If This Then That (IFTTT): The No-Nonsense Guide

Here's a guide to help make the most of IFTTT web platform.

IFTTT stand for If This Then That. It’s a web-based platform that lets you automate the workflow across many of the apps we own and love. According to the slogan on their site, it allows you to automate your world. But, with all the apps on the market, is IFTTT worth your time? Should you walk on by? After all, don’t we already have enough on our plates?

So, what can IFTTT do?

From monitoring of home temperature, staying up to date with the weather or planning an event. IFTTT is a popular web platform used by millions of people. It lets you streamline multiple activities from a single action. For instance, you can automate all your Instagram images to cross-post to Pinterest (by just posting to Instagram).

Right away, there’s a time-saving benefit. These actions, also called recipes prevents you from doubling up on tasks.

But business owners must be selective of the actions they trigger. While some are useful, some work against best practices and could annoy potential clients. I will share some tips for you to make the most of the IFTTT platform.

How to get Started on IFTTT

It is simple to setup an IFTTT account. All you need to do is enter your email address and password. You then need to connect your accounts of interest to the platform. Connecting the platforms are as quick as a click of a button.

Getting Started on IFTTT

Let's explore the benefits of your new IFTTT account.

Twitter Management

Share your Instagram photos as native Twitter photos. When you post to Instagram, it will appear in your Twitter Feed as a full image rather than a link.

Pros: Twitter can accommodate a high volume of content. Another couple of post from Instagram shouldn’t annoy your followers.

Cons: You may not want all your Instagram posts to appear on Twitter. Also, your followers won’t be able to see all the image without clicking on it.

How can you fix this? When you design these Instagram pictures, place the bulk of the text in the middle of the design. Also, there’s an alternative IFTTT recipe that lets you post only some Instagram images. You do this by adding a pre-set Hashtag to your Instagram message.

Branding Consistency

You can keep your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures in sync with this IFTTT recipe.

Pros: This is useful if you want branding continuity across your pages.

Save Tweets to a Spreadsheet

Add Tweets from a conference hashtag or Twitter chat to a Google spreadsheet. In this way, you can keep a log of all notes and contribution from organisers and attendees.

Pros: It’s useful to get the most out of the event as you can revisit and review the information at your leisure.

Build a Twitter list from a particular Hashtag

Twitter lists are an excellent way to follow the conversations of Twitter followers. With a list, you can create a tailored feed that’s easy to navigate. The recipe can be found here

Pros: Keep up with the conversation of influencers and other people of interest. It could also help you boost engagement with a select group of followers.

Cons: Be careful not to choose a popular hashtag as quickly, you’ll build a useless list. It’s not everyone who wants you to add them to a list so a niche specific hashtag is your best option.

Facebook Management

Post your Tweets on Facebook using a particular hashtag. With this recipe, you choose a hashtag of choice and automate tweets over to Facebook.

Pros: This is another smart time-saving way to cross post to Facebook. It’s best practice to use a hashtag so you only cross post selected content.

Cons: Again, it’s easy to over share so do a little planning before you dive in.

There is also a similar way to share Instagram images on Facebook. It’s useful if you’d like to add graphics to the mix of your Facebook content strategy.



Pinterest Management

Pin your new Instagram photos to a Pinterest board with this IFTTT recipe. Again you can direct images to specific boards using allocated hashtags.

Pros: This is an excellent way to fill the gap in your Pinterest content strategy. The recommended number of pins to be posted daily is from 10-20 so you cannot go wrong here.

Using YouTube to Pinterest board recipe, you can post your videos to a Pinterest board.

LinkedIn Management

Again you can cross post from Twitter to LinkedIn. It’s important that you use the Hashtag strategy in this recipe. You cannot afford to cross post all your content from Twitter to LinkedIn.

Sharing your Blog Posts

Share new WordPress blog posts to a Facebook Page. You can also share your new Blogger posts to Twitter and Facebook.

Pros: This is excellent for blogs without the auto-share feature to social media pages.

If you share a Video on Instagram, you can also cross post to Tumblr.

Flickr Management

Share your new Instagram photos to Flickr. Sharing images to Flickr is good for SEO and brand awareness.

IFTTT recipes to Avoid

Don’t use the methods that trigger bulk actions. For instance, don’t use IFTTT to thank new Twitter followers. It clogs up your feed as it thanks, individuals rather than a group of fans. These IFTTT recipes are unable to carryout smart group actions.

Also, don’t use any of the FollowFriday recipes or send information to Buffer. These measures are spammy and won’t benefit your efforts. The best way to automate relationship building is through a service like the Communit platform.

Final Word.

By all means, experiment with other recipes. You can wish your Twitter followers a good weekend on Friday evenings. But keep in mind that it’s not that useful if your followers live across multiple time zones. Once you get started with IFTTT, it’s addictive but can be fun. Remember to plan and use it as a tool to benefit your strategy.

Please let me know if you find this article useful. Tell me of some of the ways that you are using IFTTT for your business. Please leave your comments below. So you won’t miss a post- Subscibe below

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Your Digital Marketing Coach!

Digital Marketing Strategist. The author of The Practical Digital Marketing Planner. Top 500 Social Media Influencer by Agilience. I work with small to medium size companies and entrepreneurs to develop a robust Digital Marketing Strategy so they can thrive online.

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One thought on “If This Then That (IFTTT): The No-Nonsense Guide

  1. This is a great guide. I like the applet that connects your Instagram & Twitter accounts. I think good quality images are very powerful on Twitter.

    That idea for creating a spreadsheet of out of a Twitter hashtag sounds as if it could be huge if you run a successful campaign.

    And you closing comment about the need to connect your IFTTT use with your overall strategy is very apt- because the possibilities to be distracted on IFTTT are endless!