If you’ve been following my Twitter adventures, you’ve seen the basic tools that I’m using. Pretty much Buffer, Social Bro, and the regular ‘ol Twitter site. So far I’ve been able to get a lot done with just the free versions of those tools.
But there are a few things I’d like to do that those tools either don’t or make you pay for. And I’m not down with paying a monthly fee for stuff like that. Already got enough monthly payments to make! Am I right!? High five!
What You’ll Learn
- What I look for in a Twitter tool
- How I use TweetAdder for location based marketing
- Why following new people on Twitter is better than longtime users
- Improvements that have been made to TweetAdder since I first tried it
Here’s the top things I’m looking for in a Twitter tool:
– free or one-time payment
– in depth searches and filter (ie. collect a particular user’s followers, sort them by location, and then number of their followers)
– be able to quickly follow those people
– be able to quickly unfollow those that don’t follow back.
Now since auto/bulk follow and unfollow are against Twitter’s TOS, I’m fine with staying away from that. A little manual work is fine, even if auto would be much faster. There does seem to be a few products out there that will still do auto, but even the websites look shady and I don’t think they’ll last long.
So after looking over a bunch of different options, I’m pretty well settled on Tweet Adder. If you’ve used Tweet Adder in the past, you know they used to do automated follow/unfollow, but were recently smacked with a lawsuit by Twitter. They either had to close up shop or get back in line with the TOS. And they chose the latter.
No biggie… You can’t go auto, but the search functions are still pretty darn good.
Here’s what I like in Tweet Adder:
– The unfollow function is super easy. Dial up all the people that didn’t follow you in the last however many days and click to unfollow.
– When you’ve collected the right list of people to follow, it’s also easy to do. Just got right down the list and click “follow”.
– Very simple to grab a list of followers from individual accounts and weed out people without photos or with URLs.
– You can export a database of various account lists. And this becomes important…
(A bunch of the stuff I mention next here has been updated and fixed. See the update towards the bottom of this page for info.)
Tweet Adder falls apart a bit past top level searches. For me, I’m promoting tour dates. The best way to do that is find people who like the type of stuff I do in that particular city where I’m performing. So I might be looking for people who follow Stephen Lynch and live in Fort Wayne, IN. I can get Lynch’s entire list easily. But the sorting options within Tweet Adder don’t go much further than that.
So you export the database and you can sort and edit to your heart’s delight in Excel. I was ecstatic to figure this out. Until…. I imported the database back into my “follow later” list and it reverts back to listing the people by when they joined Twitter. Something I honestly don’t give a crap about.
I’ve got an email in to the folks at Tweet Adder to see if there’s a workaround of any sort. I also asked them about ways of seeing how long people have followed me as well as how to set up a direct messaging campaign for a select list of followers (ie. location based again).
While I’m not totally sold on Tweet Adder yet (still using the demo version), it does look like it can take up the slack of things that take too long with the free version of Social Bro. And for a one-time cost. Social Bro has monthly charges that give access to some of that stuff.
I still prefer the analytics on social bro as well as the tweet specific analytics of Buffer over anything inside Tweet Adder.
Two other things I’ve tried and noticed. For some reason, I’m getting far fewer follow backs on the people I’m following in Tweet Adder. Like 5% instead of 20% like normal. Now, that may just be I hit a weird batch of people towards the end of the week. Unfortunately, I’m out of follows on the trial version, so I’m not sure what to make of it.
Update on this… I think I figured out why the decrease in follow backs. Tweet Adder lists people in order of when they joined Twitter. Not a metric I’m interested in at all. But that’s the only option at the moment. So if you go straight down the list, you’re first following people who have been on Twitter the longest.
I’m guessing those people are far less likely to follow back and than someone who’s newer to the site. I’ve been consistently approaching people who are new in order to be an unofficial “welcoming committee” to Twitter so they have a good experience and stick around. But also so I’m one of the first friends they make on there, which will give them a stronger connection to me. Someone who’s been on Twitter since 2009 has already been followed by a thousand other performers or professionals hoping to be followed back. It’s more likely those people will need to know me outside of Twitter first or be recommended by a friend. Hence the much lower conversion rate.
Instead, I’ll be starting from the bottom of the follow later list. Possibly not even bothering with people who have been on Twitter for a long time, maybe since two years ago. Some experimenting to be done there.
I’ve also tried using the auto DM for the initial message to new followers. That can cut a ton of work out right there. The only difference is that I can’t use their name in the message like I normally would. The difference between “Thanks for following!” and “Thanks for following Steve!”. I don’t have enough data to really tell yet, but so far, I’m getting far fewer responses without the name in there. So I may have to go back to doing that by hand.
The previous problem of early users may be in play here too. I’m going to try auto message with newer people and see how it goes.
I’ll update on those workarounds when I hear back from the TA folks and let you know how the new system is shaping up.
Ok, I got a return email from Tweet Adder folks this morning. Bonus points for them getting back to me on a Sunday morning. 🙂
Unfortunately, they told those options aren’t available and as of now there’s no work around to do so. Since they obviously have the database headers in the file, it seems like a simple thing to me to add a few sort buttons in there. But I’m no programmer, so I don’t know.
I was told that he’ll forward my ideas to the development team and also encouraged me to post on their ideas board.
So, in a pinch, I can at least export and sort the database the way I need and at least be able to target the people I need individually. In a lot of cases there are not that many anyway. For instance, in the Stephen Lynch example above, there were only maybe a dozen people in San Francisco. So not too time consuming to go look up those people individually for targeted promotions. But it’s not really a time saver or scalable for large scale Twitter work.
For the sake of comparison I may try the free trial of Social Bro Pro to see if that might do what I need. Who knows? I may get spoiled and pay for it. 🙂
I fine tuned my process a little bit today as far as sorting my follow later list. Also, I did pop for the dough to actually buy a Tweet Adder license, so I’m legit now. 🙂 If you buy it, be sure to google for a coupon first. There are a lot of 20% coupons floating around out there.
I’ve written previously that I like to follow people who are newer to Twitter as they’re more likely to follow back. Not as jaded and bored with it yet. And after click-click-clicking my way through a bunch of the 2009 people on my list, I realized it would be faster to just export the database and edit them out of that, then import it back.
For me, I was taking out anyone who joined Twitter earlier than 2011, except for people in target cities where I’m touring and trying build a fan base. I also eliminated people who didn’t list a city they’re from. If they’re private about that and have been on Twitter since 2009, they’re probably not going to be real chatty.
So back to the idea of location sorting…
– Export the database
– Pick out just the people in cities you want (or sort by any other field) and copy them into a new database.
– Import that new database back into Tweet Adder and voila! You’ve got a nicely tuned follow later list to click through.
One problem I’m dealing with right now is that my list includes people that I’d previously followed/unfollowed via Social Bro. But TA doesn’t know that. So I’m getting a little bit of doubling up that’s lowering my followback rate to about 10% right now. But once I get through those, that should go back up. And I’m looking for 30%.
Just this morning, Tweet Adder fired out a new version that is much improved. They fixed some of the crashing issues that were being caused by profile pictures.
And they added a bunch of the sorting features that I requested, including location, last tweet date, followers, friends, tweets, name, screen name, and join date. Plus you can still export your lists to a database to edit out whatever you don’t want.
The only downer is that they had to remove (by order of Twitter) the auto followback function. Twitter seems bent on have no automation at all. Not a big deal for me as I didn’t use it anyway, but for some it may be an issue.
I think it’s a much improved product now and will continue using it.