IFTTT: How to use IFTTT for social media automation

IFTTT: How to use IFTTT for Social Media Automation

IFTTT: How to use IFTTT for Social Media Automation

Use IFTTT For Social Media Automation (portrait)Have you ever wished you could add blog posts from Feedly to Buffer with a single click?

Do you wish you had a quick, user-friendly way to save all your tweets in a spreadsheet?

Or would you love to be able to add Instagram photos to a specific folder on your Facebook Page just by adding a hashtag?

An online tool called IFTTT can achieve all of these, and much, much more.

IFTTT is a powerful tool that allows users to connect up to 166 different channels together, in an ingenious way.

Actions and tasks can be automated and everything from logging the changes of seasons on Mars to turning on your air conditioning when the temperature rises is catered for.

However, the wide range of social media management tasks that IFTTT can automate is more interesting to us!

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How does IFTTT work?

IFTTT stands for ‘if this then that’. It is a service that connects two services together seamlessly, using recipes (or formulas) that include a trigger and an action. So, when a specified trigger takes place in one channel, an action takes place in the other. The power of IFTTT comes from this ability to connect two completely unrelated channels and make things happen.

Getting started on IFTTT

When you have created an IFTTT account, the first thing you need to do is connect your channels. Go to https://ifttt.com/channels and choose the channels you want to connect your account to. Click ‘activate’ and go through the authorization process for each channel.

Finding recipes on IFTTT

There are two main ways to set up social media management systems on IFTTT: you can choose from an existing recipe, or you can create your own. Starting with recipes that somebody has already created and shared with the community is simpler, so we will start there. Click on a channel and scroll down to see the most popular recipes for that channel. For example, these are some popular recipes for the YouTube channel.

YouTube recipes on IFTTT
YouTube recipes on IFTTT

And these are the most popular recipes for Twitter.

Twitter recipes on IFTTT
Twitter recipes on IFTTT

As an example, we will choose to add all our tweets to a Google spreadsheet. You click ‘Add recipe’, and that’s that.  It’s done. Some recipes need a bit more customization. You might want to set up a recipe so that, whenever you publish a new blog post, it is automatically posted on Twitter.  You can do that with this recipe. There are two boxes to fill in before you can set the recipe up.

Auto-share new blog posts on Twitter
Auto-share new blog posts on Twitter

In the first box, fill in the address of the blog feed. The second box shows the text that will be used in the tweet, which is “New post:” and then the title and URL of the new blog post. You can change this by clicking in the box. Click the icon in the top, right-hand corner to get a drop-down list of ‘ingredients’. Here you can customize exactly what will appear in your tweet.

Customize the auto-tweeting of your blog feed
Customize the auto-tweeting of your blog feed

Finally, save and activate your recipe.

The best IFTTT recipes for Social Media Automation

So, now you know how to set up recipes, it’s time to show you some of our favorite ones! And not just ours… we asked some of our friends for their best recommendations, too.

Post your Instagram images as native Twitter pictures

Since its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram uploads have displayed in Twitter feeds as a clickable link, rather than a native image.  Using this IFTTT recipe, you can ensure that your Instagram images are visible when they are shared on Twitter, alongside a link to your Instagram account.  Bhupesh Shah and Greg Fry are also fans of this one!

Manage connections on different channels

Greg Fry also makes use of two recipes that help him to manage his connections: Invite (Gmail) sender to connect on LinkedIn, and Backup my (iOS) contacts to a Google spreadsheet.

Build a Twitter list from a specific hashtag

This recipe was recommended by Martin Jones from Cox Communications. It is a really efficient way of adding anybody who mentions a particular hashtag on Twitter to a Twitter list.

Schedule Facebook Page posts with Google Calendar

Scheduling advance posts on Facebook Pages can be time consuming. This recipe lets you do it by using a hashtag in a Google Calendar entry. That hashtag signals that the content should be scheduled to be posted on your Facebook Page.

Add all your tweets to a Google spreadsheet

Recommended by Mike Gingerich from Tabsite, this handy recipe adds every tweet you send to a Google Drive spreadsheet. You can also add Twitter mentions, new Twitter followers and favorited tweets to Google spreadsheets, too.

Send your favorited tweets to your email address

If you would rather archive your favorited tweets in a different way, Erik Fisher of Social Media Examiner loves this recipe.

Add posts from Feedly to Buffer by clicking ‘save for later’

With this recipe, any time you press the ‘star’ key on a post in Feedly, it will automatically be added to the end of your Buffer queue.

Send Instagram photos to a Facebook Page album or directly to Flickr

This recipe lets you choose a hashtag and then, every time you use that hashtag on Instagram, your image will be sent to an album on your Facebook Page. This recipe automatically uploads your Instagram pics to your Flickr account. You can see more recipe recommendations from my friends and contacts here.

