Throughout high school, you most likely had the same thought that I did…
“When am I ever going to use any of this?”
Oddly enough I see myself doing algebra whenever I calculate the percentage of taxes taken out of my check or even figuring out how many tables we need at an event if x is the number of tables we need and y is the number of people we can fit at each table.
Okay, maybe it’s not worded quite like that…
But whether or not you think about it, the expressions is still the same. Never would I have though I would be using mathematically conditional logic statements out of high school. I though p–>q was going to stay in hell where it belonged.
So when I first heard of IFTTT, I was a bit hesitant. It just sounded to complicated for me. Just like it was all those years ago. But I soon found out that it wasn’t complicated at all, in fact, it’s one of the most amazing tools solo entrepreneurs could use to help streamline their work. You’ll be able to take out all the time it takes you to share social media posts, blog articles, and even recommendations with this tool.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT is a software that connects to your different accounts and can use them to interact with each other automatically. The abbreviation literally stands for “If This Then That”. For instance, IF someone likes pineapple pizza (THIS), THEN they are not a good person (THAT).”
So at the root of it there are only two components to the statement, this and that. IFTTT doesn’t just handle your social media; it connects you to all accounts. Imagine in the summer you have a GE thermostat in your house that can be controlled wirelessly via WiFi. You could set up an IFTTT with an expression that says something like, “If mobile device disconnects from home WiFi, then adjust thermostat to 78 degrees.”
This basic expression does something that you have to for in high end, expensive products. Whenever you leave your house (assuming you take your phone with you), the thermostat turns up to 78, saving you money on energy without you having to manually adjust it. Then when you return and your phone reconnects to WiFi, the air kicks back on and brings it to what temperature you had previously set.
The entire program is build off of a simple mathematical conditional logic statement. But for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on how we can use IFTTT to automate your social media so you can focus on spending your time elsewhere.
1) Share One Post to Multiple Platforms
When I first heard of IFTTT, I thought it was just going to be a roundabout way of scheduling posts to multiple platforms. But for one, it’s not a scheduler, and two, it only triggers a post from your profile to share onto another social platform, so your customizations between platforms is limited.
Simply put, you can set up an applet to state: “If I share on my Facebook business page, then share that same post to my Twitter feed.”
You see how this could save you some serious time? But if you’re looking for something to simply schedule your posts, then I would definitely check out Buffer, HooteSuite, or Sprout Social.
2) Get Notified When Your Competitor’s Post
Before IFTTT, I would have to stalk my competitor’s profile for new updates. Now, it’s as simple as getting an email notification whenever they post something new. Which is awesome.
Simply set the THIS statement to, “IF (page name) posts, THEN send email to (your email)”.
I’m not suggesting you copy whatever they do, but knowing WHAT they’re doing is half the battle.
As Sun Tzu put it,
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
PSA: This feature is for competitor monitoring! NOT keeping tabs on your ex!!!
3) Monitor Specific Tweets and Hashtags
If you’ve checked out our post on the 8 social media engagement hacks then you know that it is important to comment and interact as your business.
One of the best ways to do this is by following specific hashtags that relate to your business. Typically, you would schedule some time in your day to review hashtags and comment and interact.
But what if you didn’t have to schedule that time to see if there were new posts in the hashtag you’re following. IFTTT allows you to set a THEN statement to monitor new posts in a tag and THEN send an email notification to your email.
If you’ve ever noticed on Instagram, every time you post a hashtag on a photo, another company comments on it or at the very least likes it. Microsoft does this to my photos I post with my computer in it and tag #Surface and Spartan Race likes and comments on my photos when I tag #OCR (Obstacle Course Race) or #MudRun
If you’re a business coach, you may want to set up a rule to follow a tag like, #Entrepreneur.
4) Automatically Share Mentions and Shout Outs to Your Business
If someone mentions your business, it’s a good idea to acknowledge it, considering that is the trend now. In fact, 72% of people expect a response from a business after a complaint within an hour. What if the “shout out” to your business is something negative? It would probably be a good idea to address that.
Well with IFTTT, you can set up a similar applet to the hashtag mentioned above, but for your business.
Now I know what you’re thinking… “Won’t I just get notifications on that social platform?” Yes, you would, however you may not be on that platform at the time nor get an email notification. But you can set this up to get all mentions from all platforms as a master list of mentions.
It’s just another way to stay on top of your game for quicker response times.
5) Share Your Recommendations
Sometimes the hardest part of a strong social media strategy is figuring out what to post, but recommendations are a great way to start. For instance, if there is a Medium article you like, there is actually an applet on IFTTT that allows you to set up the heart icon in medium as a IF THIS statement.
In other words, create the applet to read, “IF you press the heart icon, THEN share the article to your Facebook business page using THIS phrase…”
Creating these applets is a great way to interact with your social audience by being notified when an opportunity presents itself. Additionally, the more applets you have set up, the more active your social accounts are. By simply by doing and reading things you already do, you can automate your social media strategy without having to take out time in the day to make sure you share your activity, recommendations, and shout outs.
Just be mindful of how many times you share or like something that is set up to automatically push to be shared by one of your pages. Every social media platform is different and has different best practices for what and how often you share. For more information on how often you should share on each platform, check out our article, “Should I Post More or Less on Social Media”.
Remember, knowing how often to post is half the battle, it’s only going to benefit you if you know what to post on social media.
But if you’re still struggling to figure out what to post for your business and your niche, then I definitely recommend checking out our super awesome Monthly Marketing Solved. We’ll provide the content, scheduling, email subject lines, and much more!
Check out free goodies we offer as well for your marketing appetite! Click the link below.