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social media toolsAre social media tasks eating up a lot of your time?

Want to streamline your activities?

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a free service that allows you to automate tasks between applications and social networks.

In this article you’ll discover how to create IFTTT recipes to save time on social media marketing.

ifttt recipes for social media marketers

Discover IFTTT recipes for social media marketers.

#1: Create a Recipe in IFTTT

Here’s how IFTTT works, in a nutshell. First, you need to sign up for a free account or log into your existing one.

To create a task, you need to create a new recipe. This allows you to define a trigger for your task and an action to take once the task is triggered.

For example, let’s say that you want to receive a custom email each time someone mentions your username and asks a question on Twitter. Start by creating a new recipe, which will begin as shown below. To configure the trigger, click the this link.

ifttt new recipe

Creating a new recipe in IFTTT.

Next, you see a list of channels you can connect to. Channels are simply the apps and social networks that IFTTT allows you to configure tasks between. Scroll through the list or start typing in the channel you need.

ifttt trigger channels

Choosing a trigger channel for your recipe.

Once you’ve chosen Twitter as the channel, you need to choose a trigger action. If you’ve never used IFTTT, you’ll have to connect your Twitter account to give IFTTT permission to use it. Then select a specific trigger for your recipe.

ifttt trigger

Choosing a trigger for your task.

In this example choose the New Tweet From Search option. While there is an option for New Mention of You, it won’t allow you to filter mentions that include a question mark.

After you select New Tweet from Search, you need to complete the trigger fields. This will tell IFTTT what to look for as a trigger. In this case the trigger is a search for your username and a question mark in a tweet.

ifttt trigger configuration

Configuring the trigger.

After you click the Create Trigger button, you’re prompted to create the task that should happen when the recipe is triggered. To start, click the that link.

ifttt task definition

Starting the task.

This brings up a list of action channels, similar to the trigger channels you chose from previously. Click on the appropriate channel, in this case click on Email.

ifttt action channels

Choosing an action channel for your recipe.

Now choose the action you want to happen when the recipe is triggered. For our scenario, select the option Send Me an Email.

ifttt trigger action

Choosing the trigger action.

Next, customize the email. To do this, click in the field you want to customize. A beaker then appears to the right of the text field. Click on the beaker to choose specific ingredients from the trigger that you want included in the email.

ifttt action configuration

Configuring your email.

For example, suppose that you want to see the text of the tweet in the subject line of the email so you can quickly determine if it’s a tweet you want to answer. To do this, include the text in the subject line.

ifttt action configuration

Configuring your email subject line.

Then in the email body, add more information, including a link to the tweet. You do this by using the ingredients as follows.

ifttt action configuration

Configuring the body of the email.

When you’re finished, click the Create Action button. Then name your IFTTT recipe and click Create Recipe.

ifttt recipe setup conclusion

Finishing the recipe setup.

After you click the Create Recipe button, your recipe is complete and you’re taken to My Recipes. There, you see all of your recipes.

ifttt recipe in saved recipes

Viewing your recipes in the My Recipes folder.

Next to each recipe, you have four options. You can pause the recipe (using the power icon), run the recipe immediately (using the refresh icon), see the log of when the recipe has run (using the list icon) and edit the recipe (using the pencil icon).

#2: Copy Example Recipes for Social Media Marketers

Here are some great recipe ideas that you can use to make your social media processes more efficient.

Get Notified About Tweets Mentioning Your Business

Twitter will notify you when someone mentions your username in a tweet. But what about the tweets that mention your name, your business name or your unique product names that don’t mention your Twitter username? IFTTT can help you get notified about these tweets.

Start by creating a recipe using Twitter as the trigger channel and New Tweet From Search as the trigger. Configure the search as follows.

ifttt tweet mention trigger

Configuring the trigger.

With the above search, tweets with the exact phrase “Social Media Examiner” that don’t mention the @smexaminer username will trigger the task.

Next, create the action that will happen when the recipe is triggered. For example, you can choose Email as the action channel and have an email sent to you about the tweet. Or you can choose Twitter as the action channel and favorite the tweet on your account.

You could even choose Trello as the action channel and have the tweet added as a new card and assign a team member in Trello to handle it.

ifttt tweet mention action

Creating a new Trello card for a brand mention tweet.

