How to Use Airtable to Plan & Send Tweets

My history with Twitter is a very love-hate one. Mostly hate.

You wouldn't know by talking to me today, but I was a very early Twitter adopter. Not that I used it in any way like we do today. At the time, if I wanted to send the same text message to several people at once, it cost about 25 cents each. I could save money by retyping the message multiple times into single SMS texts, but that was a laborious process on a 9-digit keypad.

A friend of mine figured out that if our friend group all joined "this new Twitter thing" and only followed each other, we could send one 10-cent SMS text message to Twitter and that SMS would be automatically redistributed to everyone else.

Fast forward a few years and I LOVED Twitter. Loved it. By that point I was using it for its intended purpose (uh, not as a group text workaround) and tweeting regularly from my laptop. I got so sucked in that I decided to quit it cold turkey in 2011 and didn't look back for a long time. I could never quite get back into it. Tweeting has remained a laborious experience for me, until now.

Why I Like Using Airtable to Send Tweets

Airtable is a spreadsheet-based database program. That sounds really stuffy and boring, but trust me — it's actually pretty cool. I am the last person to be like "oh yay, spreadsheets!" and I truly love Airtable. I know I'm only tapping into a small portion of its total capabilities right now and it's already transforming the way I work.

I can load content and images into an Airtable spreadsheet and — with the click of a box — have the system automatically send out tweets for me. It's beautiful. I no longer get sucked into the maze that is Twitter every time I want to tweet. Airtable helps me remain more focused on when and why I'm tweeting, allowing me to only engage mindfully when I intend to.

There's two ways it works.

  1. You can write tweets out into Airtable's spreadsheet cells and assign a date. As soon as that date hits (at midnight) the tweet posts. This is great if you just need to have steady updates going out and aren't too concerned about time or engagement metrics.

  2. You can also write tweets out in Airtable and have them post only when you click a checkbox telling the system to proceed. This is my favorite — I can plan tweets in advance, control when they post, and not have to engage with all of Twitter's menus and sidebars and trending topics until I'm ready to.

How to Start Tweeting in Airtable

Airtable provides some step-by-step walkthroughs on how to begin tweeting, but it can be a little overwhelming if you're starting completely from scratch.

To help ease this burden a little bit, I've set up a document you can use to get started.

First, create a new Airtable account.

Next, open this template and click "copy base" in the upper-right corner.

Lastly, follow the steps in this slide deck to make your Airtable base (what they call the document) send tweets on your behalf:

Oh, and of course you'll need a Twitter account.

If you try this template out and like it, send me a tweet and let me know!

Photo by Chris J. Davis on Unsplash