How to Automate Your Social Activities

social media toolsAre you looking to simplify management of your social activities? If so, then Ifttt is for you.

Don’t be put off by Ifttt’s crazy name. This is one handy tool that you should definitely know about.

Ifttt stands for “If this, then that,” which is a very basic way of explaining the site’s whole premise.

With very little effort on your part, Ifttt will connect your online accounts and services to create triggered events. After setting a trigger from one service, you can create a task to be activated automatically when the trigger goes off.

ifttt dashboard

Ifttt lets us common people work with scary Internet codes like APIs without ever knowing it.

So for example, you might set an RSS feed of local news to trigger an event any time your hometown is mentioned. You can then create a task for Ifttt to perform when this trigger goes off, like sending you an email or text message. Neat, right? This is called a recipe.

ifttt recipes

Each recipe can be searched, shared and used by anyone on Ifttt.

Personally, I believe Ifttt is incredibly useful if you use it right. It’s one of those services with a lot of potential that could seem useless if you can’t find a need for it. Initially, this is exactly how I felt, but once I found a need for Ifttt, I realized how useful it can be.

Here are some examples of how Ifttt does do the drudgework for you and saves you time and energy.

Share Everywhere

If you manage multiple social media accounts, you’ll appreciate the ease of linking them together. With Ifttt, you can link up your accounts to perform particular actions automatically.

Linking one account to another will allow you to repost updates across different networks. If you only want to do this occasionally, you can create a hashtag to trigger the action.

For those who use Tumblr or a similar media-focused blog platform, Ifttt allows you to automatically post items from RSS feeds, creating a continual stream of shared content on your blog. You can also set your own blog’s RSS feed to automatically post updates on your social media accounts.

If you’re a fan of Buffer, you know how easy it is to add new updates. The process is even simpler with Ifttt, as you can set items starred or labeled with a particular tag to be sent to your Buffer account automatically.

Manage Social Media

Managing your social media accounts is more than just creating and sharing content. Ifttt can help you with administrative tasks such as monitoring and keeping your profiles up to date.

If you like to keep your profile pictures the same across different networks, you can set a trigger to activate when you change a picture on one account to update your other accounts to match.

update your other accounts

Keep your profile pictures consistent across networks automatically.

Using Evernote, you can create an archive of your social media updates by sending them to your notebook as soon as they are posted. You can also archive them by date, posting them to your Google Calendar.

google calendar

Keep your updates safe and searchable by archiving them in your Google Calendar.

If you want to keep track of links you’ve shared online, saving only your updates containing links will help you find them again later. Using Delicious or Evernote, you can keep a searchable archive of all your shared links.

Evernote is also a great place to keep blog post ideas. By setting a tag to send straight to your Evernote account, you can collect ideas from your Google Reader with ease.

evernote

Ifttt lets you search recipes for keywords like "calendar" or "Evernote" to save you the effort of setting up your tasks from scratch.

Organize Your Life

The automatic nature of Ifttt keeps you organized even when you’re not. Set these tasks up once and you’ll be surprised at how handy they become.

If you’re a fan of GTD, you can add labels to your Gmail messages to have them sent directly to your Evernote notebooks with tags added. This is handy for getting your to-do list out of your inbox without a lot of extra effort.

evernote gmail

Keep track of favorite and important emails by sending them directly to your Evernote account.

Emails can also be used to create calendar events automatically by using labels, message contents or sender details.

google calendar event

One of my favorite uses of Ifttt is the automatic creation of Google Calendar entries according to your emails.

If you use Dropbox, Ifttt can simplify your backup processes by sending documents, pictures, email attachments and more straight to your account. You can also back up images by cross-posting them to different networks. For instance, you might repost all of your Instagram pictures to your Flickr account.

dropbox ifttt

Backing up your photos is easy with all the recipes already available.

Easily my favorite use for Ifttt so far is weather and travel notifications. Ifttt has so many channels set up, you can set notifications to arrive via SMS, email, social networks or even a phone call. Creating a notification for travel delays on your train line or weather warnings in your area can save you time and energy (not to mention a bad hair day if it’s raining!).

create a notification

Get weather alerts via text, phone calls, email or Twitter to prepare you for the day.

