Social Media Automation with Microsoft Flow

Social Media Automation with Microsoft Flow

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Social Media Automation with Microsoft Flow


Like many businesses, Witch Doctor Virtual Solutions has multiple Social Media accounts. I quickly grew tired of copying content between the accounts so I started looking for software tools to lessen the workload. The acknowledged market leader in this market segment is HootSuite. There is not however a free version of the product. So rather than add yet another monthly expense, I decided to leverage the tools that I am already using to add the functionality I need – which is just posting content to multiple accounts at once. My solutions schedules, shortens, and posts links to:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook.

To use Microsoft Flow, you must have at minimum a subscription to Office 365 Business Essentials.

Follow these steps to build your workflow:

  1. To start, I created a list in SharePoint (I named my list “Witch Dr Social Media Posts”)

    Click here to create a new SharePoint List

  2. I customized the list with the following columns:
    • “Title” which is a single line of text (This is a default field and should be there when you create the list)
    • “Publish Date” which is a date and time field
      • You will need to click the gear icon in the top right of window and click list settings to edit the “Publish Date” field.

        List Settings

      • Click the “Publish Date” field on the settings page.

        Publish Date field on the list settings page.

      • Set “Publish Date” to store Date and Time information
      • Make it a required field
      • Set the default value to today’s date
      • Edit the Publish Date field

  3. I created my “flow”
    1. Navigate to the Flow app from Office.com

      Click the Flow app button

    2. Use the “Post a tweet at a specific time” template.

      Post a tweet at a specific time template

  4. Set the Date and Time for the “Delay until” action.

    The Delay Until Action.

    1. Click “Add dynamic content” and use the “Publish Date” Field.

      Click “add dynamic content” and select Publish Date

  5. Add a step to shorten the URL.
    1. Click “New Step” and add the action “Create a bitly link”

      Create a Bitly Link Action

    2. Click “Add Dynamic Content”
    3. The URL to shorten should be Content Link.
  6. Customize the “Post a Tweet Action”
    1. Click “Add Dynamic Content”
    2. Select “Title”

      Click “Add Dynamic Content” and select “Title”

    3. Type a space and add the Bitlink URL to the tweet.

      Add the Bitlink URL to the Tweet.

  7. Add a new step to post to LinkedIn
    1. If you have a company page you can update the company page. See our video.
      1. Add the action “Share a Company Update”. (this action is in “Preview”)

        Share a company update action to LinkedIn

      2. Select the Company Page to post to from the dropdown
      3. Use the Bitlink URL at the Content URL.
      4. Set your desired visibility (connections or anyone)
      5. Click Advanced Options and use the “Title” field of the list item to set the company update title.

        Set LinkedIn Company Update Title field

    2. Add the action “Share an Article” (this action is in preview)

      Add an Action to Share article to LinkedIn

    3. Use the Bitlink URL at the Content URL.
    4. Set your desired visibility (connections or anyone)
    5. Click Advanced Options and use the “Title” field of the list item to set the article title.

      Set the LinkedIn Article Title

  8. Add an action to post to Facebook (There are two options)
    1. Add the “Post to my Timeline” action
      1. This action allows you to post to your own Facebook timeline
      2. Use the title field as the Status Message of the “Post to my Timeline” action.

        Set the title of the Post to my timeline action

      3. Set the “Post link” field of the Post of the “Post to my Timeline” action.

        Set the “Post link” field for the “Post to my timeline” action

    2. Add the “Post to page” action
      1. Posting to a page requires that you find the unique id of the Facebook page
      2. Log into Facebook and browse to your Facebook page.
      3. Open the the Developer tools and search for the text “page_id”

        Search for the page id of the Facebook using Developer Tools

      4. The Page Id will be encoded in a hyperlink. Copy the encoded URL.

        Encoded URL of the hyperlink from your Facebook page

      5. Utilize the URL Decoder tool at http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/ to decode the hyperlink.

        Decode the URL to extract the Page ID of your Facebook page.

      6. Paste the page id into the field “Page Id”.

        Set the page id field

      7. Set the “Title” field to the title of the list item using dynamic content.
      8. Click “Advanced Options” and set the “Post link” field using the Bitlink URL.

        Set Post Link for Post to Page action

    3. Save your flow by clicking “Create Flow”.

      Create Your New Flow.

      1. You should probably also give your flow a unique name.

        Rename your flow.

  9. Test your flow by adding an item to the list.
    1. Browse to your SharePoint site and find your list.
    2. Click New.
    3. Fill in all the fields.
    4. Click Save.

      Test your flow by filling in all the required fields on a new list item.

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