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social media how toLooking for effective ways to streamline your social media marketing tasks?

Have you heard of IFTTT applets?

Applets let you automate social media posting tasks so you can spend more time engaging with your audience.

In this article, you’ll discover how to automate a variety of social media tasks with IFTTT applets.

How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing With IFTTT Applets by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner.

How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing With IFTTT Applets by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner.

How to Create an Applet on IFTTT

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a platform that allows you to create automations called “applets” (previously known as “recipes”). To get started, sign in or create a free account.

If you want to see the full list of services (applications, networks, features, tools, etc. previously known as “channels”) that IFTTT offers or can connect to, look at the All Services page. It’s categorized so that as a marketer, you can quickly find the blogging, bookmarking, business tools, email, and social media networks in the sea of 700+ services.

Click on any service to see what triggers and actions are available. For instance, take the blogging platform Medium. If you scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link for triggers and actions, you’ll see this:

Check out the IFTTT All Services page to see what triggers and actions you can use for specific services.

Check out the IFTTT All Services page to see what triggers and actions you can use for specific services.

Now let’s build a new IFTTT applet. Click on your username in the top-right corner and select New Applet. Then click on +this.

Click +this to start building your IFTTT applet.

Click +this to start building your IFTTT applet.

Next, you get to choose your trigger service and connect that service (your Twitter account, for example) to your IFTTT account.

Select a service for your IFTTT applet.

Select a service for your IFTTT applet.

Let’s say that you want to make sure that every post you recommend on Medium also gets posted to your Facebook page. Select Medium as the service and then choose Post Recommended by You as the trigger.

Choose a trigger for your IFTTT applet.

Choose a trigger for your IFTTT applet.

Next, click on +that.

Click +that to continue building your IFTTT applet.

Click +that to continue building your IFTTT applet.

This is where you configure your applet’s action, or what it will do when triggered. For this applet, the action is what it will do when you recommend a post on Medium. If you want to share it on your Facebook page, select Facebook Pages as the action service.

Choose an action service for your IFTTT applet.

Choose an action service for your IFTTT applet.

Then choose the post type. For this applet, I recommend selecting Create a Link Post, as a link post will generate an image thumbnail when available anyway. Plus, you want more shares and people engaging with your link, not a photo.

Select an action for your IFTTT applet.

Select an action for your IFTTT applet.

Next, you’ll be able to customize your recommendation post from Medium to your Facebook page by using plain text and ingredients available per platform.

Fill out the action fields for your IFTTT applet.

Fill out the action fields for your IFTTT applet.

In the above case, you’ll leave PostURL as the Link URL so that the URLs of your recommendations from Medium are always automatically shared on your Facebook page. You can also add an optional custom message, such as duplicating the post title and URL. The result will look something like this in IFTTT:

Customize the action fields for your IFTTT applet.

Customize the action fields for your IFTTT applet.

After creating your applet, you may want to check that it’s functioning correctly. Click the Check Now button to force your new applet to fire immediately.

After you finish creating your IFTTT applet, click Check Now to force it to fire.

After you finish creating your IFTTT applet, click Check Now to force it to fire.

Now the next time you recommend something on Medium, your Facebook page post will look something like this:

Your new IFTTT applet will share every Medium post you recommend to your Facebook page.

Your new IFTTT applet will share every Medium post you recommend to your Facebook page.

You can even recommend a post from Medium on your own Medium account. You’re not copying the content word for word; you’re simply sharing it on your Medium account like you would with your other social channels. Just choose Medium as both the trigger and the action (the +this and the +that).

You can also create an IFTTT applet to recommend a post from Medium on your own Medium account.

You can also create an IFTTT applet to recommend a post from Medium on your own Medium account.

You may be thinking, why would I want to share a recommended post on Medium on my social channels like Facebook? Depending on who you are, who your customers are, and where they write, there might be a good review or two about you on Medium.

