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Social Poach Approach: 3 Secret Steps to Finding the Most Engaged Twitter Users

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  • Social Poach Approach: 3 Secret Steps to Finding the Most Engaged Twitter Users

Using automation on Twitter to find and follow users is a technique used by many to grow their Twitter accounts. If you are not familiar with using automation for Twitter followers, I have gone into great detail on how to do this.

However, when mass following users on Twitter many people use one of these approaches:

  • Follow someone else’s followers
  • Follow the people someone else is following
  • Follow users that use a specific hashtag

While all of these approaches can work very well, there is one approach that I find performs better than the rest.

In this post, I’ll detail what I call the “Social Poach Approach” and why it works better than the three common approaches I listed above.

You’ll be able to walk away knowing how to implement this yourself – even if you have never used automation to follow people on Twitter before.

And chances are you are going want to smack yourself upside the head and say, “Duh, that makes total sense.”

[yellowbox]Free Bonus: Click here for a Free PDF Checklist that shows you the 3 steps you need to take to properly implement the Social Poach Approach. [/yellowbox]

The Potential Pitfalls of Automating Twitter Growth

Using automation to grow your Twitter following can help to rapidly build your follower count. But success on social media is much more than chasing some vanity metric like total number of followers.

Instead, a better metric to watch is your engagement rate.

And when you blindly follow someone else’s followers, people they are following, or a specific hashtag you are bound to follow Twitter users who will never engage with your tweets or content.

Why is that?

It’s  primarily due to you not following someone who has exhibited any “real” engagement with the person they followed. To me, a “follow” isn’t truly a form of engagement.

Sure, it’s nice to see someone follow back but will they ever do more than that?

If you are bulk following Twitter users who used a specific hashtag, it doesn’t really mean that they are an engaged user. It just means that they have a similar interest into your topic.

Just because they used the hashtag you like, does that mean they will interact with your content?

When you automatically follow someone else’s followers, people they are following, or users that tweeted a certain hashtag you are essentially throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.

You will definitely be able to increase your following with this approach, but you will more than likely not get the engagement you want from these followers.

So how can you mass follow targeted users who engage on Twitter?

It’s really simple, check this out.

Use The Social Poach Approach To Target Engaging Twitter Users

I like to call this the “Social Poach Approach”, and you are about to see why.

If you were paying attention in the previous section, you’ll remember how I said you need to find users who engage. And of all the different types of engagement you can do on Twitter, sharing content tops the list.

After all, don’t you want to build a following that is more likely to share your content than just pad your follower count?

Isn’t that going to help you spread your brand further?

Hopefully you answered yes to both of those.

And if you want to find other people who are engaging (or sharing) on Twitter, how would you do that?

By looking at who is sharing related content on Twitter.


The Social Poach Approach is a simple 3 step process:

  • Find highly shared, relevant topics of blog posts on Twitter
  • Identify who is sharing them
  • Follow those users

In summary, the best way to find people to follow on Twitter that have a higher likelihood of sharing your content is to target those users who are already sharing related content. In the end, you are poaching the engagers of highly shared Twitter content.

[yellowbox]Free Bonus: Click here for a Free PDF Checklist that shows you the 3 steps you need to take to properly implement the Social Poach Approach. [/yellowbox]

How to Find People Who Share on Twitter

Previously, I would use a site like Topsy to find these engagers. However, it shutdown and is no longer an option.

So now, I like to use Buzzsumo to find posts that are raking in the social love. If you are not familiar with Buzzsumo, it’s a content search engine that allows you to search by a domain or topic to find the posts shared the most on social media.

For example, if I wanted to see what content is getting shared a lot for “social media tips”, it would look like this:

buzzsumo search results

You’ll notice that you can filter your results using the menu on the left. For example, if I only wanted to see results from the past month and the content type of an “article” – I could easily do this within the available filters.

Once you have your filters set, you can also sort each of the share columns to show the most or least shares. Since we are looking for engaging Twitter users, I sort the “Twitter Shares” column to show the most shares first.

So my results now look like this:

buzzsumo search results filtered

You have probably noticed the “View Sharers” button to the left of the share data. Clicking it won’t tell you the sharers, but instead asks you to upgrade your account.

If you can swing the basic package of $99 a month, I’d go ahead and get it as Buzzsumo is a really great tool to have in your arsenal.

However, if $99 is a little steep for you – I’ll show you a Buzzsumo alternative workaround to get a list of these influencers for free…but it will take a little elbow grease to make it happen.

