Approximately 500 million tweets are published every day — and not all of them from human users. In fact, if you’ve ever retweeted an article on Twitter, the chances are high that the tweet was created by a bot instead of a human user.

A study by Pew Research estimates that two-thirds of all tweeted links are shared by suspected bots. As bots continue to be more prolific on this popular social media platform, it’s important to understand what a Twitter bot is exactly. You might even need to know how to make one. Since a bot can automate part or all of your Twitter activity, it can accelerate your social media strategy while saving you time.

Let’s take a closer look at what a Twitter bot is and what benefits it offers below.

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What is a Twitter bot?

A Twitter bot is an account that’s programmed to perform actions, like send tweets at a scheduled time or follow accounts. These bots are created and managed via the Twitter API.

By automating certain tasks, Twitter bots can help you establish an active presence on one of the most widely used social media platforms in less time. With a bot, you can schedule tweets to publish at times when you’re not online. You can automate responses to new followers. You can retweet content with a particular keyword or hashtag. You can follow or unfollow accounts — and much more.

If you’re not sure how to share content, engage visitors, and market your business on Twitter, check out the Twitter Training Course on HubSpot Academy.

Creating a Twitter bot is relatively easy as well. You don’t need to code anything or even know how to code. You just need to understand the basics of an application programming interface (API), like that you’ll need an API key and some tokens to authenticate your request.

Let’s walk through the process of creating a Twitter bot below.

1. Apply for a Twitter developer account.

To start, go to developer.twitter.com and log in with an existing account or sign up for one. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a basically empty dashboard. In the top right corner, there will be a Create an app button. Click that.

Click create a app button to start application for twitter developer account

You won’t be able to create an app right away. Instead, you’ll have to apply for a developer account first. The application process is easy. You’ll just need to provide some basic account information and explain your intended use of the Twitter API.

2. Create Twitter application.

Once you confirm your email address, you can start creating your application. At this stage, all you’ll need to do is name your app.

Creating and naming Twitter Bot in developer platform

Then you’ll be given an API key, an API secret key, and Bearer token. Store these in a safe place — you’ll need them later.

Authentication keys and bear token for twitter bot

3. Edit the Twitter application’s permissions.

Once your Twitter app has been created, click the gear icon. It’ll be labelled “App Settings” if you hover over it.

Click App settings for Twitter bot in apps dashboard

Then edit the App Permissions and select the Read + Write + Direct Messages option. Click Save.

Editing app permissions for Twitter Bot in apps dashboard

4. Generate your access token and secret access token.

Once you save the app permissions, you’ll be redirected to your project dashboard. Switch from Settings to the Keys and Tokens tab. Next to Access token & secret, click Generate. You’ll need these in the next steps.

Generating access token and secret access token for Twitter Bot in apps dashboard

5. Program your Twitter bot.

You’re ready to program your bot now! To start, open the Twitter Bots app and sign in with your Google account that’s associated with your Twitter account. Fill in the input fields with the appropriate keys and tokens you got in earlier steps. Then specify the search criteria. Your app will find all new tweets that match this search phrase. I’ll choose #hubspot for my app.

Finally, you can select the action you want your bot to take from the drop-down menu. Possible actions include sending a public reply or private message, retweeting the tweet, following the account that tweeted it, and more. If you choose one of the options that require predesignated text, then you can fill out the “text” field to the right of the drop-down menu.

Programming Twitter bot with the Twitter Bots app

Once you click save, your bot is initiatives and will auto-run in the background. Easy, right?

Automating Tasks with a Twitter Bot

A Twitter bot can help automate administrative or non-essential tasks, like sending a DM to new followers or following an account based on a hashtag they use. This can help you advance your Twitter marketing without investing much time and effort. 

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Originally published Dec 16, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated October 08 2021

Topics:

Social Media Strategy