To get our readers informed about new entries on our homepage via Twitter, we have decided to add a Microsoft Flow which takes the added articles from the RSS feed of our website www.startwithteams.com and posts links to new articles as tweets in Twitter. This automation saves time as there is no more need to log on to Twitter and a source of possible errors of pasting the wrong link to a tweet will be avoided.
To start creating a flow, log in at Microsoft Flow with your O365 credentials and click “My Flows” in the top navigation bar.
This leads you to the overview of flows you have already created. Here you can switch to the overview of “Team flows” other colleagues may have created or have access to as well.
To create a new flow - no matter if it should be for you only or a team flow, you need to click the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner. How to switch a flow from a personal flow to a team flow will be handled later in this article.
Flow will ask you if you want to start creating using an available template or start with one of the available triggers. If you cannot find the fitting trigger, use the search functionality or browse the available templates to find a similar flow.
Select “When a feed item is published”, whether using the available tile or using the search link below the popular triggers, where you can search for “RSS”.
You will be lead to the flow and can adjust the settings of the flow trigger. For our scenario, we add the URL of our RSS feed to the respective text field, then click the “New step” button.
A search field will be shown where you can find the right actions for the next step.
In our case, this is “Twitter - Post a tweet”.
In case you have not yet connected to your Twitter account, this needs to be done now.
Click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the Twitter box to open the context menu. You can also switch the account used, in case you have added more than one account or add an additional Twitter account.
MS Flow offers a bunch of dynamic variables related to the RSS feed which can be used in addition to static text in your tweet.
Just type in your static text and add the variables by clicking. Hint: Make sure not to forget spaces between variables and static text.
Adding “links - Item” to the Tweet text, shows some kind of intelligence of MS Flow and automatically surrounds the “post a tweet” action with a “for-loop”, in case the RSS feed finds more than one new article at www.startwithteams.com.
You can add the URL to any media you want to attach to each of your tweets, e.g. videos or pictures. In our case, this is not necessary, as the link to the articles will embed the thumbnail images from the website in the tweet.
Scroll to the top if you want to give a custom name to the flow, then click “Save flow” on the bottom of the page. You can come back to editing the flow at any point of time.
In case you’d like to get information about the executions of the flow, you can add another action like “Office 365 Outlook - Send an email” or use the twitter connector, described in our previously released Twitter Connector article.
If the flow you want to add may be maintenanced as well by other colleagues, think about creating a “Team flow”, for testing a basic flow is fine. In the overview of the created flow, look for the owners section. There you can add additional owners to the flow. Afterwards, the newly created flow will appear in the section “Team flows”.
To get the flow executed, we need to add new content to our website and wait until the flow asks for the refreshed RSS feed.