You may have been one of my friends or Twitter followers that, when trying to send me a direct message, noticed that I was no longer following you on Twitter.
I wish I could chalk this one up to the consistent glitches in Twitter’s API, but it was definitely a case of operator error – a small mistake in settings of Tweet Adder (a social media automation tool I use) that affected hundreds of my online relationships.
Using Tweet Adder: How To Upset Twitter Followers With
Social Media Automation
I love using Tweet Adder … usually.
It’s a powerful social media automation tool for strategically tailoring your Twitter network so that you can ensure you’re growing the channel in the right direction for your business.
I use Tweet Adder when I go to conferences or new cities, mostly to identify and follow people who interest me at those events or in specific locations where I might have a chance to connect in real life.
But Tweet Adder can be tricky business.
It’s easy to overlook minor application settings that can create droves of upset Twitter followers in a hurry. In my case, it was simply overlooking one single setting in a drop down menu.
Using Tweet Adder to unfollow non-reciprocal followers is an efficient way to improve your True Reach on Twitter by ridding your following of bots and largely dormant human accounts with whom you will probably never have the chance to talk with anyway.
In getting my dashboard set up for Blogworld, I accidentally selected to unfollow all followers except those who are protected on my dashboard’s ‘white list’.
Unfortunately, I’ve been procrastinating on actually taking the time to set that all-important white list up with the Twitter names of my online and offline friends, some of whom I talk with on a daily basis via direct messaging.
Tweet Adder did it’s job alright, and went about doing exactly what I mistakenly programmed it to do – unfollow droves of people, most of whom I consider close personal and business friends (ironically).
Using Tweet Adder with Caution (or any other social media automation tool)
The debate related to social media automation is polarizing some of the social media consultant and agency communities. For a lot of small business owners, social automation tools are a necessity for staying on top of social media channel growth. My personal opinion on social automation tools?I head the advice of Ben Parker: With great power comes great responsibility.
While Tweet Adder’s powerful automation features can save significant manual time in growing your social media channels, tools like this still need to be treated with caution. Here are some simple guidelines to help:
- Start slow. It’s important with Tweet Adder or any other automation tool to get your toes wet before you dive in. Many of these apps have great FAQ’s, ‘how to’ and feature demo videos as well as user communities. Poke around in those resources before you start blindly clicking around.
- Systematically isolate the variables. Social media tools like Tweet Adder have lots and lots of features and settings. When approaching a new social automation dashboard, make sure to test one feature at a time. Monitor so that if something goes awry, you can quickly backtrack, make adjustments and limit the potential damage.
- Capture and save screenshots of your application settings (when you finally get it right). Once you’ve figured out and verified the optimal settings for any given feature, make sure to take a screen capture of what the dashboard looks like. I take these screenshots, save them in Evernote and tag them by application for easy reference.
- Maintain good vigilance. In the case of my real friends on Twitter above, I was lucky enough to have people immediately reach out to me via @reply’s to let me know about the problem. Had it not been for the initial few, I may have ended up with a disaster. When using Tweet Adder or other social media automation tools, things can go south in a hurry. Get in the habit of learning how to monitor your Twitter channel growth and attrition on a regular basis. I’m currently using SocialBro – a social media analytics tool – to get some very deep insights into my own Twitter following.
- Think through and plan your experiments wisely. Throwing spaghetti at a wall is never a good strategy. Using Tweet Adder and other social media automation tools can give you the freedom to experiment, discover new tactics and ultimately give you a competitive advantage. That’s all great – but only if the plan aligns with your goals and online objectives. I’ve always admired how much thought and planning Chris Penn puts into his experiments with any social media tool. For an example of how he goes about using Tweet Adder and testing features, read about his experiment: Do Auto-DM’s Work?
Which One Resonates with You?
Perhaps you’ve had an experience where you’ve missed one of the bullets above while experimenting with social automation software? Which guideline did you miss and what happened? Is there something missing from the list? Can you share your experience and some ‘how to’ advice on what you did to fix the mess?
What would you add next?