What you can’t Automate on Twitter

Twitter was a place where people used to converse and share their updates. Where they are going? What they are doing? What they like and what they dislike? It was a facebook type status in 140 charachters.

Then came the social media marketers who wanted to maximize their traffic with minimum efforts. This resulted in apps that could automate twitter status updates and also gain many followers in a few minutes time. You could update using twitterfeed and you could also schedule updates. (Using Scheduling tweets or not is a debatable concept).

New apps can automate a host of things but they still can’t automate some things which makes twitter such a nice and warm place to be a part of. Here are some I think are the most awesome things that you can’t automate on twitter:

Amazing Conversation

Twitter is all about conversation and if you don’t follow a regime to talk to your followers on twitter, you will not be known. Replying to your followers can result in some of the most amazing conversations. I have had many debates with my twitter followers on various different subjects.
Even if our opinions were different, we were still able to broaden our horizon by presenting our thoughts in front of each other.

If you are not replying, then you are not tweeting! If you feel that you don’t have enough time to engage, there are always techniques that will be able to cut down on your time to engage.

Learning

When I first started tweeting, I had little knowledge on many subjects like social media marketing, internet marketing, etc. I thought twitter was totally useless and it was a total time waste. But, when I started using it like a pro tweeter, I was able to grasp many topics in a small period of time. This knowledge helped me in improving my blogging and writing skills and it also gave me many ideas which I could blog about. Now, if you are automating, then you are not reading the tweets and hence, you are losing on an amazing learning opportunity.

Reputation

Reputation is not built in minutes. It takes months of hard work to build a high reputation twitter account where people love what you tweet. So, automation cannot build reputation as you are not spending enough time to build good relationships with people.

Also, a myth among many twitter users is that a high twitter following equals a higher reputation. This is not at all true. A person who got 20000 followers may have zero reputation because he got all the followers using automated methods. Whereas a person with 1000 followers can have a very high reputation if he had worked hard for it.

Influence

Becoming a twitter champ is not a piece of cake. You have to do a lot more than just following people. You have to make really good relationships with twitter users who have a high influence. Once you become a part of their influence circle, your influence will increase on its own.

A high influence can be achieved with the lower follower count if you are able to develop great relationships with other highly influential twitter champions.

Friends

This is the part that I cherish the most. On twitter, I have made really good friends who I am able to interact with freely and also I am able to share my thoughts with. Friends are needed for moral and emotional support. When you have hit rock bottom, these friends will be there for you. I wouldn’t have made any twitter friends if I hadn’t interacted with them in the first place.

So, if you are planning to automate twitter, then you are missing out on making some really amazing friends.

Business Opportunity

Twitter has many opportunities for the growth of your business. But, customers will believe in your product if you are genuine on twitter and you treat your followers in the right way.

Building a business starts with building trust and that too cannot be automated!

Can you think of any other things that cannot be automated on twitter?

  • I Agree

  • Hey Gautam,

    I completely agree with your view on Twitter. You are right, these things cannot be automated.

    Gautam, which Twitter tool/app do you use to manage your twitter account and for replying to people on Twitter?

    Kindest,
    Nabeel

    • Nabeel, I would recommend you hootsuite – it’s free and it has got lots of features that you would like in a power packed app.

  • Gautam, you have hit the nail on the head and at just the right time, in my opinion! It has never been easier than now to gain Twitter followers and many tweeters are mistakenly equating high follower numbers with influence. There are people I’ve never heard of with over 100,000 followers and I have been on Twitter since May 17, 2008. Yesterday, I saw one such account tweet that it had “passed” a very influential tweeter and I shuddered. Influence is not a contest.

    Twitter is SO MUCH more valuable than that! You can meet your mentors, learn things, stretch your comfort levels, adjust your views, see things from a world perspective instead of just your little corner of the world! The gains could be monetary, but you’d have a hard time pinning it down if it came from real influence. Twitter is the start point for all other social networks. Because it is not limited to just 5000 friends like Facebook, your reach is long lasting, distant and powerful – even if you have 1000 followers. I will quote @MarshallSylver “Power is for use”. If you do have more followers than someone else, help them out. Not only is it a kind and right thing to do – it feels GREAT~!

    Ok, I got a little off-track, but I love Twitter =)
    x0x
    Anita @ModelSupplies
    PS I would like to also add that there is a disturbing trend of people charging money to be listed or for RTs, etc. While people may not object out loud, it’s pretty creepy. Real Twitter friends do not charge each other for these things. NOTE: This is outside of vendors like MyLikes, Sponsored Tweets and Buy-Sell-Ads. Those are business. And totally fine, in my opinion. This other thing is just disturbing and it completely changed my opinion about the influence level of the person charging.

    • That is hell of a rant 🙂
      I would say that many twitter users have surpassd my follower count in a few hours, but I don’t care because they are just building numbers and not reputation and I am here to long lasting friends which could build online collaborations which might last for ages.

