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Twitter Machine

Get followers and their emails
Create an automated process that gets Twitter followers, publishes content to them, and collects email addresses when any of the content is clicked on.
Google News RSS
URL Shortener
Twitter API

1/2 Work Day
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Step One

The first step is to visit www.buzzfork.com and signup for an account. BuzzFork is the most cost effective way to gain targeted Twitter followers. You basically choose which keywords, people, or hashtags that you want to target, and then BuzzFork automatically favorites tweets that fit within your parameters. Favorited tweets show up on people's stream, and many of them follow you in return.

Update: since writing this recipe I've also started using Tribe Boost (http://www.tribeboost.com) to gain followers. Instead of using the favorite function, they simply follow relevant people and unfollow those that don't follow you back.

Step Two

Now that we are automatically gaining Twitter followers we need content to publish on Twitter. Visit www.google.com/alerts/manage and create new alerts for similar keywords that you used on BuzzFork. Instead of having the alerts delivered to your email address, you'll choose to have them delivered to a feed instead. Now you have an RSS feed of stories that your Twitter followers would like to read.

Step Three

Next, you'll need a developer to take the links being generated in the RSS feed and put them into an iFrame (which resides on your URL), and the iFrame is 100% height and 100% width. This allows a visitor to this new URL to feel as if they are on the original site of the story, but they are really on a URL that you control and the link is actually just inside the iFrame. This allows you to control the site, which will be important for the next step.

Step Four

Now, you are going to need a designer to create a popup that appears after a few seconds and it is going to ask visitors for an email address. You can just ask them to join your mailing list, or you can even give them something in return (ebook, white paper, video). As an alternative, instead of a popup you can create a drop down from the top of the screen that is basically a CTA to click through to your primary website. Basically, now you have full control of the page for anyone who arrives through your link, so get creative.

Step Five

The final step is to push this new link you created to your Twitter followers. Remember, you are using the new link you created, which is basically an iFrame (with a Google News link inside of it) with a popup added to it. Using the Twitter API, setup your Twitter account to automatically publish one new link every hour.

Update: steps 3 through 5 can be simplified by using Twitter Feed (http://www.twitterfeed.com) and Tweetganic (http://www.tweetganic.com), without the need for a developer.


That's it. You've created a Twitter Machine. You are automatically getting followers, automatically publishing content to them that they will find relevant, and you are automatically gaining email addresses (or clicks) for your own product. (Photo by William Hook)