Ever go on vacation and your family BEGS you to leave the iPhone at home? You can’t, of course, because you’ll miss all the @mentions and @replies – and we ALL know that witty replies become exponentially less so as the days pass.

Why? Well, it seems like you’re not quick on your feet and that’s a Twitter taboo in the land of snappy comebacks and hashtags.

What’s an IRL human to do? Set an out of office reply on Twitter and then you can pick up where you left off, wit intact, and your family won’t divorce you!

Amit Agarwal is a serious smarty pants. He’s the voice behind Digital Inspiration where he offers ‘how to’ tips including another we recently posted about: how to create a Twitter bot in five minutes.

And now he’s helping you keep your Twitter credibility in check while away on ‘vacay’ by showing you how to set up a Twitter auto-responder to alert followers to your absence when they reach out via tweet. Here’s how it looks:

The steps for creating the OOO (out of office) are below. Test it out and let us know how you like it.

Disclaimer: I tried it and couldn’t get it to work, but I’m seeing that it works for him so didn’t want to deny you the wisdom just because I’m (obviously) Twitter-script challenged! 

Step A: Setup a Twitter App

  1. Go to dev.twitter.com and sign-in with your existing Twitter account. Create a new Twitter app (screenshot), add a description, website (any URL) and callback URL (https://spreadsheets.google.com/macros/).
  2. Once the Twitter app has been created, click the Settings tab and set Read and Write as the Application Type. Click Update to save your changes.
  3. Switch to the OAuth tool tab and make note of the Consumer Key and Consumer Secret.

Step B: Setup the Auto-responder Script

  1. Open script.google.com and choose File -> Make a copy to duplicate the auto-responder script into your Google Drive.
  2. Enter the start and end dates of your vacation, the Twitter app keys (from the previous step), and your Twitter handle.
  3. Go to Run -> Start to initialize the auto-responder. Say Yes if the script requires you to authorize access to certain Google Script services.
  4. Choose Run -> Start and it will show an “Authorization Required” dialog. Allow the script to access your Twitter account and you are done.

Post a link to the your successful attempts in the comments (or any other thoughts in case it isn’t me and the process requires tweaking!).

(Vacation image from Shutterstock)