Published on May 17th, 2015
Written by: Dan Smith
I’m slightly ashamed to admit I’m a little late to the IFTTT party. I first heard about the web-based tool not long after its 2011 debut, but it’s only been in the past couple of weeks that I was reintroduced to it and have been blown away.
I’m guessing I’m not the only newbie to IFTTT – an online platform that stands for “If This Then That.” Once you register for an account, you pick your applications (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Dropbox) to discover “recipes” that allow one product to connect with another product or app. Once you connect the two apps, the direct connection runs seamlessly in the background.
For example, if you use the Twitter #FB recipe, post any of your Twitter posts to your Facebook page simply by typing #FB in the tweet.
The options are almost endless as IFTTT integrates natively with a vast number of applications, and a whole host of other applications when you use third-party software.
Being the lover of automation and productivity that I am, I’ve fully embraced IFTTT and developed my recipes that are proving to be particularly useful. With these 17, I’m either using or will be using them to affect my content marketing projects.
1. Publish Instagram photos as native Twitter images
I use both Instagram and Twitter a lot, and often share updates from the former to the latter – but hate how Instagram doesn’t add its image natively into Twitter.
With this IFTTT recipe, you get around this fantastically. Every Instagram image you publish (or in which you include a specific hashtag, for example) is published as a native Twitter image.
2. Populate a Google Sheet with your email notes
I rely on Gmail for many things, with one of them being to send myself notes of all kinds, including ideas for content. To transfer ideas from Gmail to a Google Sheet, I had to log in to my email, find the email, copy the content, open up a Google Sheet, and paste the content. With this recipe, that process is automated based on a specific phrase used within the email, for instance.
3. Populate a Google Sheet every time you’re mentioned on Twitter
This great recipe keeps on top of brand mentions (personal or company) similar to the email recipe, but instead this version adds a line to a Google Sheet when the given name is mentioned on Twitter.
4. Tweet something when a specific tag or phrase is mentioned in a content feed
Fantastic for adding a little automation to your social media activity, this recipe looks at a specific content feed (perhaps one from Feedly) and when a certain tag or phrase is mentioned, it tweets the article from your account (or adds it to Buffer).
I’m a big fan of live tweeting, but I do like a bit of automation and this is great for doing just that – think supporting tool, rather than replacement.
5. Send a ‘watch later’ YouTube video to Pocket
I love Pocket. When I discovered the online “filing cabinet” that stores articles, video, and other content I want to read later, it genuinely changed the way I engaged with content. When possible, I prefer to have everything in one place for reference – and with this recipe, I can add YouTube videos I’ve marked as wanting to watch at a later date to my Pocket.