If you need a regular reminder for something, Ifttt can do this too, using the time and date as the trigger. SMS reminders every Monday to put out the garbage or an email on the first of every month to pay the rent will save you the headache of remembering to write these things on your calendar.

ifttt tasks

The interface of bright colors and big, clear buttons makes Ifttt so easy to use.

It’s likely that you’ve come across some of these features elsewhere already. You might even use them regularly. With Ifttt, all of the possible combinations of triggers and tasks that you can set up will make your life more simple and organized. You can also pause or turn off a task at any time. Having all of this control in one easy-to-use interface makes the process a breeze.

What do you think? What’s your favorite Ifttt recipe? Is there something it can’t do yet that you would like it to? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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About the Author, Belle Beth Cooper

Belle has spent the past four years as a freelance writer and social media consultant and now spends her days wielding a pencil as Attendly's resident Inbound Marketer. Follow her on Twitter @BelleBethCooper. Other posts by »




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  • MitchellAllen

    Corina, this is a very interesting tool. I tried to manage my Posterous account via Gmail forwarding – it didn’t work. So, I’m definitely interested in seeing how it is accomplished with Ifttt.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

     

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  • rachelcool

    Wow! I recently revamped my blogging and am starting to get more involved in social media. This is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to dig in and try it out!

  • http://www.webpresence.tv Lee Jackson

    Can imagine it will take time learn how to best use it to it’s full potential, am loving the concept though :)

  • http://5damanha.com.br/ Fernanda Saboia

    Whenever I had to catch up on my reading I had to go to two places: instapaper and my twitter favorites. Now I’ve set up IFTTT to send any tweets I fave to Instapaper. Now all my reading list is unified and updated.

  • http://www.FunintheChicagoBurbs.com/ Chicago Suburb Events

    Seriously, these are great. Time is money. Thank you so much, now we can just update the main social sites and everything else will be ok too. Great share.

  • Jackie Hinton

    Oh My God This Is So Wonderful, Just What I needed to See. Wonderful Site This Is. Thank you.

  • http://www.greergenius.com April Greer

    Awesome post and find! Using it now.

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  • Melissa P.

    how interesting! Glad this was shared, never new about it before until now. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/roohimoolla Roohi Moolla

    Wow, just connected my Facebook account to Flickr to automate uploading of my public photos – so absolutely easy!!! Looks like a great tool – would love to see Pinterest, Path and Fancy added to the list of channels…

  • http://buhlerworks.com/wordpress JEBworks

    This looks and sounds like a great tool. As a user of most of these services mentioned I’ll have to check this one out.

  • http://www.jrdnbwmn.com/ Jordan Bowman

    I recently tried to figure out how to spend less time on social media and produce better content/get more out of it at the same time. I found ifttt and it’s been a huge tool for me to accomplish that. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dupuis.tom Tom Dupuis

    Let’s not forget the Craigslist task. IF anything “free” posts on Craigslist in your area (using Craigslist’s rss), THEN you will get a text. I already got a free TV doing this. Good post though – more people should know about this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/KatrinaTurnbow Katrina Turnbow

    this is one of the coolest finds that I have seen. This is so powerful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/KatrinaTurnbow Katrina Turnbow

    overlooked that one. i am going to add

  • http://www.ontargetcoach.com/ Brent Pittman

    Seems it might be useful. Now if only if ifttt could automatically write my blog posts and tweet them. 

  • Jo Harrison

    I’d heard about this some time ago and not had a chance to look into it, but this post has served as a reminder and I will definitely look into it tomorrow… What a great way of saving time, can’t wait to use it!!

  • Therese TargetClick

    I just wrote a blog post today about nifty little tools that help us organize our lives. Too bad this wasn’t on it! I’m looking forward to exploring how to use this!

  • jesskupferman

    This was A W E S O M E. Thanks for the great skinny on something I never even heard of!

  • AngieVanDenzen

    Great share – can’t wait to dig in! Love that there’s lists of popular ifttt’s pre-set up to inspire me! 

    Angie

  • http://www.howbler.com/ Howbler.com

    Thanks for sharing this, Corina. Very helpful, indeed!!!

  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    You’re right, Lee, it can take a while to get your head around it. Luckily there are loads of recipes to browse through and try out, so you don’t have to make your own from scratch!

  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    Brilliant! It’s such a handy tool when you find a need for it.

  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    Glad you’re finding it easy to use! The Ifttt team are always adding new channels, I’m sure Pinterest won’t be far away!

