How to use Twitter to source content ideas automatically

  • 2 March 2022
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How to use Twitter to source content ideas automatically
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Hey friends! This week I want to show you a neat way to use a Zap to help streamline the process of finding new content ideas on Twitter.

The challenge

We’re all busy people and Twitter is...well to be honest, all social media can be a noisy, distracting place. It’s so easy to get sucked in and end up spending hours looking at other people’s tweets on Twitter only to realise it’s now the end of the day and you’ve barely ticked two items off your to do list today.

Instead of scrolling hundreds of tweets on Twitter looking for content inspiration or things to share to your other social media accounts wouldn’t it be great to have a Zap do all the leg work for you and send you a list of relevant tweets to review? Yep, that’s what I thought too.

The Solution

For this challenge I’m going to go over how to set up a Zap that runs a search for new tweets matching specific search terms, then use Digest by Zapier to compile a list of those tweets to review at the end of the day. Then we’d have a quick scan through them to see if there’s any we want to share to followers across other social media platforms or use as inspiration for an upcoming blog post.

We’ll end up with a Zap with the following trigger and actions:

Trigger: Search Mention (Twitter) - looks for relevant tweets based on specific keywords

Action: Append Entry and Schedule Digest (Digest by Zapier) - essentially builds a list of relevant tweets and releases them at a set day and time.

Action: Send Direct Message (Slack) - For this example, I’ve opted to use Slack but you can change this action to what suits you. How would you like to receive the list? If not a DM on Slack how about as an email? Or did you want add it as a new task in Asana for you to review them at the end of the week? It can be whatever you like!

In a hurry?

Here’s a shared link to a copy of the Zap to get you started. You’re welcome! :relaxed:

Setting up the Trigger

Select the Twitter app and Search Mention Trigger Event. Next, add your Twitter account. 

Once that’s done, on the next screen, add your desired search terms into the Search Term field. In this example I want the Zap to find any mentions of our Zapier Twitter account, with the hashtag #automation and/or #nocode and/or the phrase “workflow automation”, and/or the word inspiration:

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:bulb:Top tip: Twitter’s API limits the search to a total of 10 keywords and operators so make sure you don’t go over that amount or you could run into errors.

As you may have already guessed, using a @username search operator will allow you to search for a specific Twitter account that’s been mentioned. This can be useful if you want the Zap to check for specific mentions of your company’s Twitter account, or your competitors. The OR search operator works more like and/or. As it will allow the Zap to find tweets containing a single keyword or multiple keywords that are specified. Wrapping a phrase insideand will allow you to search for an exact match on that entire phrase.

For more details about the supported search query operators, check out the Standard search operators section Twitter’s guide here: Search Tweets: Standard v1.1

Now that you’ve added your search terms it’s a good idea to test your trigger step to make sure your search terms are bringing through relevant content from Twitter.

Setting up the Digest

Now, let’s add a Digest by Zapier step to your Zap that uses the Append Entry and Schedule Digest action. First up, you’ll want to enter a name for your digest in the Title field.

If you’re sending to Slack, you can just output a link to the tweets in the Entry field. Why? Well, this is because Slack has an option to automatically expand URLs which will give you a preview of the tweet.

If you’re not sending the notification via Slack, then you may want to add the text and URL separately in the Entry field like so:9cdc4a57d75b7ddeaa6c043e6cd6c61c.png

Next, I want the Zap to set me the digest on a daily basis near the end of my day I’ll set the Frequency to be Daily and set the Time of Day to be 4pm. So in the end, it will look something like this: 

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Now that’s set up, let’s test this step to add an entry to our digest:
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Excellent! You can read more about setting up digests here: Compile data in a digest in Zaps

Now, this part isn’t essential but if you change our selected sample on the trigger step you can then retest the digest step to add more entries to the digest. That way you can see how multiple entries will appear on the notifications.

Setting up the Notifications

We’re nearly there! Let’s now add a Send Direct Message Slack action to the Zap:
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Next, connect your Slack account. Then, in the To Username field select the person you want to send the digest to. 

Now for the important bit, in the Message Text field select the Current Digest field from the digest step:
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Do you want this message to come from you or appear to be sent from a Bot? If you do, want it sent from a Bot you’ll want to set the Send as a bot? field to Yes. Then give your Bot a name and icon:


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If you’ve set up your digest with just a link to the tweet then you’ll want to ensure you have the Auto-Expand Links setting set to Yes so that you can see previews of the tweet directly within Slack:
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Ok, now let’s run a quick test to see how the notification will appear in Slack…
4984201476d9dfdae4fc214caa38617d.png 

Perfect, that’s just the sort of preview I was hoping for! :tada:

Oh and I should clarify that although the test went through to Slack right away, when the Zap is switched on, this Slack step will only be run when the digest is released. So, as I picked a time of 4pm earlier, the digest won’t be released to Slack until 4pm each day. 

Wrapping Up

There’s a whole lot more you can do with this sort of workflow. You don’t have to limit it to just searching Twitter, why not have it search your emails or another app to compile a list of tasks or other things you need to keep on top of? And instead of just getting a notification, why not get the Zap to send the digest to a spreadsheet or database type of app where you can review them on a daily or weekly basis. Then, you can mark the ones you’d like to share across your social media accounts or add to a list of blog post ideas and have another Zap automatically handle that for you too. 

Hopefully this post is useful and helps to give you inspiration for other workflows you can set up. Happy Zapping! :zap:


2 replies

Super useful. I am trying to do a simple twitter hashtag search for a conference and add anyone tweeting using that hashtag to an existing list. It seems to try to create a new list vs appending though  (my twitter account is linked and the list exists) and gives an error when testing it. 

 

Problem creating Sample.

While requesting "user" from Twitter we ran into an error: No user matches for specified terms.

 

I only have the free account. Any suggestions where I can learn more?

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Hey @Cascadia, welcome to the Community! I’m so glad you found this post useful. :slight_smile:

Hmm, it sounds like you’re using the Add User to List Twitter action in your Zap, correct? If so, are you including the @ symbol in the Username field? I ask as I’ve seen instances in the past for that sort of error where it was expecting to just receive the username and not the @ symbol as well. 

If that’s the case, can you try removing the @ symbol to see if that sorts it?

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