I am often asked how you can update all your social media channels from one place. The answer is that I don’t recommend it. Each social network is different, with different language, different etiquette and different audiences. There is no one size fits all solution you have to spend time crafting your message for each network.
That’s the bad news, the good news is that you can save time by automating some tasks and that’s what this week’s cool tool IFTTT (If this then that) does.
For example, you can set up a ‘recipe’ that sends the links you post on Facebook to Twitter. Or one that creates native Twitter pictures from your Instagram photos so that they can be viewed from within the Twitter newsfeed. I’ve just set one up to save links I save to Delicious to a Google Drive spreadsheet making it easier to find content for my Social 7 roundup posts.
Here’s how it works:
Visit the IFTTT website and create an account
Click ‘Channels’ at the top of the screen to set up recipes. The more channels you add the more you will be able to do with IFTTT.
Each time you add a channel IFTTT will offer you a recipe. A recipe tells the service what to do with content. For example, you can choose to save all your Instagram shots to dropbox or add links you share via Buffer to a Google drive spreadsheet
Click on ‘My recipes’ on the top toolbar to set up or view recipes you have created.
To create a recipe from here click the big ‘create a recipe’ button
Click the big blue ‘this’ button to add the first service in your recipe.
Remember my recipe is to send Delicious links to Google Drive so I’ve chosen Delicious here.
Next, choose a trigger. I save a lot to Delicious so I’m going to ask it to only save links that I tag ’roundup’ to the Google Drive spreadsheet.
Now to select the second service in your recipe click on the big blue ‘that’
Select your service. I’m choosing ‘Google Drive’ as that is where I want my links to go.
Finally ‘Choose an action’. I’m choosing the ‘Add row to spreadsheet’
In this instance, I need to complete some details for the spreadsheet I am creating.
To complete the recipe just click ‘create recipe’.
And that’s it, IFTTT will start to automate your task as per the recipe you have created.
- When you tweet a link, save it to Delicious
- Share links you post on Facebook to Twitter
- When you share a photo on Instagram post it to Twitter as a native photo.
- Save links you favourite on Feedly to Pocket
A massive hat tip to Pushing Social for recommending a version of the recipe I created.
This really is a fantastic tool. I was slow to use it as I imagined it would be complicated but it is really simple to use. The hardest part for me was remembering passwords to all the services I wanted to add. I love that it suggests recipes as you add services. Once set up it will be a huge time saver.
My one reservation is that it’s so easy there is a danger that we will automate too much. Using this tool to cross post to all social networks although a time saver will limit the success of your social media activities. Think about this as a way to automate tasks or make your life easier. For example, I know that the recipe I just created is going to save me time sifting through delicious links. Watch out for Friday’s roundup post, I’ll let you know how it worked out.
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