When running a mass of twitter accounts for profit, there are a few things you need to get a handle on. Today, we’ll cover how you fill these accounts with content.
Obviously, all the content has to be done automatically. You can’t rightly hand-update 50+ accounts, can you?
So – with automated tweets, I view the landscape as having three distinct buckets:
Filler is , well – filler. It will be tweets right from the RSS feeds of news sites and blogs on the topic of choice. If it’s a Twitter that’s politically themed, I might pull in feed entries from MSNBC, Huffington Post, Crooks & Liars, and Media Matters. There’s no human commentary in these tweets, just a titles and a link.
Smoke is a distraction. It’s camouflage. Meant to combat the fact that a Twitter stream of just Filler content looks like it’s an automated bot account. Smoke content is the republishing of other people’s real tweets. It makes you look like a person, and not the filthy little spam factory that you are.
Money is the reason you’re doing this in the first place. Money tweets contain affiliate links, or links to your squeeze pages for bringing people into an email list. The most common in my dealings are links to products on Amazon, and then zip/email submit offers.
Generating Filler Content
Filler content is really easy to automate. All you need is a few RSS feeds on the topic you want to tweet about, and a free account at TwitterFeed.
After creating an account, you’ll need to add a feed and give it a name. The example I’m using is for a group of entertainment/celeb news twitter accounts.
Once it validates that the feed actually works, you’ll want to add some of the advanced options:
In this instance, I’m doing one post every six hours. I’m pushing the title and description out (which will get truncated 99% of the time) along with a shortened bit.ly link to the actual story. I also pick GUID as the sorting option, and leave the “Feed is sorted” box unchecked. This keeps all the accounts running off this feed from posting the same entries in the same exact order.
This will get you 4 posts a day – so this feed plus one more would make for a decently active account by itself. Of course, it would look really bad – so we’re not done yet.
Now that you’ve got your content foundation in related news stories, you need to make this look like it’s being run by a human. Thankfully, this is fairly easily done by non-humans. To pull this part off, we’ll use Twitter search result RSS feeds, Yahoo Pipes, and our good friend Twitter Feed.
The basic process would look like…
- User A makes a tweet that mentions “coupon code”.
- Their tweet hits the twitter search results for “coupon code”.
- You run the RSS feed for that search result into Yahoo Pipes (to strip out “RT” and format it up a little) and then into TwitterFeed.com to push to your bots every X hours.
- Your twitter accounts make a new tweet from the RSS feed of the “coupon code” search, which results in a more natural looking update than one from, say, CouponCabin’s RSS feed.
[notification type="success"] Pro tip – use the feed from 3 different, but related search results. Pipe them together to stagger out topics. [/notification]
To do this, you’ll need the following, since Twitter started hiding feed URLs on us:
Hashtag search: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?lang=en&q=%23TagName
Keyword search: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?lang=en&q=keywords%20here
Note the %20 in the keyword search URL – you need that to separate words.
I usually put all of these into Feedburner. Originally it was to get some more stats, but… I ended up never looking at them. Anyway, you’ll need to make a Yahoo pipes account, and then create a new pipe. You can go down the rabbit hole here and go crazy, but for now let’s make a nice simple feed:
Simply grab a “Fetch Feed” item under “Sources” in the menu. Slap in your three (or more) feed URLs, and connect it to your pipe output. Save, and get the new feed URL.
Now, just repeat the steps for Filler Content, but use the URL for your new, mashed up, Yahoo Pipe feed.
Done? Sweet. You’ve got yourself an auto-running, kinda-human-looking twitter account. High five. Or… something.
Make Some Money
Now that you’ve got the account(s) being populated with content, you need your system for adding in Money Tweets. This could be anything from affiliate links to Amazon products, links to CPA squeeze pages, sales pages for your own email list/ebook/whatever, or even just tweets from paid services like Sponsored Tweets.
If it’s something like Amazon, you can take an Amazon tag page feed, append your affiliate ID, and pump it in every few hours through TwitterFeed.
If you’re doing links to CPA pages and need to push out just the most recent live offer, or you’re doing sponsored tweets, you’ll want to set up a master account.
Master accounts are basically a hub account that feed your bot account army. The goal is that anything you post to the master account by hand gets automatically pushed to all the bot accounts within an hour. So, to do this, there are a few steps.
Naturally, first you need to make a new Twitter account to serve as the master.
Next you need to get back into Yahoo Pipes and make a clean feed of just the posts. Your master feed URL (again, hidden by Twitter, the jerks) is http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/YOUR-USER-ID-NUMBER.rss
Don’t know your user ID number? Me neither. Just use this site and find it.
So, take that, hop into Yahoo Pipes, and make the following:
We’ll fetch the Feed URL again like we did for our Smoke content, and then this time we need to add a Regex step. Grab a Regex item from the “Operators” menu in Yahoo Pipes.
From there, we want to strip out the master account user name. So, add two lines like the above screen shot. Set the rules so that in “item.title” you replace the user name with… nothing. We want the stuff removed, not replaced.
This is simply stripping the feed items down to just the tweets, not “User Name said blah blah blah.”
Connect that to the pipe output, save, and get that URL into your Twitter Feed account – but update every hour.
There ya have it. Now, any time you log into your master account and make a tweet with an affiliate link, it will get pushed to all the bot accounts you add to Twitter Feed within 60 minutes.
[notification type="standard"] TL;DR - You can feed Twitter Accounts with automatic updates from various sources, including blog RSS feeds, other people’s tweets, and affiliate links that can make you money. [/notification]
Next time, we’ll discuss how you can get followers to all these accounts. Stay tuned.