A few weeks ago, I shared a screencast that explained how to auto-retweet entries on your Twitter profile. I think the tip was appreciated for some, so I created a screencast that shows you how to create a bot account that auto-retweets the content of your choice.
An auto-retweet bot can be used in many different ways, good or bad. For example, I don’t really like how the auto-retweeting feature was applied here. It’s too invasive and marketing-related. On the other hand, I created an account that auto-retweets requests for help on Twitter, and it seems people like it.
A new type of channel
The benefit of an auto-retweeting account is that you set it up, you launch it, it runs on its own, and you can easily measure the success of the operation with the followers’ growth curve. The traditional way to do marketing on Twitter is by following a bunch of people, waiting for follow-backs, un-follow those who did not reciprocate, and start again. I have done it, it is a big waste of time. The auto-RT bot introduces a new form of channel creation on Twitter where the audience grows naturally.
Again, all you need to do with such an account is to follow-back those who found value in your bot and decided to follow you. I do not recommend turning on the auto-follow for those types of accounts: Auto-follow makes spam possible on Twitter, and it can only be prevented if we all manually approve the accounts we follow.
Is auto-RT spam? No if:
- The auto-RT account is not intrusive. If you avoid the stupid follow/un-follow strategy, and retweet only content that is addressed to the Twitterverse, then there is no intrusion whatsoever.
- I recommend Twitterfeed to post updates. Twitterfeed won’t post more than 5 updates every 30 minutes. In 30 minutes, an average of 400,000 tweets are posted. So your 5 tweets account for 0,001% of all tweets.
- Auto-direct messages are also extremely annoying and should be avoided. A reflection should be led on the URL you promote on the profile of the bot. Twitter users are typically savvy Web consumers who always wonder: “What’s the catch?” Don’t give them a reason to not follow you by promoting your pyramidal scheme Website.
No marketing, so what’s the point?
Creating auto-retweeting bot accounts can be fun, and it offers an alternative to Twitter keyword subscriptions that is worth exploring: Maybe most Twitter users do not get the Twitter search engine (or they do not know how to use it). Maybe they would rather follow an account that connects them to a specific type of content on Twitter.
I think there is a very interesting reflection on the way Twitter search results should be brought to users. I love the Twitter search engine, but if someone wanted to know what was going on in one city for example, it would be easier to follow some account that filters and retweets the good stuff, instead of receiving tweets from anyone who mentions San Francisco restaurant in their tweets.