How To Easily Organize All Your Social Media Content Using Airtable

Have you ever tried to organize a large amount of content on social media, from idea to finished post?

It’s a lot of work and even more organization. I started creating daily on three different platforms for my podcast, Applying Awareness, and I quickly realized that I’d need to find a better way of organizing content than my notes app.

That’s when I turned to Airtable, the tool for organizing anything. It’s a customizable database that’s fun and easy to interact with.

Key Benefits

What I’ve made with the tool for managing social media has a few key benefits for me:

  • I can see my content organized by date for however long I’ve scheduled it out. This can be a few weeks or a few months. Either way, I can see it all in the calendar view.
  • I can easily access my past posts on all of the platforms. This makes it somuch easier to re-use content.
  • I have access to content inspiration when I’m in the process of creating content. Using the content inspiration view, I have all of my inspiration in one place when creating content.
  • It’s flexible. You can set up additional sorts, filters, and groups for a platform, topic, date, or whatever else is helpful to you.
Getting Familiar with Airtable

If you’re not familiar with Airtable, check this Introduction to Airtable Bases out.

Create an account and play around with it a little before I dive in so it’s easier once we do dive in.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Here’s how I set Airtable up to manage all my social media content.

Think you’re awesome at technology and want to skip the tedious setup walk-through? You can see the finished product under the heading Final Product at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

Setting Up the Main Page

To get started, we’re going to create the Base, the building block of Airtable.

Just click the Add a Base icon on your main dashboard, choose the Start From Scratch option, and name it something like [Your Project Name] Content Center.

Then rename the blank table you start with (it’ll probably be called Table 1) to Social Media Content.

Now is when we really get into it. I’m going to break down each field one by one.

If you’re not sure how to create new fields in Airtable, here’s how you do it:

To create a field, click the plus button to the right of the other fields:

To edit the field, double click the title of the field you want to edit.

Then you can name the field. You can also select a field type from the many types that Airtable provides. I’ll get into the details of field types you need to know about as we get there.

On to creating the fields!

Field 1. Post Name

Type: Single Line Text

Think of this as the general topic or idea you want to convey with the post. So let’s pretend my first post is going to be about mistakes made when writing copy for a website.

I’d put this in the post name: “3 Common Mistakes When Writing Copy for a Website.”

And on to the next.

Field 2. Post Copy

Type: Long Text

This is the body of the post. If it’s a tweet, it’s the text that’ll be in the tweet. If it’s a post on LinkedIn, it’ll be the text in the LinkedIn post. So for my “3 common mistakes of website copy” post, the Post Copy field might look something like this:

“Are you writing copy for a website but aren’t sure if it’s going to effectively communicate? Watch out for these three common mistakes:

  1. Assuming the users understand the value of your message/features/services
  2. Using technical words or jargon
  3. Writing too many words and not leaving space”

Next, we count the characters to make sure there’s no rambling over any character limits.

Field 3. Character Count

Type: Formula

Here’s our first complex field. Are you ready? Good. This field simply counts the characters in the Post Copy field so you know what platforms it will work on.

Quick note: Twitter has a limit of 280 characters, Instagram 2200, LinkedIn 1300, and Facebook 63,206.

Here’s how you configure it:

In the formula field at the bottom, just type LEN({Post Copy}) and you’ll have the number. Magic!

On to the next field.

Field 4. Notes

Type: Long Text

I use this field for a few different things

  • Communication with someone (e.g. “Hey @Person, can I get your feedback?”) BTW — you can invite collaborators to Airtable! Here’s how: https://support.airtable.com/hc/en-us/articles/203255175-Collaboration-guide
  • Notes for graphic or video creation (e.g. “Create a graphic that lists the three common mistakes with a website background.”).
  • Resources to refer to later if I leave a post in the middle of creating it (e.g., “Here’s the article with the stats we need: [article_url.com].”)

You could split these things up into their own columns, but it usually doesn’t get too cluttered, and having too many columns makes a table more difficult to navigate and interact with.

Field 5. Attachments

Type: Attachment

This field is for uploading graphics, videos, or any other type of file for uploading to a platform. In a team, It would be really useful to upload a graphic here and ask for feedback in the Notes field.

Field 6. Platform

Type: Single Select

This is the platform that you’ll be posting on. In my article on auto-scheduling with Airtable, Zapier, and Hootsuite (coming soon!), I create a new table to store the different platforms in order to facilitate auto-scheduling to Hootsuite.

Right now, we’ll start out simple. Choose the Single Select field type and add an option for each platform you’ll be posting on. Sometimes you’ll have different accounts on each platform — for that, I just use a label before the platform name.

So my personal Instagram would be Personal Instagram and my podcast Instagram would be Podcast Instagram.

