Auto-Follow Those that Follow you on Twitter

On Twitter, it is generally polite to follow those that follow you – they are saying, “you are interesting”, so it is the polite thing to show interest in them as well. I have heard from multiple people, including Scoble and Chris Pirillo that they have requested Twitter do this for them.

Well, I’m proud to announce that I’ve written a script that does just this for you. It’s a simple script, that does just what it says it does – auto-follows those that follow you. To install the script, download this script, unzip it (gunzip), then edit it. You’ll need to specify your Twitter username and password in the specified places, and if you want to blacklist any screen-names you’ll want to add those in as well. Then, add the script to a cron job somewhere, say, in cron.hourly or cron.daily, and it will now auto-follow anyone that follows you on Twitter! If you get any bologna (as I call it – others call it bacon) followers, you can simply add them to your black list in the script and it will ignore them.

If you have any problems installing it or running it, please comment. This script is being released under the GPL, v.1. Again, you can download the script at:

http://www.jessestay.com/auto_follow.pl.gz

I’ll post it to CPAN later as I get time so it can be downloaded there.

UPDATE: you’ll need to have Net::Twitter installed – you can install this by running “perl -MCPAN -e ‘install Net::Twitter'”

UPDATE (11/14/2007): Chris Pirillo has pointed out that it’s hitting an API limit if you have to follow more than 70 users within the same hour. If that is the case, set it to run on cron every hour, and eventually it should catch up. Twitter can also add your username to a white list if this is important to you and contact them. If you are on that white list, it should follow everyone in one swoop.

Published by

jessestay

Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called SocialToo.com which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

127 thoughts on “Auto-Follow Those that Follow you on Twitter”

  1. I think your download link may be down. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this is accomplished. thanks for your contribution, and best of luck with your projects.

  2. Hey Jesse – Thanks for the quick response!

    I was able to grab the download this time, but as per your socialtoo.com, that site seems to be down instead.

    (en) Please come back later
    (fr) SVP veuillez revenir plus tard
    (de) Bitte versuchen sie es spaeter nocheinmal
    (at) Konnten's bitt'schoen spaeter nochmal reinschauen
    (no) Vennligst prov igjen senere
    (dk) Venligst prov igen senere
    (pl) Prosze sprobowac pozniej

  3. OK, I must be an idiot. I installed Net::Twitter and I get a install OK on that. When I drag the auto_follow.pl in to my terminal I get a 'command not found' with it (using sudo as well). What am I missing here? It has to be something simple.

  4. Benjamin, unless you're set on running it on your own computer, I suggest just signing up for SocialToo.com – I've implemented it on a multi-user scale there and you can also blacklist users and do other stuff, including stuff on Facebook. If you like it, tell your friends about it!

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  46. $ ./auto_follow.pl
    Can't use an undefined value as an ARRAY reference at ./auto_follow.pl line 26.

    What gone wrong?

  47. paranoid – with Tweetlater you have to set up e-mail rules to do it.
    This requires no configuration on your end – it does it all for you,
    nothing you have to do. Tweetlater also does not track unfollows.

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