  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    Great point, Tom!

  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    Ah then we’d really have a need for it, wouldn’t we?!

  • PhillipaKiripatea

    Wow, sounds like a really useful tool. I don’t normally like using automation tools but I think I’ll give Ifftt a go. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/girlseeksplace Brianna Soloski

    I am going to look into this. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.howtopersuadepeople.net/ Mark Adrian @ How to Persuade

    Wow, thanks for sharing this service, it definitely sounds promising for those of us with multiple social media accounts, which can take up a lot of time to manage. I’m going to check it out and see how I can make it work for my website and blog.

  • Shilonda

    I really appreciate this article and will share this in information my next social media webinar. Thanks!

    Shilonda Downing
    Virtual Work Team LLC

  • Brindaa

    This is fantastic. As a social media manager, my life becomes so much more easier this way. Thanks a ton for this article. 

  • http://www.dissertationindia.net/dissertation-assistance.html Dissertation Assistance

    That’s an amazing service no doubt about it. You can manage your number of social media account from one place which going to save huge time.

  • http://www.webpresence.tv Lee Jackson

     Well if they’re anything like recipes from a cookbook I have no chance Corina, best cancel my account :)

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  • http://www.nitrotek.co.uk/rc-jet.html rc jets

    Really it is very nice tool or we can say all in one package which can perform all the tasks. I like it much. If i found requirement in future then definitely will make use of if this then that tool. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • James Gunn

     THis looks really useful – I look forward to them adding Google Plus and Linked In too

  • http://messagesofhope.net/ Terry the B

    Thanks to Mama Red for turning me on to this one. Great write-up, Corina! This is the first automation application that has been able to pique my interest! I can’t wait to dig into the filters and triggers to see how it may be used to re-purpose AND collect article content.

  • http://www.katiedavis.com/ Katie Davis

    I have a self-hosted site on WP and when I went to sign up for ittt and give it a try, I found it a little disconcerting that I had to give my WP password in order to do it. Could this be a problem? Please, someone convince me that handing over the password to my site is a smart thing to do! I’d love to use this great service.

  • http://localvideomarketing.biz/ Anthony Idle

    OMG this is amazing. I just set up a Foursquare recipe to publish to my Google calendar so I can track car milage for tax. SWEET So much more to automate.

  • http://localvideomarketing.biz/ Anthony Idle

    Likewise want Google+ LinkedIn is already there James.
    Cheers

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  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    Luckily they are a lot simpler! Otherwise I wouldn’t even bother :)

  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    Thanks Terry, I hope you find it to be a really useful tool like I have!

  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    Understandable, Katie. I expect it needs your password in order to access certain things – there are probably WordPress recipes that allow you to automatically create and publish blog posts, which ifttt would need to log into your account to do. Unfortunately, when you add a channel like WordPress, Twitter, Email, etc., you are required to give all permissions at once, even if you are going to use it in a read-only sense. I guess it depends how you want to use ifttt in connection to your WordPress account, and whether that’s worth giving up your password for.

  • http://twitter.com/corinamackay Corina Mackay

    Brilliant! I love hearing about creative ways to use ifttt, it has so much potential!

  • Mrzahidk

    OK… Gonna have to give this a go… :D

  • Rick Olson

    Fantastic idea Anthony!!!

  • http://www.resg.info/ Anton Stetner

    I am going to have to try this one out becuase it looks like everthing I have been missing with tweetdeck and hootsuite

  • http://www.tvspiegel.com/ Wandspiegel

    Tried it today for the first time. I’m impressed.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angel-Deluta/100000871645145 Angel Deluta

    oohh really can help my prblem this..how too get my reward..im benevolent leader of the game!

  • http://twitter.com/jenlew [Jen Lew]

    if i take the time to figure this out it sounds like it will be awesome. 

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/chirowski Marcin

    Great tips, thanks for sharing. I just started using that tool today and I must say it can be very handy, but the trick is to stay human/real when it comes to important channels for your social presence.

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  • Jmal1955

    Curious how this will work in terms of posting statuses to your Facebook. Facebook seems to punish you for using third party apps to post items by burying your statuses so your own fans and friends can’t see them…

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  • http://galleryheart.com/ Asad Jafar

    This post really help me and save a lot of my time. Thanks Man.







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