Direct People to Your Main Twitter Account

If you have more than one Twitter account and want to get people to follow your main account, you have a few options. You can update the bio on your other accounts to point to your main one. You also can pin a tweet on your other accounts to point to your main one.

Both options mean that people have to go to your other accounts to find out about your main one. Neither helps if people are tweeting your other accounts.

IFTTT can help you direct people to your main account by sending tweets to those who tweet your other accounts to check out your main one. Start by creating a recipe using Twitter as the trigger channel and New Tweet From Search as the trigger. Configure the search to find tweets that mention your other accounts but don’t mention your main one.

ifttt add to twitter list trigger

Configuring the trigger.

Next, choose Twitter as the action channel and Post a Tweet as the action. Then configure it to send the following tweet.

ifttt add to twitter list action

Configuring the action.

This will connect the person who tweeted your other account to your main one automatically. This also works well if you have old accounts and you want people to follow your new one.

Add People to Twitter Lists

Twitter lists allow you to engage with people who have something specific in common. IFTTT allows you to automatically add people to a Twitter list based on what they tweet. You can use this to create Twitter lists of people who engage with your brand.

Start by creating a recipe using Twitter as the trigger channel and New Tweet From Search as the trigger. Configure the search to find tweets mentioning your name and username.

ifttt instagram trigger

Choosing your trigger.

Then choose Twitter as the action channel and Add User to List as the action, and configure it as follows. Note that you must create the list on Twitter before this recipe will work.

ifttt instagram crosspost action configuration

Using the SourceURL for your image.

Share Pins on Other Social Networks

Do you want to share the pins you post or like on your other social networks? You can do this with IFTTT. First, choose Pinterest as the trigger channel and either You Like a Pin or New Pin on Your Board as the trigger.

ifttt redirect to twitter profile trigger

Configuring the trigger.

Next, choose the social network where you want to share the pin. You can share it to your Facebook personal profile, Facebook page, Flickr profile, LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, Tumblr blog or WordPress blog. You can also share it to your Buffer and have it added to your queue.

ifttt redirect to twitter profile action

Configuring the action tweet.

Share Instagram Photos as Photo Posts on Other Networks

When you post an Instagram photo from the app, you have the option to also share it on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and a few other networks. These posts will all link back to Instagram.

If you want to post your Instagram photos as photo posts on other networks without referencing or linking back to Instagram, you can use IFTTT.

Start by creating a recipe using Instagram as the trigger channel and Any New Photo by You as the trigger.

ifttt pin trigger

Trigger options for the Pinterest channel.

Next, choose the social network you want to share the photo with. You can share it to your Facebook personal profile, Facebook page, Flickr profile, LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, Tumblr blog or WordPress blog. The key is to specify that you want to Create a Photo Post or Upload a Photo from URL, depending on the action channel you choose.

ifttt pin to buffer action

Adding a liked pin to your Buffer.

The photo URL for your post will be the SourceURL ingredient from Instagram.

#3: Get Inspiration for Recipes

To get inspiration for IFTTT recipes for your business, you can browse recipes shared by others. Use the search box to find recipes for specific purposes or channels.

shared ifttt recipes

Browsing IFTTT recipes by keyword.

You can also look at the specific channels to see what triggers and actions IFTTT offers for each. For example, if you look at the Twitter channel, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see all of the triggers and actions you can use for Twitter.

shared ifttt triggers and actions by channel

Triggers and actions for specific channels.

Conclusion

As you can see, IFTTT allows you to streamline specific social media tasks so you can get the benefits without having to do a lot of the repetitive work. Be sure to explore IFTTT and see what tasks you can automate for your social media campaign today.

What do you think? Do you use IFTTT? Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Please tell us about it in the comments!

ifttt recipes for social media marketers

Find IFTTT recipes for social media marketers.

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  • lizcable

    In the section about creating a list from a search – you use username, I use conference hashtags to find people with the same professional interests – (my favourite IFTTT recipe) you have a graphic showing how to auto send an email, not how to add someone to a list.

