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Monday, 18 March 2013

Using Twitter API and Google Spreadsheets to know your audience

One of this week's fun tasks from my MA Social Media course was to fool around a little with Twitter API and Google Spreadsheets, and the result was awesome. I started off playing with my own twitter account and then it evolved to a very useful thing: now I have a list of all @igersbirmingham followers, their location, their twitter bio and other interesting data about them.

But, why is this useful to me? Well, I'm putting together an Instagram Photomarathon in Birmingham, and those guys are my target! Cool, isn't it? I have details about my target and I can use these details to communicate with them in a much more appealing way!

Here's how I got all this data:

- You must have a Google account and be signed in to it.
- Then, sign in to a Twitter Developer account at

- In your Twitter Developer account go to My applications - Create a new application

- Fill the form, in the Callback URL bit you must copy this adress:
- In the spreadsheet you created, there's a guide to what you should do next, which I'll copy here:
  1. In this spreadsheet from the Twitter drop-down menu (next to Help) select 'Configure'. You may need to run this twice, the first time to authorise the script and follow the instructions for obtaining a Customer Key and Secret from Twitter. If there is no Twitter menu option click on the "Load Twitter menu" button 
  2. Select Tools > Scripts > Script Editor ... and from the Script Editor window select Run > aTest. This should bring up an authorization message box, click on Authorize. 
  3. In the Twitter Authorization window enter your login details if required and select 'Allow'
  4. Close the Script Editor window and a dialog box in the main spreadsheet should indicate if you have successfully connected to Twitter 
  5. If all is okay you can now select Twitter > Get Followers and Twitter > Get Friends (when these run your sheet may go blank, if so refresh your browser window)

- And there you go, now you can export your friends and followers and other people's friends and followers and make all these data useful! Your spreadsheet will be available anytime you need at your Google Drive, and you can create as many spreadsheets as you want to different clients and purposes.

So, that's it for today, hope this guide can help you! Please, give me some feedback commenting here, on Twitter or on Facebook

*This post was based on a task and on this blog post.

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