Automating Twitter: invest in the content not in the platform

Automating Twitter: invest in the content not in the platform

24th March 2010

The session automating Twitter attracted a good crowd of people who all want to get the best out of Twitter. They saw different speakers take different angles into automated search.

Speakers on this session were:
Brett Tabke, CEO,
Hollis Thomases, Founder,
Tracy Falke, Social Media Specialist, Freestyle Interactive
Paul Madden, Owner, Crea8 New Media

Hollis Thomases, Founder,

First up is Hollis Thomases, Founder, She is talking about building relationships using Twitter. Hollis gave out a lot of tools and quick tips:

  • Follow suggestions; build communities; Get Auto-notifications; Twitter lists
  • Managing accounts tools: cotweet, Hootsuite, Easytweets, Mediafunnel
  • Twtapps: twtpoll, twtsurvey, twtvite, twtaway, twtQpn
  • Useful Twitter utilities:
  • Scheduling tweets: Social Oomph, Hootsuite, Easytweets, Tweetminer
  • Useful Twitter Bots: News, Spellcheck
  • Twitter backup tools: BackUpMyTweet, Tweetbackup
  • Integrating Twitter to your own account: use widgets, blogs to Twitter, Integrated Social Media Apps.
  • Blogs to Twitter: Twitterfeed, Tumble, Posterous
  • Tracking & monitoring: URL Shorteners w/data:,, etc
  • Twitter alerst: Tweet Beep, Twilerts, Trendrr, Backtweets

Tracy Falke

Second is Tracy Falke, Social Media Specialist, Freestyle Interactive. She works at an agency who is facing the question most organisations are facing: resources. Automation is one of the answers. What most people forget in automation is common sense. You need to be social and polite.

Knowing the limits

Automated DM-answers are useless, people don’t read them. She shows some bad examples. Some of the basics are segmentation. She shows an example of someone who is ‘spamming’. Links to selfpromotion pages or make money out of Twitter aren’t social. Check your automation daily.

Bots gone bad
We are starting to understand what bots mean for reputation. If you set them up without human strategy you are asking for trouble. Its important to cleverly think about this. Automation is about making your live easier. Its not about setting it and forgetting it.

She shows a couple of examples. A bot retweeted negative tweets about itself. Its looking original. Setting up a bot on the basis on retweeting on your name is a bad idea.

How do we put it right
Automation is about making life easier. In these days you have interface layers between your brand site and your crm. Herein you find all different tools like Twitter, Linkedin etc. They introduced a Biz logic layer. You can put all sorts of metrics on these. Next is the data store layer where you store all the data from all the different platforms. You can then talk to all your different properties from there. It does require human interaction. Essential is invest in the content not in the platform. Her message: keep it real.

Paul Madden, Owner, Crea8 New Media

Final presentation is Paul Madden. He is known as “Seoidiot” on Twitter. He hands out a warning: he is talking about spamming.

The problem is you need more resources. More people is not possible, so automation is the solution. He explains about coding bots.

Build a following

  • The follow unfollow game still works
  • Follow unfollow tool needs to be semi intelligent
  • There are throttle points (2000 followers+ etc)
  • Building the following is a starting point only

He uses a hybrid model.

Make the bot a person
Clear inviting consistent avatar
Gumtree is a good place for these

Automated tweets
He uese 3 kind of tweets to make the account trustworthy: General tweets like taking the dog out. Questions and links

Ask questions
Retweet people who are influential

Padding the tweets
Building up the .xls of tweets
You could use somebody elses…

Match your audience
The tweets are only there shortly. You try to match your tweets to the siteusage. They are tweeting when they are likely to be tweeting when they were a real person.

Step in and engage
When you get a response you use a multi account client. Set time to step in and engage.

Twitter has rules but in reality its easy. Twitter can’t enforce their own rules yet.

You don’t want to do anything anti-social like retweet spam, automated DM etcetera.

More from Paul can be found on


Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
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