IFTTT is a new web service that links together accounts on various websites to accomplish specific actions. The acronym stands for “If This Then That.” As you might expect from the name, the core feature of IFTTT is the ability to set up logic maps so that if something happens on one website, then an action will be taken on it or on some other website. These logic maps are called “recipes.”
IFTTT was designed mostly for personal use. People use it to automatically move pictures they’re tagged in across social media, or to keep an eye on Craigslist ads or stock prices. However, it also has potential as a powerful tool for social media management.
Using IFTTT Efficiently
The great thing about IFTTT is that you can find and download other peoples’ recipes. Whatever you want to do with IFTTT, it’s likely that someone already did it before you. Odds are you won’t ever have to make your own recipes from scratch.
IFTTT Features that Every Social Media Manager Should Use
In my experience, the single most important use for IFTTT is to automatically thank people for sharing your content. You can configure it to send a short thank you whenever someone retweets or reshares. For best results, I would recommend changing the stock “thank you” message every now and then to make it less obvious that the process is automatic. Thanking your supporters with IFTTT builds customer goodwill and takes virtually no money or effort.
Also, if you manage sever-al different companies’ social media profiles, you should be using IFTTT to cross-promote. Work out a system to greet new followers on some social media with a personalized thank you and a suggestion that they should follow your affiliate companies. This is a cheap and easy way to build followers. I’m actually surprised that it isn’t already universal.
IFTTT Features Some Managers May Want To Use
Unify your profiles
A lot of existing IFTTT recipes will automatically change all your social media profiles’ status, information, or photos whenever you change one.
Expanding to Alternative Social Media
You might not have the time to maintain a company account on Tumblr, Blogger, or other small social media networks. But IFTTT does. You can easily set up IFTTT to run duplicates of your social media profiles. A common practice is setting up a Tumblr account as the running duplicate of a Youtube account, or setting up a blog as a duplicate of a Facebook profile.
Maintaining Lists of Potential Customers
You can use IFTTT to compile lists of Twitter or Facebook users who use hashtags or keywords related to your product. This can help you find and understand your target demographics.
Auto-scheduling your Posts
Most people already do this using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. But if you’re starting out, you can keep it all in IFTTT to save yourself time. IFTTT configures with Buffer to make posts on social media at scheduled intervals.
IFTTT’s beauty is in its variability. There are thousands of other possible ways to use it, just waiting for someone to figure out. In a year, I believe it will be a core tool for social media managers.
Steve is a Social Media Manager and Google AdWords Certified Individual at TechWyse, an internet marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada. TechWyse specializes in SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing. You can read more of Steve’s writing at TechWyse.com/blog.