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Shelley Bassett

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Automate Everything using IFTTT


May 28, 2018

I hate menial tasks and will go out of my way to automate everything. Using IFTTT has been the biggest time saver, with applets for almost anything!

My biggest pet peeve is doing repetitive, menial tasks. And my most hated of these tasks is manually sharing links across my social media channels. Why can’t I just hit post and have it show up everywhere? Turns out I can! IFTTT is a great little service that can automate everything. And I mean everything.One of the best things about IFTTT is that it just works. And it’s so easy to turn on and off when you don’t want one particular applet to run. It’s easy to set up, easy to use, and suddenly all the content you’re creating is being shared without any extra work! Here’s how I use IFTT in my regular workflow

Pre-Built Applets

There are a tonne of pre-built applets within IFTTT. Many are even built by the social media companies themselves (just look for the green “verified” mark). Here are some of the top ones I use to share my content.

Tweet Instagrams as native Twitter photos

If you’ve ever tried to use Instagram’s inbuilt sharing options, you’ll know that the tweets it generates are just links back to the original Instagram post. Which I guess is great for Instagram traffic, but not so good for your Twitter feed. To get the image as an actual image on Twitter, you’d have to manually create a tweet and re-upload the image.

The Instagram to Tweet applet basically does this for you. It takes every image you share to Instagram, and posts it as an image on Twitter. Automatically. The only downside is that while it’s running, it will share everything. Which leads me to the next little gem I found…

Share Instagram photos on Twitter when a tag is included

Now this is the way to automate everything. By opting in. Using a tag lets you control which posts are shared, and which are Instagram-only, and this is the kind of automation I like. Sometimes, it’s nice to share something that unique to one platform. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to just blast it. But when I want it shared, I want it to be easy. Like just adding one tag to a post. You could not get simpler that that!

Some of the social media channels IFTTT can integrate with

Some of the social media channels IFTTT can integrate with

RSS to Twitter

While we’re talking about Twitter, this one is a new addition into my repertoire. And it’s fantastic. I use this blogs RSS to help me generate emails, but I’d never thought about it for social media. It crawls my RSS feed and creates a tweet when I post a new blog. Which is awesome. It means I no longer have to remember that a blog has gone live and that I need to share it. Sure, I could use a post scheduler like HootSuite, but that system hasn’t really worked for me. This just happens in the background, and I don’t have to worry about it.

Custom Applets

So you can’t find something that does exactly what you want? IFTTT lets you build your own. Yes, they’re that dedicated to the mission to automate everything. On the applets page, just hit the plus (+) sign and choose the trigger and the output. This is how I got my blog posts to share to LinkedIn. The pre-built applet didn’t share the link I needed, so used my RSS feed to send the right data. Way easier than I expected.

Featured IFTTT applets

Featured IFTTT applets

Why automate everything?

My obsession with automation might seem just that, obsessive, but it’s serving a very real and useful purpose. In order to be successful online, there’s a suggestion that 20% of your time should be creating, and 80% should be marketing. Now, I might work in marketing, but that doesn’t mean I want to be a marketer. Especially when it comes to my own work. I’m really terrible at selling myself, and would rather play down my efforts than celebrate the achievements.

Using services that share and promote things for me takes that stress away. I only have to get the content right once, and then I don’t have to fret about how each social platform is performing. Sure, I love the analytics and pay attention to what performs best where, but all that does is help me to target my automations. Using automation has been the biggest blessing, and removes so much of my daily pressures.

Trying to automate everything can be time consuming. But ultimately, it’s worth it. And investment of time now will drastically reduce the time wasted by social media and marketing. Once I have it right, it’s simply a case of modifying and refining. Gone are the days of trying to create a custom post to be shared on each platform, then forgetting where I have (or haven’t) shared. Some unique content is good, but for things that need to get out there, being able to automate everything is a true time saver.

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