Update April 3, 2011
I originally wrote this article in 2009. It’s still one of my most popular, but I have to say, I don’t really recommend this method anymore. Twitter is five years old now and has really changed since 2009. The auto-respond practice has really been beaten to death. Now, when I follow people, I often have second thoughts about them if I get an auto reply. It feels spammy, and I sometimes look at the person I just followed with more scrutiny especially if the auto reply has a marketing message. Though more time consuming, I would recommend reaching out to your new followers in the public stream with personal attention or overall global value… Not an automated triggered response. Still, for those of you who’d like to know how to do it, read on.
Twitter is a great marketing tool if you use it right. Like any social media, it’s a relationship building tool. When you earn the love and loyalty of your network, you find your stage has a pretty bright spotlight. The more you use Twitter and contribute useful content, the more you find followers will find you. There are many tools where your authority can be found aside from just surfing Twitter itself.
Twitter offers the ability to send a direct message to people who follow you. Have you ever noticed on occasion when you opt to follow someone, you immediately receive a direct message with something like “thanks for following – check out my site at www…” For that direct message to be sent, the Twitterer is either doing it manually (unlikely, especially if they’re busy) or using a web 2.0 tool like Tweetlater. This Twitter auto respond tool lets you schedule your tweets, but also has a convenient “auto-reply” feature.
Pretty useful to market yourself a little further. Just make sure you have something to say in your Twitter auto messages. It’s a great way to Twitter clients specifically, as well.
For those who were curious but didn’t ask, my Twitter obsession also hits Tweetdeck, TweetEffect, TwitterGrader, TweetBurner, Tweepler, MyTweeple, and TweetVolume pretty often. I’m about as addicted to these as I am Firefox extensions.
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