Create Twitter RT botUpdated on 10/10/2018: Yahoo! Pipes has been discontinued but I was notified by a reader that there’s a similar service that works the same: pipes.digital

Please go ahead and try a new editor and comment below to let me know if it works for you!

Also, here are a few more up-to-date resources for automating Twitter management:

Twitter can be used in various, almost countless ways. In this post I am sharing a tip on how to create a useful Twitter RT bot that can be used to collect various Tweets around a keyword or a hashtag and retweet them. And before you start throwing stones at me calling me a Twitter spammer, let me give just a few examples of how this bot can be used to create real value:

  • Think of a Twitter RT bot that will be used to collect Tweets around some SEO conference. Thus all people who want to follow live updates from many members won’t need to keep track of hashtags and keywords associated with the event – all they need is to follow your bot.
  • Or, say, you want to introduce your own cool hashtag and get other people to use it (#FirefoxFriday for example) but you want to filter out all retweets and give people the way to only follow real first-hand Tweets – a Twitter bot is the best option to go!

So, I guess I made it clear why you might find this tutorial handy. Now let’s see how to create one:

Create a Yahoo! Pipe

1. Choose the keywords / hashtags to retweet

Once you decided to create a Twitter bot, I suppose you already have the topic. So what you need to do now is to create a new hashtag to filter the Tweets (or just use the one you want to retweet);

2. Use Yahoo! Pipes to create a feed

The reason I use Yahoo! Pipes to create a feed is that Twitterfeed (I am going to use to auto-tweet) does not allow to use Twitter-based feeds and also Yahoo! Pipes offer some cool options allowing to customize the feed. So:

  • Use Twitter search to grab the RSS feed. Update: Use this article to learn how to turn Twitter search results into RSS as Twitter stopped displaying feed buttons for updates.
  • Now, go to Yahoo! Pipes and click “Create a pipe”. Drag the “Fetch feed” item from the left-hand panel and provide your Twitter search RSS link. You should see the feed output at the bottom of your screen.

Twitter bot: fetch RSS

  • Filter your feed. Now, there might be plenty of retweets of the initial Tweet using your key hashtag – and you don’t want your bot to repeat one and the same update again and again. So you can go ahead and filter out all Tweets containing “RT” ( “Retweet”, “Retweeting”, etc):

Drag the Operator > Filter pipe from the navigation and add the following:

Twitter bot: filter

Now, connect all three pipes (feed, filter and output) together and you are done!:

Twitter bot: connect

  • You can also give credit to the initial update author (RT @username) for the bot’s update to look like this: [the initial message here RT @tweet-author]. This part is a bit more complex.

1.First, drag Operators > Loop Pipe and insert it before the “Pipe output” Pipe;

2. Now, drag String > String Builder Pipe right in the middle of the Loop Pipe and do exactly what is shown on the screenshot:

Twitter bot loop

You should see now that the feed output contains the URL to the initial author profile:

Twitter bot loop

3. Now you should cut the first part of the URL and make it @author. For that grab Operators > Regex Pipe and there in item.title replace http://twitter.com/ with RT @

Twitter bot replace

(!) Don’t forget to connect the last pipe with the other ones – so that in the end our Pipe looks as follows:

Twitter bot - Yahoo! pipe

And the output looks like this:

Twitter bot: output

Save the Pipe and grab its RSS.

Set up the Auto Tweets

All what follows is quite easy:

1. Create your new Twitter profile to publish the Retweets,

2. Connect it to Twitter Feed and set up the auto-retweets there:

Twitter bot: TwitterBot

Congratulations! You are done!

Can you think of any really creative uses of this tip? (Please don’t spam Twitter!)

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I am the owner of this blog as well as Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and Founder of MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU and ViralContentBee.com

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114 Comments

  1. Pingback: uberVU - social comments
  2. Great use of Yahoo Pipes. I’ll give it a try later. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. I came across this a while ago and I’ve been meaning to test this to see how helpful it is retweeting potential link partners tweets for aquiring links

  4. Jenny Talia says:

    I don’t understand how you can be a twitter spammer. Spam is unsolicited. if you follow someone’s twitter feed, then by definition you have solicited that person’s tweets. ??

  5. Even if your not following someone and they mention your @username in a tweet you’ll get it in your “mentions @username” thus spamming you

  6. Jenny Talia says:

    ah. but it is still solicited. it is how the system works. you get tweets directly from the person you want to read and you get retweets. as a subscriber, it comes with the territory.

    meanwhile, twitter needs to allow users to filter out retweets/mentions @username to give users more control over the experience.

  7. Very useful tips. I have been using Yahoo Pipes a long time ago but not yet tried on this. Thanks

  8. I took the plunge and logged into yahoo pipes and tried this myself. Your instructions were perfect. I can now RT on any topic I want.

    Thanks!

  9. Anne Ross says:

    Hey ! Thanks a lot. This is interesting and it seems very useful I am going to try it, for sure.

  10. Not only I was given Captcha, the SK2 also given PHP errors:

    Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter – headers already sent (output started at /home/content/a/n/n/annsmarty3/html/wp-content/plugins/SK2/sk2_second_chance.php:2) in /home/content/a/n/n/annsmarty3/html/wp-content/plugins/enhanced-wp-contactform/wp-contactform.php on line 264
    Thank you. Your comment has been approved.

