For quite some time I have been using a simple console application to promote my clients profile and products on twitter. This application used the popular technique of adding people to follow list and then removing them from follow list if they did not reciprocate with the request. The application did try to honor all ratelimiting protocols enforced by Twitter. One of the dreaded error you will receive is the one that tells you can not follow more people. If you receive this error that means you have hit one of the following limits.
For more details about these limits and why they are there, I will strongly recommend that you read details at I can't follow people: follow limits. This is definitely worth reading before you get your account marked as spammer.
At high level following steps describe the process that is followed by the application.
Twitter has put a limit on how many users you can add to your follow list. This limit was established to make sure that spammers do not spam people with requests. The first hard limit has been set to 2000 follows. There is lot of confusion about this number. There is mis-conception that you can not have more than 2000 follows. This is not correct. You can have as many follows as you want as long as the following conditions are satisfied.
These limits are not something that Twitter has published. This is something that I have established from experience during all this time dealing with Twitter API. The main lesson is that as long as you play by the rules, the game will not punish you and you can play the game to your advantage. I have incorporated these rules into Marketweet console application. After each follow request application checks for limits. The moment application reaches the threshold values, further requests are terminated.
This is the most important part of the game. You need to pick the search terms very carefully. A right combination of search terms will find you users who can be good addition to your follow list. From my experience I have seen that it takes few iterations and good experience to come up with effective keywords. One of my clients is seller of woman's clothing. I asked them what they though would be keyword that they would like to target. This client is established on first page of Google search for few years now. So they gave me one word. I tried the search in Twitter in front of them. To their surprise 90% of the results that came up were for other merchants who were advertising their products. the lesson to learn from this example is that on social networking or micro-blogging sites you want to search for words that are complimentary to your target keywords.
This is what I call my marketing tool for twitter. It is a simple console application developed using .Net 3.5 framework. It uses Tweetsharp API to consume Twitter REST API and perform all the actions. Recently I published Twitter .Net Samples that show how this API can be used. I have included the binary files for this API with the console application project included with this post. You can download and compile the project. You will need to supply appropriate information in configuration file for the application to run. Enter your target keywords on separate lines in SearchTerms.txt file.
There is no cost for this application. If you are not a developer and want to use this application, drop me a line. I will compile it and send you instructions on how to use it. I am working on creating a simple GUI application which I plan to post some time next week.