If you were to find a good review, wouldn’t you want to share it? And wouldn’t you want to share it to all of your social media channels by clicking just one button: the Recommendation button on Medium? IFTTT applets give you the power to do that.

Now that you know how to set up an applet, let’s look at different types of applets you can create and why they’re worthwhile.

#1: Applets to Share Positive Customer Experiences

It makes sense to start with this one. Depending on what business you’re in, your positive customer experiences may be in a myriad of places.

For example, suppose you get a positive customer experience on Medium (as in the following post praising Tony Robbins).

Click the heart icon to recommend a Medium post.

Click the heart icon to recommend a Medium post.

All you have to do is click the heart at the bottom left of the Medium post. With applets in place to share a Medium Post Recommended by You, this recommendation could go out to all of the following places:

  • Your Facebook page (link post suggested)
  • Your Twitter account (post a tweet)
  • Your LinkedIn profile (link post suggested)
  • Your Pinterest profile + specific board (assuming a photo is available)
  • Your Reddit account (use with caution and know the rules of subreddit and Reddit marketing in general)
  • Your Pocket and Instapaper accounts (note that you have to go into both accounts to make sure the posts are marked to be publicly visible by favoriting or starring them).

When you’re done with Medium, you can move on to networks like Twitter with applets that share complimentary tweets that you like. Start by liking the tweet.

Click the Like icon for a tweet.

Click the Like icon for a tweet.

For the applet, choose New Liked Tweet by You as the trigger. Share with your social media audiences as mentioned earlier (Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, etc.).

For example, if you create an applet to share liked tweets to your Facebook page, it goes from looking like this…

Build an IFTTT applet to share liked tweets to your Facebook page.

Build an IFTTT applet to share liked tweets to your Facebook page.

…to this:

This is what a liked tweet looks like when shared to your Facebook page via IFTTT.

This is what a liked tweet looks like when shared to your Facebook page via IFTTT.

Effectively, it’s a good way to share word-of-mouth marketing about your business and make people aware of your other social channels. You never know when you have fans who are teetering on the edge of taking a Facebook break and would be happy to start following you on Twitter instead.

Plus, you can apply these same steps to…

  • Share a YouTube video you like that favorably mentions your business, products, and services to your other social profiles.
caption

Set up an IFTTT applet to share YouTube videos that you like.

  • Share a Tumblr post you like that favorably mentions your business, products, and services to your other social profiles.
  • Share a pin you liked on Pinterest that favorably mentions your business, products, and services to your other social profiles.
  • Share a positive rating by a Fiverr customer to your other social profiles.
  • Share a repost of an Instagram post (using the New Photo by You With a Specific Hashtag option) that favorably mentions your business, products, and services to your other social profiles.
caption

Create an IFTTT applet to share a repost of an Instagram post.

You have lots of options based on your business, your products and services, and where your customers might talk about you. This also works well for sharing content you like in general from these networks across multiple social profiles.

#2: Applets to Share Content That Engages Your Audience

No content marketing strategy will be successful without content distribution and promotion. You should apply the same applets you used to spread your Medium recommendations to any content you create, such as blog posts, videos, etc.

All you have to do is find the platform’s RSS feed and use IFTTT’s RSS service as the trigger. Then share your content to…

  • Your Facebook page (link post suggested)
  • Your Twitter account (post a tweet)
  • Your LinkedIn profile (link post suggested)
  • Your Pinterest profile + specific board (assuming a photo is available)
  • Your Reddit account (use with caution and know the rules of subreddit and Reddit marketing in general)
  • Your Pocket and Instapaper accounts (note that you have to go into both accounts to make sure the posts are marked to be publicly visible by favoriting or starring them).
caption

Set up an IFTTT applet to share your blog posts on a variety of platforms.

You can apply this to your blog, your favorite blogs, blogs you know your customers love reading, and so forth. Content marketing doesn’t have to be about sharing only your own content. It can be about sharing any content (not from your competition) that gives value to your customers.

