Get those events tweeted automatically when you create them.
I recently helped a friend set up a new Web site for his small but growing winery. I also set him up with Google Calendar and a WordPress plugin so he could create events and have them appear on his site’s sidebar in a calendar. You can see how this looks at BeaumontCellars.com as well as on one of my sites, FlyingMAir.com.
Although he’s not exactly “computer savvy,” he does do a lot of texting with his iPhone. So I set him up with Twitter and linked his Twitter account to his winery’s Facebook page. He can tweet what’s going on and its automatically posted to his Facebook page’s wall. This has been a huge help for him because it makes it so easy to update Facebook, where he has quite a few fans.
The next logical step was to have his Google Calendar events posted on Twitter so they could also get posted on Facebook. After a little bit of research and experimentation, I came up with this method.
Step 1: Create and Configure Your Google Calendar
The first step is to set up your Google calendar for sharing and copy the link for the calendar’s RSS feed.
- If you don’t already have a Google account, set one up and log in.
- Go to google.com/calendar. You may have to follow additional instructions to create and access your calendar; just follow the prompts that appear onscreen.
- If necessary, create a calendar to share events with Twitter.
- In the list of calendars on the left side of the window, point to the calendar you want to share and click the menu button that appears. A pop-up menu offers options.
- Choose Share this Calendar.
- In the page that appears, make sure the check box marked “Make this calendar public” is toggled on.
- Click the Calendar Details link.
- Scroll down to the Calendar Address area.
- Click the XML button. A Calendar Address dialog pops up with the address for your calendar.
- Right-click the link and choose Copy Link from the menu that appears. The link is now in the clipboard so it can be pasted elsewhere.
- Close the Calendar Address dialog.
Step 2: Set Up the Feed in TwitterFeed
Next, you’ll set up the calendar’s feed in TwitterFeed.
- If you don’t already have a TwitterFeed account, go to TwitterFeed.com to set one up and log in.
- In the Feed Dashboard window, click the Create New Feed button. The New Feed screen appears.
- In the Feed Name box, enter any name you like for the calendar feed.
- Click in the Blog URL or RSS Feed URL box to position the insertion point there and press Command-V (Mac OS) or Control-V (Windows)-V to paste in the calendar address you copied to the clipboard in step 10 above.
- Click the test rss feed button. A green message “Feed parsed OK” should appear. (If it doesn’t, you’ll need to make sure the link you copied is correct and try again.)
- Make sure the Active Check box is turned on.
- Click Advanced Settings to display additional options.
- You can set these options as you see fit. My suggestions are as follows:
- Choose Title from the pop-up menu in the Post Content area. (Remember, tweets are short; the description probably won’t fit within the 140 character limitation.)
- Make sure the Post Link check box is turned on in the Post Content area.
- Enter “New Event:” in the Post Prefix box.
- Click Continue to Step 2.
- In the Feed Publishing screen, click the Twitter link.
- Choose an account under Authenticated Twitter Account or, if the account is not listed, click the Authenticate Twitter button to log into the Twitter account you want to use.
- Click the Create Service button. After a moment, the name of your Twitter account appears beside the Twitter link, along with an checked Active check box.
- If you wanted to post to other social networking services, you can use their links to set them up.
- When you’re finished, click the All Done button.
Step 3: Test
Finally, test to make sure it works as expected.
- Go back to your Google Calendar and, if necessary, log in.
- Create a calendar event. Be sure to set the date and time and include a description. If you have more than one Google calendar, be sure to assign the event to the calendar you’re sharing with Twitter.
- Sign out of Google. You want to be able to check the event and see it as anyone else would.
Monitor your Twitter account. If you did not make any changes to the frequency setting on Twitter Feed, the event should be posted to your Twitter account within 30 minutes.
- Click the link in the tweet. A Google Calendar page with the details you set for the event appears in a browser window.
To me, there’s a huge benefit it being able to post something one place and have it appear automatically in others. Using a tool like TwitterFeed to connect Twitter to RSS feeds is a great way to automate Twitter posting for your Web site or business.
Want to learn more about using Twitter? Learn online at Lynda.com. Recently revised and expanded, my Twitter Essential Training course includes more than three hours of video training material that’ll help you get more out of Twitter. Check it out. If you’re not a Lynda.com subscriber, be sure to visit to try some of the free videos. I think you’ll be hooked.