Note from Brittany: Hey there! Awhile back, I saw a Facebook group post about automating a Trello social media calendar that just blew my mind. It was from Alex here, and I’m so excited to have her share it with you today!
We all know how important it is to get high quality, on brand content out there regularly.
And that we need to then promote those blog posts on social media, keep being active on social media, and sending those newsletters out. This is A LOT of work. And we’re all busy, right?
I used to spend hours simply promoting my blog posts on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, preparing my Instagram posts and adding them to the Buffer queue manually, writing blog posts drafts and then scheduling them separately…
Now, that I think about it, it was the biggest time suck ever (apart from my inbox and over 300 unopened emails).
But I found a secret weapon, and today I want to share it with you.
I set this up for myself 2 months ago when I was so tired of wasting my time doing the same thing over and over again. I thought to myself: “There must be a smarter way!” And of course, there was! Zapier, as always, has proven to be amazing!
Today, I’m going to teach you how to create a social media editorial calendar in Trello and connect it to Buffer so you can automate your social media posting!
Excited? I am, let’s go!
Step 1: Setting Up Your Social Media Calendar
As a pro #girlboss, you surely understand the need to plan your stuff, so I don’t have to persuade you you need an editorial calendar.
I’ve seen people using Google Sheets to plan their content and social media posts, but I’m going to show you how to use Trello to create a visual and easy to use calendar. You can either create your own Trello board, or download the one I created for you here.
We want our calendar to help us save time and keep our sanity. And we want it to look stylish, right (no Google sheets!)?
Here’s how I set up my own board:
- Create a new board.
- Create lists for each platform you create content for (name them simply, like Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc).
- Create one card in each list (let’s start with Facebook, as this is what we’ll be setting up today. This will be shared after we create your zap, so make it legit). Add a description, due date, and image attachment to your cards.
- Enable the calendar add-on to see the whole thing as a monthly calendar view.
- Enable card covers to see images attached to cards in your monthly view.
Step 2: Automating Your Editorial Calendar with Zapier
Add drafts of social media posts to your editorial calendar on Trello by writing text and adding links in the description. Choose the due date and add an image attachment you want to share.
That’s it – Zapier will then share it for you. How cool is that?! No more adding to your queue manually, baby!
Setting up your zap’s trigger
Let’s start with Facebook, shall we?
- Hit the “Create a Zap” button in Zapier.
- Choose Trello from the apps list. Connect and test it if you’ve never used the integration before.
- Now choose “New activity” from the actions list. The activity will be “Attachment added to the card.” (you don’t want Zapier to share your posts as soon as you create a new card in Trello because they’re not ready yet, right? You need to fill the card with an actual content first!).
- Choose the board Zapier will be taking posts from: Editorial Calendar (or however else you named it).
- Choose a list: Facebook in this case.
- Card: choose “any.”
- Hit “Fetch and continue.” This is when your card will be fetched, so make sure you have one on this particular list filled out: you need a description, due date, and image attachment.
- Check the info Zapier has fetched and if it’s all fine, hit Continue.
Setting up your zap’s action
Now that we told Zapier where should it take the content from, let’s connect it to Buffer and show it how we want it to share our stuff. This is a second action in your zap.
- Choose Buffer from the apps list.
- Choose “Add to schedule” option (if you choose “Add to Buffer” it will share stuff automatically, and we want it to do it when WE tell it to, right?).
- Test Buffer, hit Save and Continue.
- Choose your profile: Facebook.
- Select the text that will be shared on Facebook, choose “Desc” from the shortcodes list.
- Select your card’s due date for the scheduled date & time.
- For the photo URL, set it up so it’s the card’s attachment (cover).
- Hit Continue. Now you’ll see the summary of this post and you can check everything before creating your Zap. Make sure this post is actually legit because it will be added to your schedule in a second! Now click “Create & Continue.”
Did it work?
You should see a success message now.
It should show you a summary of the post that will be shared. Check if the description, due date, and photo URL are correct. If not, go back and correct it.
If you see any error messages, just follow Zapier’s tips on how to fix it, they’re awesome!
From now on, each time you create a card in the Facebook list on your Trello board and add an attachment to it, it will be automatically added to your Buffer schedule!
PRO TIP: If you don’t want to add any attachments to your Facebook posts and still want to share your posts through a zap, you can choose a different activity at the beginning of your zap. For example: choose “Card Archived” and then tell Zapier to prompt this zap only on some cards (you can name them differently or add a different label to them).
Now go, and do the same for Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest! It’s the same process, just different Trello list and social profile.
Step 3: Automate Your WordPress Editorial Calendar
Now that we’ve set up your editorial calendar and you’ve gone pro, let’s save you even more time!
First, we will connect your Trello editorial calendar with WordPress so each time you create a Trello card in the blog posts list, WordPress will add a new blog post draft for you.
Then, we’ll tell Zapier to activate social sharing whenever it sees you’ve published a new blog post. This means you only hit publish (or schedule it) and as soon as it’s done, it will be shared on chosen social media platforms for you.
Ain’t it simply awesome? I love it!
Setting up your WordPress editorial calendar
- Let’s first create a list on Trello called blog posts. You can also create labels that have the same names as your blog categories – this will be useful later.
