Twitter marketing for business is serious stuff. If you don’t believe us, try snatching a keyboard from a social media networking expert and see what happens. Just try it.

At The Content Factory, we tweet so much that we hashtag things in our sleep, and we find it difficult to unplug from the world of Twitter marketing, especially because we know how important a quick response can be. When Ricki Lake replies to you, you do NOT leave Ricki Lake hanging.

But as much as we love social media networking, we also enjoy time away from the office. So when we heard about a new way to balance our Twitter marketing with our analog lives, we were pretty pumped, and of course we had to share the love. We’re talking, of course, about automating our Twitter responses. Here’s how to make it work:

How to Set Up a Twitter Auto-Responder

1.    Create a Twitter App

  • Sign into dev.twitter.com with your Twitter account. Create a new app, add a website and a callback URL (http://www.google.com/script) and then write a description.
  • Click the settings tab and select Read and Write for the Application Type. To save your work, click Update.
  • Then head over to the OAuth tool tab and write down the Consumer Secret and Consumer Key.

2.    Create an Auto-Responder Script

  • Go to script.google.com.  Select File -> Make a copy to copy and paste the auto-responder script in Google Drive.
  • Choose the beginning and ending days for when you’ll be away. Also enter the Twitter app keys and your Twitter handle.
  • Next, click on Run -> Start to initialize the auto-responder. If asked to authorize access to Google Script services, click on Yes.
  • Select Run -> Start again, which will prompt an “Authorization Required” box. Give authorization for the script to connect to your Twitter account, and your Twitter auto-responder is now complete.

Not so hard, is it? We don’t just use Twitter for a business, we use Twitter for a lot of different clients, so we’ll be sharing this awesome tip with them too.

Update

Thanks for all of your feedback on this post! For those of you just checking out this Twitter hack now, we wanted to let you know that there have been some changes to the Twitter API which may affect the auto-responder code. Some of you who’ve tried this hack recently have told us it’s no longer working correctly. We’re hitting up some of our coder friends for solutions (feel free to comment here if you have any insights!) In the meantime, here are a couple of free auto-responder tools you may want to try instead:

Relaxed. If you’re having trouble sorting out the code in our guide, Relaxed will do the heavy lifting for you. Just connect the app to your Twitter account, set the date when you’ll be away and choose the message you’d like to send to anyone who tweets you during that time. Simple and easy!

Crowdfire. Use Crowdfire to send a “welcome DM” to new followers. You’ll find this feature under the “Automate” tab, but we recommend checking out Crowdfire’s other features too. It’s a great tool for finding new followers and cleaning up your following list by unfollowing inactive accounts.

We’re always on the lookout for new social media trends and tools. Have an app you think we should try? Want to share your own genius Twitter hack? Let us know by posting a comment!


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