Inbound Marketing Blog

6 July, 2012

Using IFTTT: What it is and how you can benefit

Written by Charlotte Gill

on 6 July, 2012

Using IFTTT- What it is and how you can benefit.png

It can be difficult to regularly update each social media channel you have an account with. A new and popular way to make this more manageable is a web service platform named ‘IFTTT’ (like lift with no ‘l’). For many users this might seem like just another complicated website to get to grips with. However, using IFTTT for both your business and personal life can make updating social media channels much simpler. Take a look at our straightforward explanation of IFTTT as well as our list of 7 ways people are using it. 

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT is a platform which ‘lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement: If this then that’. IFTTT explains that this is a trigger and that is the resulting action. The website calls these combinations ‘recipes’. An example of a recipe is: if ‘someone retweets your tweet’ automatically ‘tweet to thank them for retweeting’.

7 great ways people are using IFTTT

#1 – Retweets or mentions

If a user retweets, mentions or includes you in a #FF then you should ideally reply to thank them. Doing this for each tweet can take up a lot of time, so why not set up an automatic tweet using IFTTT? Conversations with users don’t have to end here, but at least their activity has been acknowledged.

#2 – Follow a user

If you are working to grow your Twitter readers you might want to follow back each user that follows you. Make this easier by creating a recipe which automatically adds new users to a list. This means that you can view all of your new followers together, and can then follow those that you want to without having to look through your full followers list.

#3 – Sending items in Google reader

If you have set up a Google reader for a client, you might notice that not every post is useful to them. To avoid your client having to trawl through lots of useless articles you could instead set up a recipe to forward items to their inbox as you star them in Google reader.

#4 – Schedule posts or tweets

As an alternative to HootSuite and other Twitter managers, the ‘Date & Time’ channel on IFTTT can be used to plan posts for your social media accounts. Unlike HootSuite this allows you to set up a single tweet to be posted each day/week/month/year rather than planning each separately. This could be especially useful for promoting an event or special offer.

#5 - Receive updates when a specific person tweets

IFTTT can be used to notify you each time a specific user of posts a tweet. Notifications can be sent to your phone, email, Evernote or Google calendar. So, if you’re following a key industry influencer, IFTTT gives you the power to react quickly to their tweets.

#6 – Weather updates

This recipe is particularly useful with the changeable weather we have been having recently in England. Planning weather updates means that you can be better prepared. Simply set up ‘this’ to be the weather and ‘that’ to be the way in which you want to receive the information such as email or text.

#7 – BBC news in pictures

Another fun idea is to have the BBC ‘news in pictures’ emailed to you each day. Simply set up a recipe with ‘this’ as feed- new feed item and then set ‘that’ to be an email straight to your inbox each morning!

There are so many other useful (and fun!) ways of using IFTTT for both your business and personal social media accounts. The best way to explore the platform is to create an account and try out different ways of mixing and matching each channel. Plus, a lot of useful ideas can be found in the browsing section, displaying all the great combinations put together by other users.