    The “configure” graphic should look like this:

  • Alina

    Great article!
    I’ve just created few recipes for Twitter some days ago 😉 I really miss the action to follow the person, whose tweet was found for special search terms

  • lizcable

    In the section about creating a list from a search – you use username, I use conference hashtags to find people with the same professional interests – (my favourite IFTTT recipe) you have a graphic showing how to auto send an email, not how to add someone to a list.

    The “configure” graphic should look like this:

  • Alina

    Great article!
    I’ve just created few recipes for Twitter some days ago 😉 I really miss the action to follow the person, whose tweet was found for special search terms

  • lizcable

    Create the list, and then go back and follow them later (this also means you can choose who to add rather than auto-adding people)

  • lizcable

    Create the list, and then go back and follow them later (this also means you can choose who to add rather than auto-adding people)

  • Alina

    That’s how I do it now, but still…

  • Alina

    That’s how I do it now, but still…

  • Kerry Boozenny

    Great job explaining this tool. I love IFTT and published several recipes (elegantKB) username, Here’s one of my secret sauce recipes for doing hashtag research on instagram… https://ifttt.com/recipes/217128-kerry-s-favorite-instagram-hashtag-research-saved-to-drive-spreadsheet

  • LisaDJenkins

    Thank you, Liz. We did have an image out of order and corrected the error.

  • Thank you, Liz. We did have an image out of order and corrected the error.

  • Jessica Allen

    Thank you for a great run-down of IFTTT! I noticed my web dev colleagues using this tool in the past, and always wondered how I could use it to help automate some of my social media tasks. Very useful!

  • Jessica Allen

    Thank you for a great run-down of IFTTT! I noticed my web dev colleagues using this tool in the past, and always wondered how I could use it to help automate some of my social media tasks. Very useful!

  • Maui Wowi DC

    How does IFTTT differ from other tools like Hootsuite?

  • Maui Wowi DC

    How does IFTTT differ from other tools like Hootsuite?

  • I think Twitter pulled that ability through the API to prevent people from abusing the system with the follow people to get followers strategy.

  • I think Twitter pulled that ability through the API to prevent people from abusing the system with the follow people to get followers strategy.

  • You’re welcome Jessica! 🙂

  • You’re welcome Jessica! 🙂

  • Hootsuite allows you to post to your social media profiles. IFTTT can automate posting to social profiles plus a ton of other tasks. If you go to the Channels page (https://ifttt.com/channels) you can see all of the platforms IFTTT integrates with. If you click on any of the channels, like Twitter, you can see what each network is capable of in terms of triggers and actions.

  • Hootsuite allows you to post to your social media profiles. IFTTT can automate posting to social profiles plus a ton of other tasks. If you go to the Channels page (https://ifttt.com/channels) you can see all of the platforms IFTTT integrates with. If you click on any of the channels, like Twitter, you can see what each network is capable of in terms of triggers and actions.

  • Thanks for catching that Liz! 🙂

  • Thanks for catching that Liz! 🙂

  • Sandro Galindo

    I gave up on IFTTT a couple of years ago when it didn’t have what I needed. I may have to give it another look. Would love if it could:
    – notify me when guest posts instagram picture from client’s business
    – notify me when competitor gets new twitter/instagram follower & who it is
    – notify me when competitor gets new yelp/fb/trip advisor review of 3 stars or less
    – notify me when guest checks into my clients’ business on four square
    – notify me when someone checks in to the business next door to my clients

    those would be great. everything else for us I feel there are better tools for.

  • Sandro Galindo

    I gave up on IFTTT a couple of years ago when it didn’t have what I needed. I may have to give it another look. Would love if it could:
    – notify me when guest posts instagram picture from client’s business
    – notify me when competitor gets new twitter/instagram follower & who it is
    – notify me when competitor gets new yelp/fb/trip advisor review of 3 stars or less
    – notify me when guest checks into my clients’ business on four square
    – notify me when someone checks in to the business next door to my clients

    those would be great. everything else for us I feel there are better tools for.

  • Great article @kikolani:disqus I love IFTTT. Do you ever share your recipes?

  • Great article @kikolani:disqus I love IFTTT. Do you ever share your recipes?