You can also color the platform status options! Just click this arrow thingy:

Field 7. Post Date

Type: Date

In this field, you indicate when you want to post it. Pick whatever date format you’re comfortable with. I like to add a 12-hour formatted time field because I use auto-scheduling, so you need to have that data for something to be scheduled correctly. Here’s what my setup looks like:

The post date will be used to create calendar views later on.

Field 8. Status

Type: Single Select

This field is probably the most flexible — everyone is going to have different statuses that make sense for their usage. I just start with this:

The In Review Field is optional — you only really need it if you’re working with a team. Pay attention to the status because we’ll be using it to filter some records out later when we create our different views.

And there you have it! Your main view is set up and ready to be used for gathering ideas. Now we start making things super-convenient by adding views.

Setting Up Views for Different Posts

You don’t want to be seeing all your posts on all platforms at all times.

You’re going to want to filter out certain posts so you only have to deal with the In Progress posts or only the posts that are going on LinkedIn. How about a calendar view that shows you posts by the date they’re scheduled for? I’ll walk you through creating a few different views that will make organizing social media content much easier.

Before we get started, skim over this guide to views by Airtable to get the hang of everything.

Ready? Let’s do it!

View 1. In Progress

This is a grid view of only the posts that are in progress or in review. It helps to have only these posts so you know what you need to work on.

Here’s how you do it:

First, add a new Grid View and name it In Progress. Refer to the Guide to Views if you don’t know how to do this yet.

In your new view, add a filter. It’ll look like this:

Then add a grouping by status by clicking the Group Button along the top of the table. It should look like so:

Pro Tip: When you group records by a certain field, all of the records you create in the group automatically are assigned the field. So when you create a record in the In Progress group, it’s automatically assigned the In Progress status. For more on grouping, read this Airtable guide: Guide to Grouped Records.

You can also group by the Platform field so each of your platforms are neatly separated from each other.

The In Progress view is where I like to store my ideas to expand on later. You can also make it a calendar view by selecting the Calendar option when creating the initial view.

Let’s create another view with just the posts that are ready to post!

View 2. Ready to Post

This is going to be the same process as the first one, except your filter is going to look like this:

When you’re about to post something, this is where you go to copy the text and the attachment to paste it in the platform or your post scheduler. Don’t create content here as it’ll just get confusing.

View 3. Posted

This is going to be very similar to the other two, but the filter will look like this:

This view is actually really important. If you want to re-use content for, say, a blog post, ebook, podcast episode, or whatever form you can put it in, your archives of posted content can provide an amazing amount of raw info to work with.

View 4. Calendar View

If you’re trying to keep to a certain schedule, the calendar view is essential. You create it by creating a new view and selecting the Calendar option:

You’ll be asked to choose a date field — just use the Post Date field that pops up by default.

After you create your calendar view, you can use whatever filters you’d like! I like to filter out posts with the Posted status so I can build my schedule of In Progress posts.

While these are the views I generally start with when managing social media for a client, it always differs based on their needs. Play around with different views, filters, and groupings until you find something you’re comfortable with. This is a chance to make your own tool!

Now that you have all your views setup, it’s time to look at a few workflow steps that make it fun and easy to generate content ideas.


Content Inspiration Table

This is super simple but also potent.

Basically, you create a table with links to sources of like-minded content to what you’re trying to produce. It could be a Reddit channel or a well-known blog. So my content inspiration would look something like this:

I just started with three of my favorite sources. You can build as many as you want over time as you do research for your content!

All you have to do is add a new table and create three fields:

  • Source name (Short Text)
  • Link (URL)
  • Notes (Long Text)

And you’re ready to start gathering inspiration.

But wait! We’re not done. There’s something else that’s helped me create weekly content that’s consistent and fresh.

Weekly Topic Planner

This is another table that can help you generate ideas for weekly content. Basically, you come up with three to seven umbrella ideas or topics for a social media post and assign a day of the week and description to them. Here’s how you do it:

First, create a new table and name it Weekly Topic Planner. Then make it match this:

To quickly break down each field:

  • Topic Name (Short Text )— The name of the general topic. Make sure to pick a fairly large topic about which you could write around 50 posts.
  • Description (Long Text) — Describes what this topic is about, and gives some examples for reference
  • Day (Multiple Select )— Represents the day on which you’re going to post about a certain topic. It’s a Multi Select because you could post multiple times a week about a topic.
Final Product

Here’s the table after all of that stuff! What awesomeness! If you’ve created this, give yourself a pat on the back.

Your Social Media Has Been Organized

Organizing social media content can be a huge pain in the rear end. There are just so many things to keep track of! That’s why I use Airtable. Making this investment can really pay off in the long run.

Keep in mind that this is just the beginning. In Airtable, you can link between tablesuse formulas, and other awesome field types for more complex operations. I’m sure that this process will grow for me, and I’ll be updating this piece to reflect that.