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Ideas for automating your companies social media efforts

Ideas for automating your companies social media efforts
February 6, 2021

We are sure you're bubbling with social media ideas to find customers for your business, but how do you keep things running smoothly.

We all saw how @fast company gained more than 25K followers on their Twitter handle in just about a year. Conversations sparked excitement amongst potential customers even before the product launched! A buzz like this is every social media manager's dream.

But there are some questions to cover:

  • How do I manage my content?
  • How do I know what's working for me? Or is not?
  • And...how do I distribute the content?

Not to fret! We got you covered with an easy automation process that will help you build your very own social media control center. In this guide, we're using Airtable and Zapier, but if you want to explore other tools for managing your social media, we recommend this great guide.

So let’s get started! For this challenge, we want to achieve the following outcomes for Acme Company.

  • Manage content three handles > Official Twitter Handle, Official LinkedIn Handle, CEO’s Twitter Handle.

Setup control center in Airtable

Airtable is just excel on wings! So don’t shy from spending some time playing around with the tables.

To get started with your content, every post will have the following attributes:

Define the above fields in a table called “Content Pipeline”. We will name the first view to be “All Content”. You can use this for a general overview.

(Table for Content Calendar)

Next up, let’s tap into the power of “Views” in Airtable to get cracking on editing and approving our content. Views are essentially just sliced sections of your largest table. You can choose what to display on those tables. This prevents you from altering information by mistake. If you’re curious to know what else you can do, check out this link!

Create a view “All Content-by Campaign”. Select “Group by Campaign”. You can work on your content in this view. Also, don’t forget to set the “Due Date” & “Publish Time”.

(Campaign view for editing and approving content)

Automating posts on Twitter

Now let’s start scheduling our content so that any post once marked “Approved” in the “All Content-by Campaign” can be pushed live on the social channel. For this exercise, let us assume that we would like to schedule the post for Monday, 8:30am on our official Twitter channel of Acme Company. You can also create another view “Approve_Official Handle” to add a step to mark your content “Approved”. It will also show you the posts in the pipeline at any given time.

To automate our posts as per the published times, we need to first define the functions for the “Weekday” and “Time” fields as per the following formulas,

You can always checkout Airtable’s guide for leveraging formulas in case you want to define more variables.

Next up, it’s time to automate the process. You might be wondering whether we’re going to use Zapier or Integromate for this - but actually, there are times when a tool has its own automation tools.

Airtable has Automations. Click on “Automations” on the right-hand corner of your Airtable & click on “Create an Automation”

(Getting started with automation in Airtable for tweets)

Automations are pretty much like Newton's Law, there’s got to be an action for a reaction. In this case, we will select the [TRIGGER] to be “When a record matches certain conditions”. We will name the automation to be “Monday @8:30 am”.

(Select “When record matches conditions” to setup trigger)

To define the [TRIGGER], select the table on which you want to set the automation. Here it is “Content Pipeline”. You can set the following conditions so that only content that is marked “Approved” for the official Twitter handle, is made live. Also mark Weekday as “1” and Time as “08:30” to indicate the time slot for the post.

(Conditions for posts that need to be tweeted)

Click on “Test trigger” to load an entry that matches the conditions and press “Done”. Let’s move on to setting the [ACTION] with the “Add Action” button.

Since we want to tweet the post out, select “Post tweet” from the dropdown.

(Setup action for posts)

Now we link Acme Company’s Official Twitter Account through “Connect New Account”. You will be redirected to the Twitter log in page to plugin the password and username, and back to Airtable.

(Connecting the Twitter account to Airtable)

The next thing is pretty obvious! Telling Airtable which field should it pick content from to tweet. So click on the “+” button in the message box, select “Record” as the trigger and click “Continue”. Once you select the Record, select the “Text” field since that’s where you keep the final copy.

(Indicating the record to be picked up for tweeting)
(Indicating the “Text” field in Airtable as copy for tweet)

You can also add attachments like photos/videos/gifs. Just link the “Thumbnail” field. Finally, test the action and you’re on your way! One last thing, once the content goes live, you can also change the “Status” of the post to live by using “Add Another Action”.