      There is no problem to get a kick start on twitter. But do try to build an online presence around your twitter account. That will make you a superstar in the eyes of your followers 🙂

      • Completely agree~! The other day I tweeted, “If you become something overnight on autopilot, aren’t you a little concerned about what that might be?”

        • Just saw that, looks like we were thinking on the same issue. See a lot of people talking about automated twitter solutions. Just gets me very irritated.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more Gautam. The things you mentioned in this post are what makes Twitter unique from the social networking crowd. To be frank, although my timeline is filled with retweets, sharing stuffs etc, timeless DM conversations with my friends is generally what makes my day. Really great insights.

    Regards

    A.R.Karthick (@arkarthick)

    • DM conversations are the ones I cherish the most. And you see, you can be more personal there and have a laugh and talk freely, like you have no boundaries 🙂

  • What people fail to understand about Twitter bots is that they’re the reason that Twitter has a downside. Why bother creating an automated account if they’re just that, automated. The whole purpose of Twitter is to share, communicate and gain new knowledge, how are we supposed to do that if people are constantly missing the point of the site?

    • Exactly right! Jasmine you have a valid point there. The negative points of twitter are arising due to this failure to understand the importance of being human on twitter and (that is what makes twitter such an awesome place)

      • Indeed, Twitter is awesome and I hope that it’s value for communication never decreases because of these pesky bots!

  • So true. I agree with you, there are no shortcuts when it comes to socail networking and Twitter. Relationships can not be automated.

    • Dan, I think if everything would have been so easy to get, people didn’t have to slog and put hours of hard work. Twitter requires attention and hard work and a knack of building good relationships

  • Ditto!!! I am not going to write a blog about your post (LOL), but I started on Twitter to connect and to learn. I get so mad when people (auto)respond saying that they don’t check DMs… What’s the point… 🙁 Or when you respond to a question just to find out is a ‘trick’ to seem like they are ‘actual’ people ‘live’ on Twitter… So sad…
    Thanks for the post and for being my friend on Facebook. 🙂
    @aboutebusiness

    • It is a really annoying habit when you automate the essential media for communications – DM and replies. This is when it gets scary to tweet. You may not know whether the tweet is made a human or a bot.

  • After being on Twitter since about September 2008 I slowly but steadily increase my following, it is careful and precise on who I follow and I don’t care who follows back.

    I do however schedule tweets very often and I do this for several reasons:

    #1 – I am not awake 24×7 but some of my fans are in different time zones around the world, by scheduling a promotion of my post or article, I am letting people who wouldn’t be in my normal “time zone” know that some new articles are available.

    #2 – when I run contests I want to get attention to them, and scheduling tweets again is something that lets it be a reminder. Remember every time you tweet an article you are lucky to get 3-5 clicks per 1000 followers, so the more often you tweet the more you increase your visibility.

    I don’t believe in people who spam to get following/affliate products, but I am glad other bloggers tweet their articles because even I will find an article posted 2 months ago from someone retweeting it on occasion.

    PS. The best program for scheduling tweets manually is Hootsuite, but with Twaitter.com you can schedule tweets to automatically occur, daily, weekly, monthly…etc and they have approval from Twitter to be one of the only services to allow recurring tweets at set intervals.

    • Jan, scheduling – as a said is a necessary evil for some, but given a choice – scheduling tweets is not a very good habit and one which should be controlled.

      But there are even bigger evils out there like auto dm’s and replies that are the most annoying part of the twitter

  • Is there a hierarchy of Twitter influencer which is based on reputation? If there is one it will be good to track oneself.

    @digital_post

    • yes, there is.
      Klout is a decent measure of a person’s influence. use klout.com and you might see how influential a particular tweeter is.

  • Hi Gautam,

    What a fine post, I can’t agree with you more. Thanks for hitting on each of the key pointers!

    I am trying to take twitter back from the bots. Sometime it feels like I am in The Terminator, John Connor in a world of machines 😉

    You can’t recreate human interaction. This is what twitter or any social media platform is all about: connecting, share and caring.

    Successful tweeting is interaction before all else.

    Ryan Biddulph

    • Yes, I think scheduling is not bad as such if you are provide the conversation, but twitter feeds and bots should not be part of your main twitter account if you want to get a near celebrity status on twitter

  • Excellent post. I don’t follow automated accounts anyway, but you’re right in all of your points there.

    The only thing that’s missing is that WP plugin that lets your commenters add their twitter username – would have made it easier to interact with you and others who share the same views and commented here.

    • Anne,
      Thanks for the suggestion. I was thinking of adding the plugin so people could add their twitter link, but i wasn’t sure about it. But now I will have to add it to my blog.

  • Thats right. I agree that all these cant be automated. Building a strong community can never be automated in Twitter or anywhere else and thats definitely needed to succeed. Even I myself sometimes just increase twitter followers without communicating properly but now I feel that I should not do that. Great Piece of work

  • rndtechnologies786

    Good thought.