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The Dirty Programmer - Secrets on how to autogrow your Twitter followers [article + stats]

Discussion in 'Social Networking Sites' started by dirtyprog, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. dirtyprog

    dirtyprog Newbie

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    Why to autogrow your followers?

    Twitter is just a great tool to drive in traffic. With the link you provide in your settings, people will notice it when they visit your twitter profile. And of course, with tweets you send out containing a link to your website.

    Because you follow users based on keywords you can asure that they at least once were interesting in the thing your account is about. If you tie your content to these keywords as well it is more likely your followers will visit the links you tweet.

    Putting together such a system is relatively easy. You just need your Twitter accounts tied into a management system via oAuth. Then you can easily access the Twitter API to find people to follow and control these accounts.

    All in all this is just a really simple and elegant way to drive in some targedet traffic. And with my Personal Tool included in this package it is even a simpler job.


    Keep your followers happy - auto RT interesting tweets

    If you just follow people without providing some tweets now and then it will not work. You have to understand that people use Twitter to find information, and if you don't provide some they assume that you are just another Sherley84. That's the low-minded way to work with Twitter and always will get banned.

    Now what we want is a automated way to provide some information aka posting tweets. You think auto-RT bots are annoying and should not be followed? So do I. The secret lies in the amount of information you provide. I gained great results with 3-5 tweets per day, posted in 8-15min intervals. Tweets around noon are good, when people eat and check out there updates.

    You should only RT information with at least one link inside. This is likely a shareable link, don't forget to attribute the person you got the information from in the fashion of 'RT username tweet' or 'tweet (via username)'. All other information may attribute other people or containing personal information and should not be replicated.


    Keep your followers happy - the human factor

    Althought the auto-follow and auto-RT methods generate you a nice number of followers on auto-pilot over time it lacks in a important thing.

    Twitter is about Social Interaction, right? So you can be sure that your automated tasks will be spotted by others resulting in not following or even reporting your account. The only thing on that can put life into the twitter account is you.

    On Twitter it is really easy to interact passively. If you have mention tweets and it's something nice about you: thank them, if they don't like you: figure it out, if they retweeted you: thank them from time to time. And don't forget the #FF! Always thank for a #FF recommondation.

    The next thing you may want to take care of are Direct Messages. But let me assure you one thing, it's not that interesting. Mostly Twitter Users have tied there account to other Twitter Apps that automatically send Direct Messages. Mafia stuff and all that crazy sh.. people are doing on Twitter. So, from time to time click through your DM's and quickly check out if there are any legimitate. Of course, this can also be automated to sort out Direct Messages on Keywords. But that's another story.

    While this 'human method' requires some minutes of your time every day, you will be surprised that Happy Followers are willing to visit the links you post. Every single time.

    Imagine that: Someone follows you, you see the first 10 tweets and all are just RT's. I spot a potential automated task from miles away, and many other will too. If you take care of the passive interaction your timeline will be filled with personal tweets. Many people like to follow humans that provides interesting links.


    My Personal Twitter Tool for some autogrowing

    So knowing all that super secret and obvious details on how to build a successful twitter account I hacked together my own little tool.

    Some features (PM me if you want info about particular aspects of the app):
    - A Rails based App
    - Only need to put in Twitter App Credentials (key, secret)
    - Create your Twitter Accounts and hook it into the app via oAuth (follow a link, allow access, done)
    - See stats for every registered Twitter Account
    - Set multiple keywords for each account
    - Find new people to follow every hour
    - Follow 20 people per hour
    - Unfollow accounts that not followed you back the last 24h

    I'm currently running tests on growing, but I experienced some great growth with a much simpler approach.

    I'll post stats later when I got more data and a good setting for the app parameters.

    I don't really have any active website right now to test conversion of site visits. If you think you can/want help me out testing this send me a PM please.


    Do your math - Twitter has rate limits

    If you are happy enough to have a white listed IP with 20.000 rate limit you can skip this chapter.

    Twitter has a protection mechanism called 'rate limits' and it is measured in 'hits'. Rate limits are applied to two things.

    Your IP. For example: You search for a keyword and your hits get decreased by one.

    The authenticated account. For example: You tweet from your account and your hits get decreased by one. Follow another person and your hits also get decreased by one.

    The rate limits are reset by Twitter every hour.

    So, keep in mind that you, as normal user, have a 150 hits rate limit. If you are working from your local machine also consider other apps requesting the Twitter API, such as your personal Twitter Client. Lets say we have 10 accounts with 2 keywords each, that's 20 searches in the hour consuming 20 hits, safe. You may want to add it up with the account number you are capable to take care of, but to stay on the safe side don't consume over 100 hits. That's 50 accounts with 2 keywords. Keep it easy.


    Other Limits of Twitter

    You should not go too high with follows/per hour because Twitter will spot you out as a automated task and your account will get suspended. It's safe to say that if you follow 250 people in one hour you get your as$ banned. Again: keep it easy, let the time work for you.


    Your thoughts on autogrowing?

    I am happy to hear your ideas on what worked best for you and your follower build up. Just reply or we talk in private :)


    About the Dirty Programmer

    I've been both, on the dark and bright side of coding. Now it's just having fun. I like to understand systems and work with them. Coming from desktop programming I now prefer to do web based apps. My main language is Ruby and I like to use frameworks like Sinatra or Rails for quick and easy development of all kinds of ideas. You may have noticed that I'm not a native english speaker. Well, sorry.



    You got ideas and/or resources?

    I love to work on exciting ideas, so if you got one of them lets chat about it and see how we can rock it together. Also I am happy to tell you about some projects I am working on if you got some money to invest.

    Just shoot me a PM!
     
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  2. roberteb

    roberteb Regular Member

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    A couple of questions.

    1) This is a server app not desktop am I right?
    2) Can it use proxies?
    3) I have Tweet Attacks and it already does everything your tool does and more so what makes yours special?

    Nice post though :)
     
  3. dirtyprog

    dirtyprog Newbie

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    1) Exactly. Could also run locally but will run on remote server(s).
    2) Currently it's just a basic build, but I don't see why it can't use proxies easily.
    3) Hmm basically I love the idea that I can hack something together and save $127 ;)

    Thanks!
     
  4. roberteb

    roberteb Regular Member

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    3) I'm also a coder from the old days and do code some apps myself but only if I can't buy one that already does what I want. TA running on a VPS with proxies works well so the $127 is money well spent. Time to me is more important than the money.
     
  5. dirtyprog

    dirtyprog Newbie

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    Whatever leads to the goal mate ;)
     
  6. dirtyprog

    dirtyprog Newbie

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    Sort out your friends

    When you auto-follow per keyword search you may not want to follow anybody in the search results. We want to build a nice Follower Base of Humans. Who gives a cr4p if 50 other bots auto-follow you back. We want real persons as we want to turn them into visitors.

    You can easily figure out humans with only the information provided by the search result. You want to check the 'profile_image_url' parameter for the string 'default_profile_images'. If this is the case you found a user without a profile image. Next you want to check the source of the tweet. It's pretty safe that twitterDcom, tumblrDcom and all the desktop twitter clients are controlled by humans.

    So, we didn't need additional API hits and still can of sort out other lame bots. Simple and sweet.
     
  7. SassyLady

    SassyLady Newbie

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    I am interested dirty dog
    but i cant pm till i have 15 posts

    i tried to
     
  8. skulquake

    skulquake Registered Member

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    heya is this still available
     
  9. nightclubpromo

    nightclubpromo Regular Member

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    Is it for mac?