Zap #1: Automating posts for the founder

In addition to the official handles, you will also be writing the content for the founder or anyone else on the team. In that case, you can always use tweetdeck for Twitter or splurge a pretty penny to just schedule ten posts in a month. Also, being genuine is always a hallmark of a great team so posting from the original handle builds integrity. Of course, you can’t expect the founder to scrum around your Airtable. What if we could push all founder posts to their calendars and also remind them?

Love it? Let’s get cracking!

Create a new Airtable view called “Approve_Founder Handle” that will house all posts that have to be approved. To do that, set the condition to show only records whose Channel is “CEO’s Twitter”. Once marked “Approved”, you can push them into a “[VIEW ONLY] Official Twitter Posts”. Any approved post will appear in this view and trigger an invite on the founder’s calendar.

(Creating a view to automate founder tweets to be sent to Founder Calendar)

Now we can configure the zap below. You can access it from this link.

The [TRIGGER] for this zap is creating a new event every time a new record enters the “[VIEW ONLY] Official Handle” View. To do that, select, “New Record In View” as the trigger event.

(Trigger event “New Record in View”)

Next, you will be requested to sign in to your Airtable account. Click on Sign in to Airtable. A new page will open up requesting an API Key to enable Zapier access to Airtable.

(Paste your Airtable API key here)

You can find it in the Accounts Section in Airtable. Then copy and paste the key in the blank and click on Yes, Continue.

(Click on “Account” to access your API key in Airtable)
(Copy the API key)

To indicate the view in the table that should trigger the calendar event, choose the Base (here, Content Calendar), Table (Content Pipeline), and View (here, [VIEW ONLY] Founder Handle).

(Fields for setting up trigger)

You can then test the [TRIGGER] to ensure the record is getting picked up from the [VIEW ONLY] Founder Handle view. Now, we move on to setting the [ACTION]. Set the action event to “Create a Detailed Event”.

(Action event : Create detailed event)

You will now be required to link the Google calendar. You can link your calendar and add your founder to the attendee list. This will ensure that no confusion and saves the trip to the Airtable every time a post goes live.
Setting up the [ACTION] just requires us to match the Airtable fields to respective Calendar event fields. You can use the table below!

(Connecting Airtable fields to corresponding Google Calendar fields)

Running that last test is important to see that the event extracted in the [TRIGGER] is also visible in the [ACTION] test. Turn your zap on and you’re done!

Now all tweets will be scheduled as events on your and your founder’s calendar. He/She can pick the copy from the calendar and post it directly from their handle. You can customize the reminders (here, 30 mins) as per their schedule.

Distributing your content with Zapier

Distributing your content wherever your audience is very important for your business. However, this does not have to mean more work for you! We can easily manifest the power of Zapier by using the primary (here, Twitter content) to post across other channels in less than 2 mins. Here lets automate posts on LinkedIn from the official Twitter handle.

Zap#2: Share tweets to LinkedIn

You can find this zap here. This is pretty straightforward!

(Zap to connect Twitter to LinkedIn)

First, sign in to your company Twitter account by giving Zapier access. Plugin the username of the account.

(Indicate source Twitter account)

Run a test [TRIGGER] if a recent tweet is picked up by Zapier. Next up, we can set up the [ACTION]. Select “Create Company Update” as the [ACTION] event and press “Continue”.  

(Action event: Create company update)

We can now match the information from the tweet to the respective fields in LinkedIn. We also have the liberty to control how the display links will show up so don’t hesitate to personalize them!

Lastly, test the [ACTION] and turn on all your zaps.

Pro Tip! Name your zaps well. It's easy to lose track when you’re running too many.

AND….. WE HAVE DONE IT!

ALSO as promised you can find some super marketers to learn from in this Twitter List. Go ahead and give them a follow to get your creative juices flowing!  

We can also set up zaps to post across other social platforms. We can also use webhooks to enable distribution across other web applications (for eg, WordPress/Shopify, etc.) just from our Airtable control center. So go ahead and give them a shot here, here, and here.

We know it feels good to finally be the Tony Stark of your team so go ahead and show what you got!

This post was written by Rhythm Bhatnagar
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