Social media marketing is one of the most time-consuming tasks for bloggers. Being active on various social media platforms during different time zones is a daunting task. Most of these tasks are repetitive and makes your work boring. Bloggers usually hire freelance workers from Fiverr or depend on plugins to do such tasks. These methods are not reliable and often result in conflicts. Have you ever wished that you could automate all these tasks free of cost? Well, you have IFTTT that will help you achieve this dream. In this tutorial, I will explain the detailed steps for social media automation using IFTTT. Let me first explain about IFTTT a bit before proceeding further.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT is a free web-based tool that helps you connect various services to interact with each other automatically. The entire concept is based on a simple IF condition. For example, let us think of regular blogging related social media tasks like publishing your new post on Twitter. The condition is a logical term that translates to “If you publish a blog post then create a tweet for the same”.
Similarly, every task on social media can be broken down into such if statements. The above example shows a single conditional statement. But IFTTT can handle combined conditional statements, thus making it a powerful tool to handle even complicated tasks. While working with IFTTT, one of the most common terms that come to play is applets. Let us understand about applets also before seeing IFTTT in action.
What are Applets?
Applets are connections between services that make automation possible. Let us see a simple example to understand this concept. Suppose you want to share a tweet whenever you publish a Facebook post. For this, IFTTT needs to access your Twitter and Facebook accounts. With these connections in place, you could create a simple conditional statement in IFTTT.
“If you publish a Facebook post, then create a tweet with the same content”.
These services’ connection together with the IFTTT functionality forms an applet. They are the building blocks of any IFTTT automation system.
Without further ado, let us see the magic of IFTTT
How to create a new Applet?
The first thing to do is to sign up for a free IFTTT account.
Now select the Create menu option and click the Plus icon on the If This Then That sentence.
I am going to create a simple social media automation flow of posting a Tweet when I add any new Pin to my board on Pinterest. Search for Pinterest and choose the service. You need to first authenticate the service.
Once this is done select one of the available triggers. I am choosing the “New pin on your board” option.
In the next step, pick the board and click the Create trigger button.
The first half of your setup is over. The next step is to configure the action when the trigger occurs.
For this click the Plus icon before That. Again you have to select the service where the action should happen. I am selecting Twitter from the services list. Authenticate twitter before proceeding with the steps.
In the next step, choose the action. Since I plan to post my Pin to Twitter I choose the second option of “Post a tweet with image”
Next, you have to customize your Tweet text. The Add ingredient button will give you a list of options such as Board URL, Pin URL, and Pin Description.
Use these options to optimize the tweet and click the Create action method to proceed. In the last step, review the content and click the Finish button.
Your applet is now ready.
Let us test now test the applet. Go to Pinterest and add a new Pin to the specified board and click the Publish button.
Now go to your Twitter profile and see the latest Tweet.
There might be a delay of about a minute before the tweet becomes live.
How to use existing Applets?
The above example is just one case of the several available scenarios that you can create using IFTTT. You need not always design a new applet for a workflow. There are many applets available connecting each of the supported services. Let us now see how we can use one such existing flow for your social media automation.
Click on the Explore menu item to go to the search panel in IFTTT. I am searching for Twitter-related applets.
As you could see there are about 100+ applets associated with Twitter. I am selecting the “Thank you new follower option”. Twitter users might be familiar with this feature. When someone follows you on Twitter, you send a direct message to that person thanking him/her for the following. Let us see how it works with IFTTT.
You have to just select this service and then click on the Connect button to enable this feature.
Now go to the Settings option to configure the message.
Once you complete the configuration, click the Save button and the applet is ready. It took you less than a minute to add this feature to Twitter using IFTTT.
Similarly, if you browse any service in IFTTT, you could find several useful social media automation tasks that save a lot of your precious blogging time.
IFTTT is not a complete automation solution to social media-related tasks. There are many scenarios where your physical presence is a must such a hosting a chat or answering a fellow blogger’s question. IFTTT’s scope is limited to routine repetitive tasks. Before wrapping up let me give you 5 cool ideas for social media automation using IFTTT
- Schedule Facebook posts and Tweets with Google Calendar.
- Send Instagram photos to a Facebook Page.
- Build a Twitter list from a specific hashtag.
- Add a new blog post to Twitter and Facebook.
- Add your YouTube videos to Facebook.
What do you think are the best social media applets available in IFTTT? Let us know via the comments below.