How Twitter Hummingbird Can Automate Your Follow Process

Twitter is the newest “latest & greatest” fad in the internet marketing world. It allows for a very easy opportunity to send your message to thousands and thousands of people instantly. The trick is that you have to get a very large number of people following you (and hence, seeing your message) for Twitter to make an impact.

Lets face it, if you’ve only got 1,000 people following you & you send out an offer that gets a 2% click through rate… big whoop, you just got 20 clicks. Who cares?

The most common method of growing your twitter following is to follow mass amounts of people, and a certain percentage will follow you back.

The two most common ways of following people are:

  • Navigate to a leader in your market, look at their followers, and manually click the “follow” button next to each one of them
  • Have one of your outsourced minions do the above

Those two ways are ineffective. If you do it yourself, you’re spending a lot of your own time doing monkey work. It’s not fun. It’s not valuable. And if you rely on an overseas outsourcer to do this for you, they won’t always make the best decisions on whose followers to follow.

This is where Twitter Hummingbird will help. The software opens up & logs into one of your Twitter accounts. You navigate to someone’s followers and click “follow all.” That’s it. Done. The Hummingbird client will keep following until you tell it to stop, or until you hit one of the Twitter soft caps.

There are two other areas where Hummingbird is very useful:

  1. Mass unfollows – you need to do this fairly often so that your ratio is within the 110% soft cap. Currently, there’s a free tool called Twitter Karma that can do this for you, but Twitter Karma will only unfollow 70-80 people at a time… which makes a large unfollow very time consuming and cumbersome. Since Hummingbird doesn’t use the Twitter API (it logs directly into your account instead), you can just press the “unfollow all” button, and it’ll take care of all your dirty work for you with no effort on your part.
  2. Protected VIP’s – often, you’ll want to follow people on Twitter who will NOT follow you back. Most commonly, this will be celebrities or leaders in your market who you do not know personally. If you’re using a tool like Twitter Karma to do your mass unfollows, you’d have to manually look through your list & uncheck these VIP’s to prevent them from getting unfollowed. This is another huge chore. Hummingbird solves the problem by allowing you to create a “protected VIP list” – once you add someone to this list, they’ll get skipped over whenever you do a mass unfollow through the tool.

So if you’ve got an aggressive follow/unfollow strategy on Twitter, Hummingbird will make your life much easier for the above reasons.

However, that being said, there are 3 areas where Hummingbird could stand to improve.

  • No Mac Version – it’ll still work on a Mac, but you have to run it through Parallels or VM Firmware. That’s not ideal. Maybe they’ll come out with a Mac version eventually, but for now, it’s only PC based.
  • No hashtag support – it would be great if you could tell it to follow people based on hashtag use. This is not an option right now; the only follow method is to follow another Twitter user’s existing followers.
  • Can’t use it as your main Twitter client – its too slow and clunky. Although that doesn’t really matter, since you’d be doing all your tweeting either directly from twitter.com or Tweet Deck, or whatever your favorite tool is.

Posted under Twitter

Published on 28/03/2010

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