Create your own IFTTT recipes from scratch

If you have looked at the popular recipes for each channel and searched the site but still can’t find the recipe you need, there is always the option to create your own. To do this, go to Create a Recipe.  The first thing you need to choose is the trigger channel.

Choose the trigger channel for your IFTTT recipe
Choose the trigger channel for your IFTTT recipe

I have chosen Twitter, so now I have to choose which action on Twitter will trigger the recipe.

Create Recipe IFTTT2
Choose the action you want to use as the trigger

I will choose ‘New tweet by you with hashtag’ so that the recipe will be triggered whenever I use a particular hashtag. I pick #IFTTT as the hashtag and click ‘Create trigger’.

Next, I need to choose the channel where the action will be taken. The ‘that’ channel! I choose my Facebook Page channel. There are three possible actions to choose from here.

Choose an action for the Facebook Page
Choose an action for the Facebook Page

I choose ‘Create a link post’ and decide how the posts should be formatted.

Then, I click ‘Create recipe’ and ‘Activate’. Now, any tweet I tag with #IFTTT will automatically be posted to my Facebook Page. It’s that simple! Just imagine the different channels you can connect together and the formulas you can create to reduce those repetitive tasks that seem to take up so much time! [alert-note]Exclusive Free Bonus:Click Here to Download our Cheatsheet of 5 Tasks that Every Marketer Should Automate on Social Media[/alert-note]

What’s next?

Have you used IFTTT before?  If so, which are your favorite recipes?

If not, are you tempted to try it now?

Tell us in the comments!  We love to hear from you!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

31 Responses to IFTTT: How to use IFTTT for Social Media Automation

  1. Hi Ian,

    I started exploring IFTTT late last year. Thanks for sharing these recipes.
    For awhile I was using the Instagram to Twitter post but the image size doesn’t work and all of the good stuff was getting cut off.
    If you find any other good ones for Instagram, please let me know!

  2. I struggle with IFTTT regularly. I play Facebook games and need them to be left out. Also my posts wind up in the same place 4 times. Clearly I am not mastering this. Suggestions?

  3. Great reminder to use IFTT, Ian. I use it in combination with Feedly Pro and have you in the ‘tweet automatically’ section, whenever you publish a new post 😉 Works great to automate some of the content sharing…

  4. I would agree, Ian. IFTTT is a must-have tool. I don’t know what we’d do without it! You’ve given me some ideas for looking more deeply at ways to “integrate” Instagram. I’d be curious, though, to hear yours (and others) thoughts on the Facebook recipes. We have found that FB penalizes us for third-party posting (like via Google Calendar), so we are (unfortunately) planning that content from within the Facebook platform.

  5. Hei friends your posts are ammazing and just i would to tell you that
    you can post it in TSU site That combines between facebook , twitter and
    instegram , you can creat your own post and publish it on TSU ,facebook,twitter
    and instegram in the same time The TSU site is paying money to you for publish your posts on it ,it is real and many people have had a check from it , there is many videos on youtube you can learn more on it .
    IF you want to register just go to TSU site below >> it is free
    payment proof from Kevinhinkle ” user on TSU ”

  6. Ian,

    Thanks for assembling these tips for IFTTT! I haven’t experimented with it before, but this inspired me to set up an account. As a marketing student studying social media this semester, I’m just starting to explore how to increase efficiency in social media management. This tool looks like it really has a lot of potential to do just that. I especially like the recipes that convert social media data to Google Drive spreadsheets! And at home, who wouldn’t want their lightbulbs to flash when they get tweet??

    Colin Burns, Tulane University

  7. Hi Ian,
    Wow this was huge and super helpful. I liked the trick about sending a favorited tweet to email and also the native instagram picture recipe.
    Ian as you had once told me to try zapier to save a persons tweets as and when they are tweeted, I hhad created but it doesn’t work efficiently and they say its a paid service.
    Is there a recipe on IFTTT for saving someone else’s tweets to your email every time it is tweeted, irrespective of mentions or hashtags. 🙂
    Thanks 🙂

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  8. I’m still captivated by ITTT, it has made my life so much easier. Only problem I see is becoming lazy when relying too much on it 🙂

  9. Hey Ian I just stumbled across Razor Social, started browsing and came across your article on IFFTT. To be honest I had never heard of the site IFTTT until I was watching a youtube video the other day and the site was mentioned. It’s a platform that I will check out. Do you know if it can be integrated with any social media sharing suites? Kind regards Kim

  10. Simply extraordinary, very informative. It will help me a lot. I was trying to get this types of recipes. This article will help me like heaven. I have to say, you just saved years for me @iancleary:disqus. Thanks again. Respect 🙂

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