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Dan McDonnell on Using Lists to Become a Twitter Power User

My name is Dan McDonnell, and I am a Community Manager at the American Evaluation Association.

There is much, much more to Twitter than first meets the eye. It’s not just a platform where you can share what you had for dinner in 140 characters. It’s a fully customizable RSS feed. It’s a potent networking tool. It’s an incredible resource for research and evaluation.

In today’s post, we’ll show you how to start tapping into the power of Twitter lists to make your social media experience more thorough and efficient.

Hot Tip: Create Lists to Make Social Media RSS Feeds

If you’re following hundreds or even thousands of people on Twitter, it can be difficult to parse through every single tweet being sent in real-time, particularly if there are only a handful of interesting users with whom you’d like to keep up. Twitter Lists will filter all of the tweets coming in based on users you select, which is very easily done.

Start by selecting the Gear icon on the top bar on Twitter. Select ‘Lists’, then click ‘Create list,’ where you’ll enter the name (for instance, “Evaluation Influencers”) and a description. You can opt to keep your list public – recommended, as it encourages community by allowing others to subscribe to your list.

Once you’ve created your list, search for profiles of the users you’d like to add (or, just monitor your feed or @replies until you see people worth including!), call up their profile, and click the icon that looks like a human face. Select ‘Add or remove from lists’,  and check the box next to the appropriate list. Simple!

You can view your lists by visiting your Twitter profile page and selecting ‘Lists’ from the sidebar. No more need to wade through an endless flow of tweets to get at the meat! Now, for an even easier way to view your Twitter lists.

Hot Tip:  Creating a Social Media Dashboard

If you’re using Hootsuite or another third-party Twitter listening or monitoring client to organize your social media experience, you’re likely already aware of the power of custom feeds. These feeds let you automate Twitter searches, hashtags or even pull in a Twitter list to help you create a social media dashboard.

Once you’ve signed up for Hootsuite, click ‘’Add a Stream’ and select the type of feed you’d like to add. To add the list we created above, click the tab marked ‘Lists,’ select your Twitter profile from the drop down, and click the button next to the list you’d like to add. Once you finalize with the Add Stream Button, the list will be added in its own feed to your home Dashboard.

You can also add in numerous other useful feeds. Hootsuite starts you off with @Mentions, Sent Tweets, Retweets and a few other default tabs, but that’s just the beginning. When adding a stream, use the keyword or search function to add a keyword or hashtag you want to monitor, like ‘Evaluation’ or #Eval. You’re not limited to Twitter either- you can add in feeds Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, WordPress and more.  However you choose to customize, you’re ultimately creating for yourself a powerful tool to centralize and simplify your social media activity. Cheers!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

3 thoughts on “Dan McDonnell on Using Lists to Become a Twitter Power User”

  1. Pingback: Twitter 101 | Museums and the Digital

  2. So glad, Dan, you posted these…I was trying to figure out how to use HootSuite to follow a particular hashtag…and now the added benefit of easily adding to my lists – and then being able to see them in 1 place.

    You’ve solved so many of my little daily “challenges” in keeping up with Twitter.

    Thanks so much.

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