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Social media automation: Unlocking the power of IFTTT recipes

The use of IFTTT (If This Then That) recipes in the social media world has transformed how many marketers do business, the result of which has led to the brands at the center of these contracts being rather impressed

5 min read

Social Media

Social media automation: Unlocking the power of IFTTT recipes

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IFTTT (If This Then That) is no new phenomenon, this free web-based service was initially introduced back in September 2011 and for a while the recipes behind the service were the best kept secrets of many social media professionals. While IFTTT recipes can be applied across many web services, including Gmail, their use in the social media world has transformed how many marketers do business, the result of which has led to the brands at the center of these contracts being rather impressed with the outcome.

It’s no secret that social media tasks take up a lot of time, whether you are taking on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest or another platform for personal or professional reasons. For those wishing to streamline such activities, IFTTT may offer the perfect recipe. Here are just some of the IFTTT recipes that can be used to improve social media automation, but first let’s tackle the basics for those unfamiliar with IFTTT…

Getting started

In short, for those who have not encountered IFTTT before, this service aims to join together two channels, and uses a chain of conditional statements or “recipes” to ensure this is done seamlessly and the two can operate in unison. The two channels, or services as they are often referred to, don’t have to be related, in fact, using the formulas presented by your chosen IFTTT recipe, a trigger and action can be generated to ensure each can work as they should do and work together to produce the automation solution you require.

Creating a free IFTTT account couldn’t be easier, simply visit; once registered connect the channels you wish to work with and authorise each by selecting “activate.” Depending on your requirements, you may be able to find the recipes you need from the existing selection, while those wishing to create a completely customized automation experience may want to devise their own recipes. The IFTTT community regularly share recipes, simply click on a channel to explore the most popular.

Create a searchable Twitter archive

Keeping track of your interactions is vital for every social media marketer, and it can be a tedious task to copy and paste each and every tweet, note every single new follower or track the links you’ve posted from your profile, but you don’t have to waste any more time thanks to this IFTTT recipe.

The If Twitter Then Google Drive recipe is a great one to add as once you’ve tweeted, gained a new follower or shared a link this information is automatically added to a Google Drive spreadsheet. While the recipe does’t catalog retweets and replies, it does give you the means to devise a searchable archive for your reference or your client’s.

Update Google+ with Facebook posts

Due to the fact that Google+ and Facebook users have very similar expectations, many businesses and their marketers use the same content but why spend your precious time duplicating your carefully worded copy across both? Utilising the If Facebook Then Google+ via Buffer recipe you can easily post to your Google+ account when you update your Facebook page. As the name suggests, this IFTTT recipe uses Buffer to share across each account, all you have to do is link your Google+ page to your Buffer account and activate this recipe.

Share blog content across your social media accounts

Your client’s on-site blog can offer endless inspiration when curating content for use on social media. The If WordPress Then Twitter recipe allows you to tweet about your client’s latest blog offering as soon as it is created. There is also a recipe to do the same on Facebook, and various recipes available throughout the IFTTT community to publish news of a new blog on LinkedIn and Google+.

Post uploads to Pinterest from Instagram

Instagram offers a valuable visual insight into your client’s business, but once you’ve uploaded the images you want to share to their Instagram account, who has the time to do the same on Pinterest? With the If Instagram Then Pinterest recipe users can pin any new photographs posted on their Instagram account instantly, which means a Pinterest board and Instagram feed full of stunning imagery.

If you are looking to share your Instagram images throughout your client’s social network than the If Instagram Then Twitter recipe may also be a worthy addition to your IFTTT account. Using this particular recipe you can share the images posted to your Instagram feed to your Twitter feed as native images, meaning followers will see full images rather than the clickable links usually displayed when Instagram uploads are shared via Twitter.

Build a follower list that relates directly to your client

Ensuring that you establish a network of followers that may have an interest and will potentially invest in the products or services offered by your client is integral to social media success, and the following recipe makes light work of building a bespoke Twitter list. The If Twitter Then Twitter  recipe is great for gathering the Twitter IDs of users who are talking about a specific hashtag, giving you the power to track down users (whether they are following your client’s Twitter account or not) who have an interest in your client’s industry sector or area of expertise.

Using the If Twitter Then Twitter recipe to create a list from a certain hashtag is particularly useful if you wish to build relationships with fellow professionals at a conference, want to establish interest groups or need to refine brand campaigns further for maximum effectiveness.

Richard Barker is the founder and owner of Harrison Mann. The Manchester, UK, based web design agency provides a full-service approach to ensure its clients can market their business effectively to target audiences throughout their target areas. Richard and his team deliver search engine optimization, PPC, content marketing, design and digital support to brands across multiple market niches, whilst their experience and expertise in social media marketing makes them one of the top agencies in the country.