  11. Hey Hendy, no idea what the problem with SK is. Usually it works pretty well. Sorry for that.

    And thanks for bringing that issue to my attention.

  12. Web Marketing Services says:

    HI

    Twitter is one of the best site where we can do marketing and it return the credit in the shape of visitors.

  13. This is very interesting and useful. Thank you….

  14. Your article about Twitter Retweet Bot is very interesting… Thanks for the information…

  15. I like your instructions very much. I’ll try to create my own twitter bot soon.
    Thanks.

  16. I was looking for this type of information. Thank you.

  17. Great and useful article! Am using Google URL Shortener integrated in Google FeedBurner! It’s better and more real-time!

  18. I get a (503 Service Unavailable) for the search.twitter.com feed… Has anyone else got this and know a fix for it?

  19. yeah, 503 error all day, yo. what up with that? anyways, every few hours it looks like something gets through, but for the most part, 503

  20. Hi Ann, just checking out your blog, fantastic tutorial here. One thing that I think may be missing here is creating blog posts from this piped and aggregated content, then sending to Twitter.

    Despite what others say about automating Twitter Tweets, I believe I read somewhere that 70% of all Tweets are bot-generated anyways, so there’s no harm in doing this in my opinion.

    If Yahoo Pipes creates an RSS feed that TwitterFeed can work with, then a blog running WP O Matic or FeedwordPress could aggregate that same RSS feed, and post the pulled content as a draft.

    You could then write a few sentences introducing the source of your information, then link to source, then publish your blog post.

    Then TwitterFeed will pick up your blog’s RSS feed (more reliably than a Yahoo Pipes feed) and send it on to Twitter.

    This method allows you to add content to a semi-automated blog, giving your more and more indexed pages and the crux of what you were trying to do (gather together info on a certain topic) has still been achieved, just in 3 places instead of 2 (Yahoo, Blog, Twitter, versus Yahoo >Twitter)

    You could also use Delicious Tags to create RSS feed for whatever url you want and your Delicious Tags go into a dofollow RSS feed which could be sent to a semi0automated blog then to Twitter etc….

    I wrote about Delicious links here on this post

    http://linkvanareviews.com/delicious-links-and-how-to-get-dofollow-links-from-delicious

    Thanks,

    Dan

    P.S. Going to spend rest of day doing SEO brain games, thank you very much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. thanks .. a great info

  22. How could I change this to reply to the person that tweeted rather than retweet them?

    Thanks.

  23. I have to ask, as it isn’t obvious from your post. Can you create a bot that retweets multiple phrases? I have set up a test ot using your principles, but can I get it to retweet various hashtags or searches? If it’s possible then what is the easiest way to do it?

  24. This is great for filler to your accounts between your actual tweets. Not an end all solution, but I dont think it was intended to be. Thanks again.

  25. Free Classifieds Ads says:

    Thank you very much for this tip. As i am new in internet world, so it must help me.

  26. How do i get a space between the “RT @username” an the following text ?

  27. Just set up a RT-Bot. Thank you very much. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Still not knowing how i get a space between RT @username and the following text while using this bot ???

    Can anyone help ?

  29. @Dominik

    The textfield in the middle must contain a space.

  30. In the Loop -> Stringbuilder

  31. KillerQuaid says:

    Great tutorial I’m using it now – works like a dream.

  32. @Dominik A better solution to the space problem:

    1. Get rid of Loop -> String Builder.
    2. Change the Regex to “In item.title, replace ^([^\:]+)\: with RT @ $1.”

    (The $1 is a variable that isolates the Twitter handle. In my tests, the rest of the status was included with a space but it would be simple to fix with an extended regex if it wasn’t)

  33. thx a lot !

  34. Edit to my comment above–Step 2: โ€œIn item.title, replace ^([^\:]+)\: with RT @$1.โ€ (I’d accidentally put a space between “@” and “$1”)

  35. I have to ask, as it isnโ€™t obvious from your post. Can you create a bot that retweets multiple phrases?

  36. Hey great info! It helped me to create a RT bot of my city’s tweets.

    I wonder if you can help me to create a pipe that can extract only the hashtags of a twitter feed, i want it to get the trending topics for my country.

  37. @Etalaze: Totally. Just use the Union operator to aggregate the phrases you want to retweet, then filter them with the Unique operator before you output them because you might end up with duplicates.

    @Jaime: You could do that with a different regular expression to filter out the hashtags.

  38. Puppy Training Tips says:

    I was trying to make a retweet button but failed. Now i found this post here. Thank you very much.

  39. Thanks! Very useful… but what to do to make that ‘RT @username’ appears at the begining of the tweet?

  40. Thanks for this great tutorial. How can I make sure that the tweet (incl RT @orgtweeter) has a max of 140 chars?

  41. atul jain says:

    i can publish my pipe output to Twitter Feed.
    it dont take the rss of pipe output

  42. Hey, just wondering how to filter out duplicate @ Mentions. For example, if I’ve already retweeted someones post mentioning ‘ipad’ and they mention ‘ipad’ again, how can I filter out their later posts to avoid @ Mentioning them over and over again. Please let me know. This would be a useful filter.

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