Building a Searchable Database of your Twitter Followers

04 Oct
October 4, 2014

There are many reasons you may want to search your Twitter followers – common interests, to reach out to influencers, or potential customer issues to name a few.

One of Twitter’s great shortcomings though is an easy way to search through the details of those who are following you.

There are plenty of tools for analysing your Twitter base, but many rely on paid, or at the very least Freemium models to exist and require you to grant multiple account permissions to do so, or giving a courtesy tweet before you can access it.

I’ve been tinkering around with IFTTT again, and have put together a way of building an automated, searchable database using Twitter and Google Docs that catalogues followers as they follow you.

There are only two downsides to this method:

  • It won’t pick up any current followers
  • If someone unfollows you, they remain on the list


The IFTTT Recipe for Capturing Twitter Followers

First up, select Twitter as your trigger. If you’ve implemented some of my previous recipes (like this one), then you will already have this activated. If not, go ahead and authorise it. Once this is done, you will want to select the “New Follower” option.

Default Recipe

Default Recipe

Then under the Action, go to Google Drive. Again, if you haven’t authorised the channel previously, go ahead and do so. From here, select the “Add Row To Spreadsheet”.

You won’t need to create a new spreadsheet in Google Drive, the app will automatically do this the first time for you and then append future entries to it.

Once you have saved the recipe, go back into the edit function and remove any unneeded data you want sent to the sheet. As an example, by default it pulls in the user photo, so I edited the recipe to remove this.

Adjusted recipe

Adjusted recipe


Once activated and you being to amass followers, it begins to look something like this:

Screenshot 2014-10-06 22.10.11

A few other things to note – it will still pick up all the spammy accounts that follow you, and given they naturally drop off eventually, they will remain in your list. It’s a good idea to purge them manually

I also added a header row to the sheet so I can easily identify the information in each column.

From here, simply use Control F or Command F, depending on your OS, and search for anything in the sheet.

If you want to use this recipe yourself, just click on the Use button below.

IFTTT Recipe: Create a Database of Your Twitter Followers connects twitter to google-drive

Hope you find this useful.

PHOTO – adesigna via Flickr, used un Creative Commons

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