- Now create a new card in the blog post list and set the title to be the title of your future blog post.
- Add a label for the blog category you want this post in.
- Add the actual blog post into the card description.
- Drag the featured image for your post into your Trello card.
And we’re done here. Let’s move on to Zapier now.
Automating your blog posts
Now let’s set up the actual automation that’s going to tell WordPress to create new blog post drafts.
Go to Zapier and create a new zap.
1. Choose Trello as the trigger app.
2. Choose the New Activity trigger.
3. Now choose which activity is going to trigger the zap – “Attachment added to card.” In this case, I want this Zap to run whenever I add the Attachment to my card. This way it won’t add unfinished drafts to your blog, only the ones that have images attached to them.
4. Choose the board (this needs to be your editorial calendar board).
5. Choose the blog post list you created at the beginning.
6. Card – leave this one set as default – Any card.
7. Now click Continue. You should receive a success message, but if there’s any error just follow the Zapier’s instructions to fix it.
8. Now that you have told Zapier what triggers this action, you need to choose the actual action (makes sense, right?). Choose WordPress.
9. Now choose the action – Create post.
10. Click Continue and connect your WordPress blog to Zapier.
11. Now set up this new post of yours properly. You will now land on this screen:
You need to fill out this form like I did, so let me explain everything:
- Post Type – this should be set as Post.
- Title – choose Card Name.
- Featured Media – Tell Zapier to use the image from your Trello card – set this as: Custom Value, and then when another field shows up choose Card Attachment.
- Content – this is your blog post content, so choose Card Description.
- Status – depending on what you want it to be, this can be either: Drafts, Pending review, Scheduled, or Published. If you’d like those blog post to be published from your Trello board right away, you can choose that. (I chose Pending review, because I want to finish editing the post in WordPress later).
- Author – if you collaborate with others on your blog, just simply add them to this particular card and you will be able to choose them from there.
- Excerpt – If you want to include a separate excerpt, write it in a card comment and choose Card Comments.
- Post date – choose the Due date.
- Post format – I chose Standard, but you can choose any other one you use usually.
- Post name – Card name.
- Comments status – I left it at blog default.
- Category – if you created labels with names of your blog posts categories, you can choose it here. It will assign the blog post to the right category on your blog. To do that, choose the Custom value and when another field shows up, choose the Card labels name.
- Sticky – I set it as no. This means this post will always be at the top of your blog, no matter how old is it.
- Tags – I left this blank.
12. Now click Continue and test your Zap.
You should be getting a success message now, but again – if there are any errors – just follow Zapier’s instructions to fix it.
Step 4: Sharing WordPress Posts on Social Media
Okay, now that we have that done, you’re ready to automatically share your published posts on social media! Yes, it can be done.
With all this in place, you will be able to simply create your content in the editorial calendar Trello board, add final touches on WordPress, and forget about it. Zapier will do all the hard work of promoting it for you. I know, I love it too!
To do it, we connect WordPress with Buffer via Zapier.
- Create a new zap by clicking the Make a Zap button.
- Choose the app you want to trigger the action – WordPress in this case. Test it, continue.
- Choose the New Post option.
- Choose the post status as Published (this will tell Zapier to share your published posts only).
- Select post type – Post.
- Now Zapier will be looking for a recently published blog post on your WordPress blog to use it as a template. Click Fetch & Continue.
- If the test is successful, click Continue. If not, fix it by following Zapier’s instructions.
- Choose Buffer as the app that’s going to take action triggered by WordPress.
- Select Add to schedule.
- Let’s share your new blog post on Facebook first. We are now going to follow the same process as the one I shared with you earlier.Choose your Facebook profile, or your Facebook Page from the list.
- Choose the Post excerpt as the text that will be Facebook’s post description.
- For Scheduled Date & Time – choose the Post date. This will share your blog post immediately after you’ve published it. If you’d like a certain time delay, simply add how many hours would you like it to be delayed by: +1h, +2h, and so on. Note: add a space between the time delay you type in and the Post date tag.
- For photo URL, I use Yoast SEO, therefore I chose the Yoast SEO custom Facebook image, where I upload a special image that i want to be shared on Facebook only (I do the same for Twitter). If you do the same, choose the Custom Field Yoast Wpseo Opengraph Image.
If you don’t use Yoast SEO, then simply choose your Post featured image.
- Now you should get a summary of it where you can check if everything’s correct. Mine looks like this:
Now that you’ve set up Facebook, you can do the same with Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest.
You can also add new steps to this zap, if you have a paid account. If you don’t want to pay, you need to create a totally new zap for each part of the process.
Adding new steps to the same Zap is easy: just click the big circle with the + on the left and choose the action you want Zapier to take.
I really hope you’ve set it all up and are loving it. It saves me tons of time I can use to do other things that are actually not boring as those!
About the author
Alex Rogala-Jacek is an art director, designer and owner of Adored Designs, a Boutique Brand and Web Design Studio. She helps professional bloggers, influencers and female entrepreneurs to take their biz to another level and create a brand their empire deserves.
Before opening her own studio, she’s worked for big fashion brands and creative agencies for over 6 years. Collaborating with editorial managers, visual merchandisers and social media specialists daily taught her how important it is for your brand to create a high quality, on brand content regularly (and how to streamline the process like a PRO!)