Get a List of People Sharing Content on Twitter for Free

Now it is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. In order to get the list of users for free, you’ll need a few things:

If you have seen my post on how to build your own free Twitter bot, this process will look familiar.

You’ll need to install both Imacros and GreaseMonkey in Firefox.

Install Imacros

Imacros is an extension that will allow you to automate repetitive tasks. Basically, you will define a process and tell it to repeat the process for you. So here’s what you need to do:

  • On the Imacros tab, click the “Rec” tab and then “Record”, then immediately click “stop”.
  • Next, right click over “Current.iim” and click “Edit Macro”.
  • When the overlay appears, you will need enter the following code:

'No test dialog
'extract user name
TAG POS={{!LOOP}} TYPE=SPAN ATTR=CLASS:username<sp>js-action-profile-name EXTRACT=TXT

Click “Save and close”.

Then, right click over “Current.iim” and click “rename” to name this to something you will remember.

Later, I will cover what this will do and how you will be using it.

Install GreaseMonkey

I covered in detail of why you need GreaseMonkey in my post about hacking together your own Twitter bot. However, it might be overkill for this (or not).

Basically what it will do once setup is to automatically scroll to the bottom of the results to force more results to load up. Sure, you can easily do this manually if you want to, but the option to do it in a few clicks is there if you are needing to load thousands of results.

Either way, if you want to use it you will need to follow these steps.

[yellowbox]Free Bonus: Click here for a Free PDF Checklist that shows you the 3 steps you need to take to properly implement the Social Poach Approach. [/yellowbox]

Create Your List of Engaging Twitter Users

Now that you have your foundation setup to find engaging Twitter users, it’s time to build out your list of usernames. So here’s what you need to do:

  • Take the top shared URL from your Buzzsumo search for Twitter shares and in Firefox paste that link into the search bar on Twitter. Run the search and then click on the “Live” tab (this will give you the most recent people sharing the URL)
  • If you are using GreaseMonkey, click on it to automatically start scrolling to the bottom of the page for you. Alternatively, you can scroll manually to force more results to load (If someone knows how to make Imacros autoscroll in Twitter, I would appreciate it as I can get it to work on others sites, just not Twitter)
  • Once the results have stopped loading, it’s time to run the Imacros script. In the Imacros sidebar, click on your script and in the “repeat macro” section enter the number of results you want to get. Then click “Play (Loop)”

Now you just need to sit back and let Imacros work its magic. What it is doing is going to each Twitter name in the results and saving them into a CSV file in your Imacros folder.

Once Imacros is complete, you can open up the CSV file and view the results. It will look something like this:

twitter engagers from search

Depending on how many people are sharing the post you are searching for, you may decide that you want to search Twitter for the other top URLs from Buzzsumo. If that’s the case, just copy the URL and paste it into the search bar, scroll to the bottom of the results, and scrape the data with Imacros.

Imacros will add any new data to the end of the data it has already collected in the CSV file.

When you are done, you might get a few duplicates and you can just use Excel to remove them. Click on the “Data” tab and then on “Remove Duplicates”. Then click “ok” and you are left with a list of engaging people to follow on Twitter.

[yellowbox]Free Bonus: Click here for a Free PDF Checklist that shows you the 3 steps you need to take to properly implement the Social Poach Approach. [/yellowbox]

Start Following Engaging Users on Twitter

Once you have your list of engaging users to follow on Twitter, you’ll need to follow them and ultimately engage with them. You can use a paid service that will allow you to import (or copy/paste) the CSV data you have. I recommend ManageFlitter as one of my favorite social media tools.

If you need to save a few bucks, I have written extensively about a free way to build your own Twitter bot.

You can follow them, add them to a list, and even share their content.

Over time you will see that your efforts from smarter bulk Twitter following paired with knowing the best times to tweet can help drive more engagement for your account.

Now You Try It

Hopefully you see the value of using the Social Poach Approach for you and your business.

While it does take a few more steps than mass following other people’s followers, your chances of following more engaging users is more likely using this strategy.

Ready to get started?

Grab my two-page checklist by clicking the image below.

- Social Poach Approach: 3 Secret Steps to Finding the Most Engaged Twitter Users - 1

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6 thoughts on “Social Poach Approach: 3 Secret Steps to Finding the Most Engaged Twitter Users”

  1. Hey Chris, it appears there may have been some code changes on Twitter since this originally posted? I saw you provided a similar update/solution on the original tutorial for this bot.

    I’m getting a Retry timeout, line: 6 (Error code: -1001)

    1. Ok, I was able to fix it by tweaking line 6 to:

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