  • Gymnasium.se

    Hi, thanks for the tips! I was wondering if this (or any other tool) could be used for getting notifications when someone posts a link to our website on their Facebook page?

  • Gymnasium.se

    Hi, thanks for the tips! I was wondering if this (or any other tool) could be used for getting notifications when someone posts a link to our website on their Facebook page?

  • Just a heads up that you can’t use the @ before a username in IFTTT to create an @mention in a tweet via IFTTT. It is stripped out by IFTTT so all your tweet will show is the username that isn’t @mention hyperlinked.

  • Just a heads up that you can’t use the @ before a username in IFTTT to create an @mention in a tweet via IFTTT. It is stripped out by IFTTT so all your tweet will show is the username that isn’t @mention hyperlinked.

  • Hmm, I’ll have to check that. Thanks Gary!

  • Hmm, I’ll have to check that. Thanks Gary!

  • I should… that’s a great idea!

  • I should… that’s a great idea!

  • Have you looked at Zapier? It’s like IFTTT, but with more apps, triggers, and actions. 🙂

  • Have you looked at Zapier? It’s like IFTTT, but with more apps, triggers, and actions. 🙂

  • That’s a bit tough… you can use social monitoring tools like Mention for that. It only works for public posts, not private ones on profiles.

  • Thanks Kerry! 🙂

  • That’s a bit tough… you can use social monitoring tools like Mention for that. It only works for public posts, not private ones on profiles.

  • Thanks Kerry! 🙂

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  • Sandro Galindo

    I’ll check it out! Thanks!

  • Sandro Galindo

    I’ll check it out! Thanks!

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  • Gymnasium.se

    Thanks!

  • Gymnasium.se

    Thanks!

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  • I second using Mention instead of IFTTT. With IFTTT, you’re usually limited by the number of API calls they can make so you might not get all of them @gymnasiumse:disqus.

  • I second using Mention instead of IFTTT. With IFTTT, you’re usually limited by the number of API calls they can make so you might not get all of them @gymnasiumse:disqus.

  • @totalgaz:disqus, I believe Buffer will translate those…so maybe you could combine the two tools.

  • @totalgaz:disqus, I believe Buffer will translate those…so maybe you could combine the two tools.

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  • Heather

    I’m just getting into this social media marketing sphere and I’m so grateful for all the suggestions you all have posted. I had never heard of IFTTT, Mention or Zapier. I feel like I have a starting place. Thanks everyone!

  • Heather

    I’m just getting into this social media marketing sphere and I’m so grateful for all the suggestions you all have posted. I had never heard of IFTTT, Mention or Zapier. I feel like I have a starting place. Thanks everyone!

  • Thanks so much for this great explanation. I just heard about this and was wondering how to use it and here you are … What a great tutorial…thanks so much -Donna

  • Thanks so much for this great explanation. I just heard about this and was wondering how to use it and here you are … What a great tutorial…thanks so much -Donna

  • You’re welcome Heather! 🙂

  • You’re welcome Heather! 🙂

  • You’re welcome Donna! 🙂

  • You’re welcome Donna! 🙂

  • Stan

    Great post. Although, I would like to add that If you make IFTTT recipe –> new Pinterest image from Board to Twitter or Buffer or anything else, very often images are getting cut into half. No idea why, but I could not fix it.

  • Subodh Rkr

    Thank you for the post.
    Im Using IFTTT since a long ago and the best recipe for me are Instagram to Twitter and Tumblr to Twitter.

  • Great Info. Just looking for one small info like If somehow triggered action got failed due to any issue then do we have any kind of fallback. I mean Will I get any kind of notification that action got failed so that I can check my account.

  • Hannah MacWilliams

    Hi Kristi- I appreciate the explanation of this tool. However, I did wonder about the security of this system. I was going to link my dropbox with facebook and instagram through this, but it asked for permission to basically have access to anything in my dropbox. And I didn’t feel comfortable with this. Are there ways to use it without fearing a security breach?

  • Thanks Hannah! Ultimately, it’s a personal decision. Their service has been around for over 4 years without any major issues that I’m aware of.

  • There is an option to get notifications each time the recipe is run. If there is an error, you would get notified at that point. Otherwise, you can check the log for each of your recipes to see if any errors are occurring.