IFTTT.com (If This Then That) To Automate Your Social Posts
IFTTT.com is a codeless automation tool that makes your everyday tasks easier. It can do a lot of stuff around the house, when traveling, keep a record of your work, monitor your fitness progress and so on. But it can also save you a lot of social media interaction time by copying a post from one account to another.
If you are hesitant to open new social network accounts because you don't think you can manage too many - you're not the only one. I barely log on to more than 3 x networks on a daily basis myself. But I let IFTTT to do some extra job to keep all other accounts alive.
IFTTT is an abbreviation of "If This, Then That" - it will trigger a specific action when (if) certain conditions are met. Get your garage door to open automatically when you get home. While you're asleep on a train, get your phone to call you when reaching the station you specified. Mostly you need to connect it to another device or app. For example you need to have Garageio installed, and your GPS location will tell IFTTT to activate Garageio.
And I love some crazy ones - order Domino's when a zombie apocalypse starts, for example. You need an account with New York Times as well as Domino's. When a related article appears in the newspaper online, your favorite pizza will automatically be ordered.
Unfortunately what's missing from IFTTT is, when your pizza's delivered it won't tell you whether the delivery driver is safe or already infected. In any ways, it will likely to be your last ever decent supper, so you see how important this is going to be.
Multiply Your Social Posts
IFTTT can also be used to promote your internet business, by posting the same message across a number of social media networks. What it does is to copy your post content from one social network and post it to another network, either with or without condition.
A 'without condition' example will be, every time you post a photo/video to Instagram, it will repost it to Tumblr, also to LinkedIn, also to your Facebook page and so on.
Whereas a 'with condition' example will be, every time you post a photo/video to Instagram with a particular hashtag, it will also post to Tumblr, Twitter, etc. When you set it up, you specify a hashtag, say #spread. This feature is convenient, if your Instagram account has a mixture of personal and business posts. You can let it repost to your other social network(s) automatically only when you want it, just by hash-tagging #spread.
"If This Then That" Steps
You can see many suggestions in the IFTTT home screen, but the easiest way to set up your multiple social posts is to take "If This Then That" steps.
- Click "My Applets" from the top menu bar
- Click "New Applet" button on the right of the screen
- if +this then that - click the word "+this".
- Step 1 of 6 - Choose a service: Type in the name of social network that you're posting contents to (e.g. Instagram)
- Step 2 of 6 - Chose trigger: What you want it to trigger with (e.g. new photo with specific hashtag)
- if [e.g. Instagram] then +that - click the word "+that"
- Step 3 of 6 - Choose action service - type in the name of another social network you want your post to copy in to (e.g. Blogger)
- Step 4 of 6 - Choose action (e.g. Create a photo post).
- Step 5 of 6 - Complete action fields. Captions are already set by default but you can edit them. (e.g. labeled "IFTTT, Instagram" - change it to "Ray via Instagram")
- Step 6 of 6 - Review and finish.
IFTTT or Zapier?
There are other similar automation tools out there. Zapier is another great one and it does the job as good, but I personally prefer IFTTT mainly for 3 reasons;
- IFTTT.com has more friendly interface.
- You can view the most popular available devices, apps or social network services at a glance. Whereas with Zapier you can't really tell if it's listed until you type in the first few letters of the service.
- I find some of the Zapier's trigger/action description vague. "Create Post", for example. What kind of post? With caption or without? Or just a text with a link? I can't tell until I actually set it up.
Does IFTTT Help Improve Your Social Media Engagement?
These action tools by IFTTT.com is effective in order to fill your absent time with social networks. And it certainly will help improve engagement if your posts are with a relevant image and on a variety of topics. If your posts are text-only, all similar and repetitive, then they'll simply appear to be some bot's creation to anyone.
Needless to say, you should log on to each social network account from time to time and react to the replies from your 'friends' and followers.