Four Ways IFTTT Can Help Automate Your Working Day
by Colm O’ Sullivan, AIM.
Today I’m going to briefly introduce a technology to you that will help make your working day a lot more automated. It will allow you to get the tasks that consistently end up at the bottom of your ‘to-do’ list done with very little effort or thought. It’s called If This Then That (IFTTT) and it’s completely free. It’s pronounced like gift without the G. Internet of Things Agenda describe IFTTT as an online service that automates Web-based tasks so that when user-specified events occur, follow-up tasks are triggered and handled. In other words, you create what is called a recipe; If this trigger happens then that action will occur.
This technology powers most ‘connected-home’ devices too. Some basic examples of how it can be used in your home are if your alarm goes off in the morning, then your coffee maker automatically brews your cup of Joe while you’re getting out of bed; or if the temperature drops below a certain level in your house during the night, then your heating system automatically turns on.
It’s a technology that powers some of the software we already use in our working day, also. For example, order abandon software such as Listrak use it. If you land on an order form and and don’t purchase, then you receive a follow up order abandon email.
IFTTT has been around for half a decade now and is great at automating some of the work tasks we do online, including a lot of jobs that aren’t at the top of our priority list.
IFTTT saves you time. It is very powerful and can be used to do thousands of tasks. Here are four recipes that will whet your appetite for the technology and show you how marketers can start using it to make their jobs a little easier.
1. If I add a new post to our website, then a link is automatically posted to our (INSERT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM HERE) page with a link to the website article.
You shouldn’t use this for the main company social media pages as it isn’t a good idea for your posts to come across as automated on your main accounts. Where this is a huge time-saver, for all Social Media/Digital Marketers, is on your smaller accounts. The accounts that you regularly forget to post new articles to, or the ones that you just don’t get to on a Friday afternoon.
You can make the recipe(s) as advanced or as simple as you like. For example, a simple IFTTT recipe would be if you post an article to your website it also posts to your Google+ or LinkedIn page.
A more advanced recipe would be if you post an article on the topic of gold, or on penny stocks, or on Ambergris Caye, on your website, that article is then automatically posted on the specific gold, penny stocks or Belize social media page of your choosing.
Not only will this recipe free up your time to do deal with tasks that are higher up your priority list, it means that you’ll never forget to post on your smaller social media channels again.
This type of recipe is also very useful if you’ve found you have a following on, or want to test the waters on some of the social news sites like Digg, Reddit, Mixx, and Newsvine etc… where you might not have the resources to post regularly.
2. If your brand is mentioned on social media or on blogs, then you get notified by email.
IFTTT technology is also very useful for SEO’s. It can help you pick up inbound links quite easily.
In a nutshell, this recipe uses https://www.icerocket.com/, a real time search engine, to find mentions of your brand, and notifies you, via email, for each new mention. This means that if a blogger mentions you without linking back to your site, you can kindly ask him to do so.
Backlinks with very little work. Yes, please!
3. If your competitor receives a new link to their site, then you get an email notification
On the January 26th episode of the SEO Rockstars podcast they spoke briefly about monitoring your competition to find relevant blogs & sites to reach out to for backlinks.
This recipe uses Moz’s Open Site Explorer (OSE) tool to send you an email each time a new backlink is posted to a competitor’s website.
You’ve probably heard the term backlinks are dead over the past twelve months. However, when you’re getting extremely relevant leads, automatically to your inbox, inbound linkbuilding strategy may not be finished just yet.
4. If Your website goes down then you get a notification to pause your Adwords campaigns
Here’s a very simple IFTTT recipe that’s useful for any PPC aficionados out there.
There are a lot of solutions available to monitor website uptime and alert the user when there’s a problem. However, when a problem occurs, our first thoughts are usually what is it and how can we fix it?
Pausing our Adwords campaigns can be an afterthought when we need to get a site back up and running ASAP. This recipe changes that. It sends you a notification specifically alerting you (or your Adwords maestro) to stop any ads that are currently running.
Not only will this save you some ad spend dollars, it’ll mean potential customers aren’t clicking on your ads, seeing an error message, and getting a terrible first impression of your product/service.
The above four recipe examples only scratch the surface on the capabilities of IFTTT. It’s a service that is still in its infancy but a service that is already very useful for all internet marketers.
Automating some of your duties makes you more efficient. It allows you to dedicate more of your valuable time to focus on tasks that you enjoy, and automatically does the tasks that you keep putting off, that end up at the very end of your to-do list on a consistent basis.
Have you experimented with any recipes of your own? Or have you an idea for a recipe that can make your day a little easier?
If so, share your ideas and suggestions with us, on our Facebook page.
Colm O’ Sullivan,
Marketing Operations, AIM
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