June 9, 2010

How to auto-follow people on Twitter

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John HaydonDuring a recent CharityHowTo webinar about Twitter, folks wanted to learn some tactics to increase their Twitter followers.

A simple tactic for new Twitter users is to follow users who are already conversing about topics related to their cause. The theory is that if half of Twitter followers auto-follow in return, you would get 50 new followers simply by following 100 users.

Naturally, folks were curious about automatically following people, so I told them about two applications that allow you to find new followers and automatically follow them based on vetting criteria.

Automation on Twitter: Evil or not?

Some of you will say that I’m completely evil for using any type of automation on Twitter, and that’s fine. My belief is that technology is not inherently evil and that it is possible to use even the much-hated auto-DM in ways that people actually like.

Auto-following will work as long as you understand that you are following real people who like to have real conversations. Keep them foremost in your mind, and you’ll make good choices in how you use these tools.

How to auto-follow people on Twitter

Here are two tools that allow you to choose specific criteria for finding new friends on Twitter.

    1. EasyTweetsUpside: Very easy to use, extremely intuitive UI. Downside: Criteria to find new users to follow is limited to keyword search and location.
  1. SocialOomphUpside: Very feature-rich friend finder criteria (including number of followers, friend/following ratio and number of status updates). Downside: Very difficult to use. UI can cause eyeball headaches or possible aneurysms.
What are other ways to use automated search and vetting?

Photo at top by mathieuthouvenin.John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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  • Ben

    i've just been testing out social oomph and i've found it very difficult to use and am doubtful i will fork out when my free trial ends. needs a decent user interface urgently.

    • I agree! I use the free version of SocialOomph to auto-follow people back on Socialbrite's Twitter account and had a really hard time figuring out how to do it. I think their UI may be intentionally confusing. Too bad. – jd

  • SocialOomph wasn't too hard. And for a free tool to auto follow and welcome, that seems useful for me and others.

  • For quick auto-following try tool Twidium – http://www.twidium.com/en

  • richardchang222

    I start to use a new twitter auto follow service on the net http://www.fastautofollow.com/, found that is great, I need not to do any manual works, my twitter followers increased automatically everyday.It works real people I am following and who are following back, a 5 star product that I recommend to anyone!

  • socialbrite

    Well, being forthright about your relationship with them would have been nice.

  • Anthony S

    Nice post – You can also use Auto Twitter Bot (free software).

    Thank you!

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  • jameshoskin251

    Easytweets seems to have shutdown, and socialoomph appears to be charging a tidy sum for autofollowing.
    After some googling, http://followbackr.com seems like a worthwhile option.