lists to build an audience and gain new followers?

I'd love to hear your personal Twitter story. Please leave a comment for me and come join the conversation.

*Each Twitter account can create up to 20 Twitter lists.

Dorien Morin-van Dam

"My passion for Social Media comes from a love for teaching and conversing." Specializing in Social Media Engagement, my company More In Media works with local and global companies to engage current online audiences to improve communications and customer service. While engaging, we also build trust and a larger customer/client base.

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18 Responses to “How To Filter Your Twitter Stream by Using Twitter Lists”

  1. Jared says:

    Thanks for the post and video Dorien. I'll have to start using this to generate content ideas :)

    • Jared,

      so nice to see you have read my post and watched the video. I think Twitter lists are a great resource for content curation. You really can not create or write it all yourself and Twitter is where I get a lot of information to share on my Facebook Pages, my own and on those of my clients.

  2. Henry Sim says:

    Glad I come across this post. Twitter list is new to me and having read your post, it makes Twitter media scalable once you build up a big followers based. Next thing to do is to research on how to set that up.

    • Hello Henry,

      I am glad you found my blog post as well. I hope the video was not too fast paced and you will be able to set up your lists. They really are very helpful in starting real conversations on Twitter AND to find great quality content. Feel free to contact me for further information on how to create Twitter lists or how to manage them. You'll be way ahead of the curve if you start using lists on Twitter. Even some big accounts have failed to set up lists and are missing an amazing opportunity for online engagement.


  3. Great post –
    I can't tell you how much I love Twitter lists! Well, I can – I spoke about them locally last month ;)I'm a big fan of creating lists for events that I will be attending (or want to attend) That way, I be involved in the community from the get-go.

  4. Carrie,

    great to see you on Search Engine People. You are using Twitter lists just as I am. So glad to hear it. I founded a networking group last year and we have a very active online presence. One of the first things I did was set up a list. Then newbies to the group can immediately and easily connect with the others in the group. It is an awesome feature, but often overlooked. It's amazing to me how many big Twitter accounts do not have one single list listed and have not followed anyone else's list. Crazy. They are missing so many great tweets, I am sure of it!

    I hope I am on one of your lists..;)


  5. Julie says:

    Thanks for sharing this nice video tutorial, I had been searching for a nice solution to filter my twitter news feed for a while, when I came to your blog. Thanks for the useful information!

    • Dorien Morin says:

      Julie, how wonderful my video was helpful.
      I love making tutorials and I encourage you to subscribe to my blog as I will make many more and publish them on my blog.
      I love my separate twitter feeds!


  6. Karla Campos says:

    I have Twitter lists but I haven't been using them lately, thanks for reminding me about them Dorien : )

  7. Dawn Mentzer says:

    Thanks, Dorien. I wasn't familiar with Listorious so I very much appreciated that tip! I use lists in Twitter, but have strayed from that because of using Hootsuite as the primary way I access and engage on Twitter. I wish they'd give the capability to add streams for lists. Think I'll add that to their "suggestion box"!

    • Dorien Morin says:

      Dawn, what a great idea! Maybe they will listen to that suggestion. I used to use Hootsuite exclusively, but strayed away as I was building lists. For clients, I only use Hootsuite for weekends are late evening/night posts. I like posting organically to most of the platforms. Have you tried Buffer App? I like that to schedule my tweets. Have a great day!


  8. I live with my lists and share them to the groups of people that are in them. Many users don't have a clue about this so this is a great article and I have shared it on Twitter and a couple other places. Thanks Dorien!

  9. Dorien Morin says:


    thank you for sharing my post! Please know it is very much appreciated.
    Nice to meet another 'twitter-lister'.

    Do you have anything additional to add to my information that would help newbies?


  10. Karleen says:

    Wow. Here I was thinking I already knew what I needed to know about Twitter lists. I use them and find them helpful and I even follow other Tweeters' lists, but I did not know about Listerious. Thanks for sharing that information!

    I follow a lot of people during chats through Tweetchat, which does not give me the list button. Do you know of an app that will help me to sort out the people I follow by "unlisted" so I can then list them easily? In the past I've dedicated several hours to doing list catch-up.

  11. Cindy says:

    Wonderful post. Twitter lists are something that many Twitter users are not aware of. Or they see them and are not sure what exactly it is. I for one was one of those people for quite some time.

    It took me a very long time to finally start using lists, but now I use them all the time. :)

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