UPDATE: 5 Ways to Automate your Community Management with ifttt
UPDATE (Sept 21): Sadly, IFTTT wil remove all Twitter triggers on September 27, in accordance with Twitter's new "no cloud based services" policy. You can still post from IFTTT 'TO' Twitter, just not from it. This makes two of the following recipes obsolete (and marked as such), but we'll be adding two new recipes soon.
Community managers and social media engagers, ifttt (“if this then that”) is your friend! Use it to link social networks, web apps, RSS, anything really, in very clever ways. Here are 5 ifttt “recipes” that will make your life that little bit easier.
Firstly, a quick introduction to ifttt
The name says it all. If this
, the simplest form of any action or automated task. The “this” trigger could be anything, from posting something to tumblr to receiving an SMS even. There’s a serious amount you can do with ifttt, which makes it incredibly powerful if used in the right way. It isn't without its limitations, but we'll go into these later in a bit more detail.
The ifttt interface is slick, intuitive, very “now” and it's unfussy thanks to its minimalist aesthetics. In less than two minutes?I set up a task that automatically saves images posted to the Versio2 Facebook page to my personal Dropbox account - more on this below.
Recipes, tasks, actions or rules?
Tasks, actions and rules - the terms here are interchangeable. Have you ever set up a rule in Outlook that forwarded your boss’ emails straight to your trash folder? If so, you get the idea.
If you’ve devised a deviously clever task that you’d like to share, minus any of your intimate login details, ifttt allows you to create a “recipe”. Each recipe has its own link, or you can direct people to your public ifttt recipe page.
There's also a section on the website where you can see recipes from the ifttt community. Filter for the most popular recipes - it’ll blow your mind.
5 useful recipes that we use every day
Without further ado, here are the 5 ifttt recipes that we use regularly. You can find all these on the Versio2 recipe page - scroll down for the link.1. Automatically message new Twitter followers (obsolete from Sept 27)
There are many ways to do this. Some involve paid services and some are more user-friendly than others. Ifttt provides a really easy way to automate all sorts of Twitter interactions for free, and if you’re going to set up other tasks you may as well go with ifttt for what is essentially a very minor job.
If you want to see it in action, follow us at twitter.com/versio2
2. Save images posted to your Facebook Page to Dropbox?
This task tells Dropbox to follow image links posted to our Facebook Page and then save them to a special folder.
3. Archive Tweets in a Google Calendar (obsolete from Sept 27)
Imagine being able to see all the Tweets you’ve ever posted on a calendar. Wouldn’t that be great, you could even cross-reference it against any traffic analysis. Wowee. Imagine no longer, friends, the dream is now a reality.
Word to the wise though, you can only link one main Google calendar, it seems, so think about creating a special account just for this purpose.?
4. Tweet out a new RSS feed item
Pretty handy this one. This task monitors an RSS feed for new items and then posts a tweet. You can only associate one Twitter account so choose wisely. Here we’ve set it up to tweet out new posts from the Versio2 blog.
5. Bookmark new blog posts on Delicious
Bookmarking new content on popular services like Reddit and Delicious seems more of an afterthought these days. If you’ve dismissed bookmarking due to lack of time or resources, or shunted it down the list of content syndication priorities, then you’ve nothing to lose by automating the process.
If you like any of our recipes, you’re more than welcome to use them. Just follow the link below. If you have trouble putting them into action, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to assist.
See ifttt recipes from versio2 >
Limitations and drawbacks
Yes I've rather gushed about ifttt, but still nothing’s perfect. Ifttt is great for automating small tasks and creating clever bridges between accounts, but it’s limited as a tool for real, multi-account, multi-user community management. Each ifttt account can only be associated with one Facebook account, one Facebook Page, one Twitter etc., so if you want to set up tasks for multiple accounts, you’ll need multiple ifttt logins.
Also, the list of social networks and web apps you can interact with is impressive but by no means exhaustive. Google+ isn't there yet, for example, though you can do clever things whenever there's an RSS feed involved.
Finally, tracking within ifttt tasks is very limited - the only things one can see are how many times an action was triggered and when. This is really just so you can tell that it’s working. For that reason alone, as a serious marketing tool, ifttt is again lacking though with some imagination, ways around this could be found.Other things you'll be interested in...
Whether you’re an Internet marketer or a client, “understanding” is the key to a happy, mutually satisfying working relationship. So if you’re interested in implementing an Internet Marketing strategy to boost your sales and grow your business, or are thinking of hiring an agency, why not download one of our free eBooks and familiarize yourself with the basics. Happy reading!