Another day, another tip on how to work more efficiently. Part of the social distancing quick tips series, I’m today turning my attention away from Google for a second to focus on Twitter, and discussing how to use Power Automate to simplify your social publishing.
If you’ve missed any of my social distancing quick tips, I’ve compiled them here.
Power Automate (formerly Flow) by Microsoft
One of the many applications in the Power Platform, Power Automate is built to connect processes. With hundreds of templates connecting nearly 400 applications, Microsoft Power Automate (formerly Flow) lets you turn repetitive tasks into simplified workflows. Turn tweets into leads, subscribers into sales, and so much more.
Though there are thousands of different ways to use the 336+ services supported by Power Automate, one of the simplest uses for this is to automatically post something from your blog to Twitter.
Setting Up a Flow to Automatically Post New RSS Content to a Twitter Account
Honestly, I feel like I’m underselling Power Automate by showing you one of the most basic flows. With the right skills, you can legitimately use this to enhance your ERP or CRM software or automatically move files to SharePoint to cut the size of your database, but explaining those would run afoul of my promise of quick tips.
That said, if you have a decent amount of time on your hands, I welcome you to head through the Create a business process flow in Power Automate learning path on Microsoft Learn.
So, here’s the simple task I promised.
Step 1: Head to Flow.Microsoft.com
Step one is simple, head over to flow.microsoft.com to log in to Power Automate, create an account or log in. From there, you will see the home screen with recommended templates, and popular services.
Step 2: Under Popular Services, Click Twitter
This should be under the Popular Services section on the home page. Alternatively, head to connectors and search for Twitter.
Step 3: Find “RSS feed news to Twitter”
After you find the Twitter service, you will be presented a variety of uses and templates. Some are pretty cool—for instance, finding anyone who tweeted about a topic and adding them to a CRM software if they have enough followers. But again, quick tips.
Find “RSS Feed News to Twitter.”
Step 4: Link Your Twitter Account
When you click “add new connection,” the standard Twitter API authorization will pop up, allowing you to add accounts. Submit your credentials, click log in, and you will see the following (naturally, you’ll see your own account, not mine):
Step 5: Find the RSS Feed You Want to Share
At this point, you’ll see two boxes, “When a feed item is published” and “Post a new tweet.”
When a Feed Item is Published
Find the RSS feed you want to share. Often this can be done by looking for the orange RSS feed button on your website, viewing your website’s source (CTRL-U on Windows, CMD-Option-U on Mac) or typing yoursite.com/feed. Still can’t find it? Here are step by step instructions and alternative ways from Lifewire.
I’m going to use the following: https://www.modernmarketingpartners.com/feed/
Post a New Tweet
In this, you will see “Tweet Text” and Power Automate will provide you with [Feed title].
For the sake of simplicity, the tweet will consist of the following elements:
- Hand-typed: “New article from @modmktgpartners:”
- Dynamic Content: [feed title] “.”
- Hand typed: “Check it out at [ ]”
After ensuring there is a space in after ‘at’, click Add Dynamic Content and find “primary feed link.”
Additional Element: Delay Your Post to Twitter
I’ve also decided that I don’t want to post at the exact same time as the article is published, so I added a step called ‘delay’. This can be done by clicking the (+) sign between “When a feed item is published” and “Post a new tweet” and doing the following:
- Click Add an Action
- Under Built-in, scroll to “Delay”
- Type in the number and choose the variable. For example, I chose 90 minutes.
You can also add additional steps such as “email me when this runs” or “retweet from [different twitter account]” if you so choose by clicking new step and searching.
And There You Have It: The Most Basic Power Automate Function
As you click through everything, you’ll notice that Power Automate is much more feature-rich than something as simple as “using an RSS feed to publish tweets.”
That said, I prefer Power Automate to alternatives like Zapier and IFTTT—if only for the fact that I can add multiple Twitter Accounts and rules. At one point, I had legitimately created about ten or so IFTTT accounts just to automate this, so Power Automate has been a lifesaver.
One Thing to Note: Do Not Rely Exclusively on Automation.
While something like this is great for simple augmentation of a traditional Twitter Account, this should not be the only thing to do. The thing about social media is that it needs to be social.
I chose to do this to my own personal account because I wanted to break up my Tweets with professional content. Exclusively relying on this would look spammy.