IFTTT: How Automation Can Save Marketers Time
Working in marketing is sometimes like a juggling act. Our roles have a wide variety of responsibilities, from content writing, brand strategy to graphic design. However, many marketers trundle through these roles without realising that many of the repetitive processes can be automated through IFTTT, meaning you have more time to chill out focus on other tasks.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT stands for ‘If This Then That’ and is a platform for creating apps that can do things for you when certain triggers are set off. IFTTT is enhanced when it can connect different digital applications, websites, smartphones, gadgets together and, essentially, interact with one another. This makes life easier by not having to manually do every little thing.
For small business owners, IFTTT can become your new best friend. With applets (the instructions for each automation), you can reduce the amount of time you have to spend on marketing quite drastically, with a minimal setup and without affecting the quality.
What Can I Do With IFTTT?
There are several premade applets that are extremely useful to marketers. Here are our favourites:
Instagram allows you to post to Twitter when you upload a new photo. However, this is a link back to the Instagram app. The two platforms don’t get along. With IFTTT, you can instruct the program to take that photo from Instagram and re-upload it to Twitter as a picture – easily saving 3-5 minutes every time.
If you want to write your blog across multiple platforms, IFTTT can do that. This is one of the most popular applets that allows you to automatically post to your Medium account once you post a blog on your WordPress account.
Want to know what people on Reddit are saying about your company. This applet sends you an email every time your company is mentioned, allowing you to respond quickly.
This applet is good if you have shopfront and want to know what your customers are saying when they’re nearby or on your premises.
There are many more available on the IFTTT website under the ‘discover’ menu.
How Do I Create an Applet?
If you cannot find a premade applet for your desired automation, you can simply create your own. To make an applet, you need to choose the ‘if’ and the desired action. IFTTT does the rest. This is known as a recipe.
One useful recipe to marketers would be to monitor and be alerted when your competitors publish a new blog to find out what they’re offering their customers. Here’s an example of how you would create a recipe to automate this process.
- Log into IFTTT.com and click ‘create new applet.’
- You will see ‘if +this then that’. Click ‘+this’ and then select feed.
- Select ‘New Feed Item’ and enter the RSS address for the blog (for example, GLW’s blog feed is https://glw.media/feed/)
- You will be taken back to the ‘if this then that’ screen. ‘This’ will have been replaced with a feed icon. Select ‘+that’.
- Select ‘email’ and then ‘send me an email’.
- You can enter the subject for the emails and what the content are. If you want more details on the email, you can add more ‘ingredients’ which can add the feature image, author and other information.
That’s it! Every time your competitor publishes a blog, you will be the first to know.
Have a go yourself and see what you can achieve with IFTTT. However, be wary that too much automation may lead to depersonalisation and a hollower experience for your followers. Think of it as something to supplement your marketing efforts, rather than a replacement.