Just be sure you aren’t inundating your followers with too many automated posts or posts from sites that you don’t trust sharing every post, every time, based on quality and value. Otherwise, you’ll lose the audience you worked so hard to build.

#3: Applets to Assign Social Media Tasks to Team Members

Does your company use Slack? Trello? Skype? Email? No matter how you assign tasks, IFTTT is there to help.

You can create an applet that alerts a specific app, platform, or person by email, SMS, and so on. Suppose that you want to have someone stay on top of Twitter keyword searches because that happens to be where people ask questions about your industry.

For example, web hosting companies should be all over Twitter.

Identify Twitter searches that would be beneficial to your business.

Identify Twitter searches that would be beneficial to your business.

Create an applet that starts with a trigger from Twitter search (New Tweet From Search) and your industry keywords and questions.

Create an IFTTT applet that's triggered by a Twitter search.

Create an IFTTT applet that’s triggered by a Twitter search.

Depending on how you manage yourself or your social media team, your applet can send new tweets from search

  • To a specific email address
  • Via SMS (text)
  • To a specific Slack group or channel
  • To a specific Skype account
  • To a specific Trello card and assign a member to it.

You get the drift. No tweet will go unanswered and it can be done mostly through free products.

#4: Applets to Tweet People by Location

Got a local business? You can have IFTTT alert you to people who are tweeting in your area. Depending on how attached you want to be to your Twitter and your type of business, you might be able to hop into the conversation and direct people to your business.

Build an IFTTT applet that's triggered by tweets from anyone in a designated area.

Build an IFTTT applet that’s triggered by tweets from anyone in a designated area.

This could allow you to either catch someone in the area to say, “Hey, the next time you’re in the area, show us you’re following us on Twitter and on our email list for a special discount,” so you can grow your audience.

Some applets that would help you with this would be to send New Tweet by Anyone in Area:

  • To a specific email address
  • Via SMS (text)
  • To a specific Slack group or channel
  • To a specific Skype account
  • To a specific Trello card and assign a member to it.

Similar to earlier applets, the goal is to make sure you alert the right people as quickly as possible to respond, especially if your intent is to reach people while they’re in the area of your local business. That’s when text message notifications of a new tweet in your area might be the best option, as most won’t miss a text.

#5: Applets to Monitor Your Competition’s Posts

Do you ever feel like you could have jumped onto a hot topic in your industry had you just known about it as fast as your competitors? If you don’t want to monitor every news outlet in your industry, you can use IFTTT to get alerted to your competitor’s posts.

Set up an IFTTT applet that's triggered by a new tweet from a specific Twitter user.

Set up an IFTTT applet that’s triggered by a new tweet from a specific Twitter user.

It’s as simple as creating an applet that’s triggered by New Tweet by a Specific User. Get alerted via email, SMS (text), Slack group/channel, Skype, or Trello.

Connect With Your Niche

Not all of these will apply to all social media users based on the person, business, or brand you represent. But some will be a perfect fit!

For example, a fitness trainer may want to regularly share workout progress from some of the following fitness apps and tools:

Fitness trainers might use some of these apps and tools to set up IFTTT applets.

Fitness trainers might use some of these apps and tools to set up IFTTT applets.

Similarly, a time-management consultant might want to share updates from these apps and tools:

Time-management consultants might set up IFTTT applets using some of these apps and tools.

Time-management consultants might set up IFTTT applets using some of these apps and tools.

Are you in the travel industry? Broadcast the weather on social using triggers from these apps:

These apps might be of interest to those in the travel industry.

These apps might be of interest to those in the travel industry.

You have lots of possibilities with the different personal apps that can be connected with social networks. And for anything you’re missing, there’s always Zapier, a more workflow automation/premium business version of IFTTT.

In Conclusion

Applets, along with other features of the new IFTTT platform, can help social media marketers, managers, and customers get the most out of their business’s social media presences.

What do you think? What are your favorite IFTTT social applets? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing With IFTTT Applets by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner.

How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing With IFTTT Applets by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner.

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