Over two years ago I wrote about my then favorite social media secret weapon, Tumblr, which helped me manage my school’s Facebook and Twitter accounts through the use of automatic cross-posting. Truth be told – Tumblr really wasn’t designed for this purpose but it did help me manage my time with social media. As I’ve said time and time again, social media is a time suck and it will consume as much time as you give it. Although I enjoy participating on social media I do have other responsibilities, both professional and personal, so I’m always on the look out for tools to help me with social media time management. While I think Tumblr is still a very cool tool I’d like to share with you my NEW social media secret weapon- ifttt.com.
IFTTT (which stands for “if this then that”) is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement. Here is a great description about their service from their website: About IFTTT.
The reason iLove IFTTT is that it lets me set-up recurring social media events one time and then in the immortal words of Ron “Ronco” Popeil, “Set it and Forget it!” IFTTT has proven to be a huge time saver for me with regard to managing my personal and professional social media channels.
What Does It Do
IFTTT allows you to create ‘recipes’ which include channels, triggers, and actions.
Channels are the basic building blocks of IFTTT and examples include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Evernote, Instagram, Email, and Weather.
Triggers are the ‘this’ part of the recipe and examples include – ‘When there is snow in the forecast’ or ‘When I take a photo with Instagram.”
Actions are the ‘that’ part of the recipe and examples include – “Send me an email’ or ‘Post to my Facebook page.’
There are literally millions of potential combinations for a recipe and that is why IFTTT is so powerful.
My IFTTT System
In order for me to successfully manage my personal and professional social media accounts I’ve actually created two different IFTTT accounts.
I’ve created one account using my personal email address and associated my personal social media accounts with this profile.
I’ve also created another account using my school email address and associated my school’s social media accounts with this profile.
I’m sure there are many other ways you could set-up your IFTTT accounts but I’ve found this way the best to make sure I don’t post personal information on my school’s accounts and vice versa.
Another reason I like IFTTT so much is that there is community that has developed around this service. After someone creates a recipe they can share it with other members of the IFTTT community. I’ve found some great recipes this way that I would have never thought of and am glad that someone shared publicly.
In order to get you started and to give you an example of the many different uses of IFTTT, I’ve shared some personal and professional recipes below:
- Email me 2 weeks before my wedding anniversary (Don’t tell my wife how I remember every year. :-))
- Autopost from Instagram to Blogger (This recipe automatically creates a Blogger post every time I take an Instagram photo.)
- Star articles in Google Reader to be posted via Buffer at a better time on Twitter or FB (How do you think I’m able to share so much on Twitter.)
- Send an AutoSchedule tweet from Hootsuite when a new blog post is published (Every time we publish a new blog post it is automatically tweeted by our school account.)
- If tomorrow calls for snow then email me (I need to know when to wear an overcoat.)
- Send an AutoSchedule post on Google+ from Hootsuite when a new blog post is published (Every time we publish a new blog post it is automatically posted to our Google+ account.)