IFTTT is a free web-based service that allows you to connect a variety of technologies in creative ways to make your life easier. IFTTT stands for “If This Then That.”
IFTTT’s applications are almost endless. It can be used for personal productivity as well as business. For personal use, example, IFTTT can interface with digital light systems at home, provide tomorrow’s weather forecast via Facebook, or add songs to a Spotify playlist when your videos are “liked” on YouTube.
IFTTT can even give you a notification every time the international space station passes over your house!
Businesses can benefit from IFTTT in a variety of ways, most notably with marketing automation. While a variety of methods already exist to duplicate social media postings (from Facebook to Twitter, for example), IFTTT provides a one-stop-shop for all kinds of automation.
Getting Started with IFTTT
Setting yourself up with IFTTT is incredibly simple and free! If you want to check which channels are supported with IFTTT, check out the full list here. Luckily, a wide variety of products and channels are supported with IFTTT, such as WordPress, Salesforce, MailChimp, Slack, Spotify and way more!
After you get yourself signed up and logged in, IFTTT will offer a quick lesson on how to use the automation tool. We recommend it if this tool is new to you!
You’ll have the opportunity to select three channels you’re interested in and connect them to your account. There is a verification to make sure you have access to these accounts, such as a Facebook page. Once you have your channels connected, you’ll find a plethora of recipes to choose from that are ready to go.
How to use IFTTT
When thinking about the recipes that are best for you and your team, start with the tasks that are repetitive or mundane. Perhaps you need to archive all of your Tweets into a spreadsheet so you can easily re-use the content in the future, or maybe if you automated a report to be sent to your executive team every Friday, you’d be able to leave the office on time.
If you’re the business owner, accountant, social media specialist and marketing guru, maybe you want a recipe that will share all of your new blog posts to all of your social channels, so you just have to hit “publish” once.
Whatever it is, keep your goals in mind. What do you want to accomplish and will IFTTT successfully deliver while saving me time?
IFTTT continues to add in new recipes and channels to connect to, so check back in every once in awhile to see if there’s a new recipe for that daily task you could use a little help with.
8 Ways to Use IFTTT for Business
IFTTT handles its connections through “applets” (previously called “recipes”). A large number of pre-made applets exist, making setting up automation for business often a snap. Here are just a few of the ways you can use IFTTT to support your business:
1. Connect Your Social Media Accounts
IFTTT read our mind and put together this handy collection of social media applets.
As mentioned above, connecting social media accounts is already possible, but often involves tinkering with APIs and other third-party tools. IFTTT provides multiple, easy ways to connect services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even your business blog.
For example, Facebook and Twitter profile pictures can be easily synchronized. Instagram photos can be automatically posted to Twitter. Blog posts can be automatically posted to social media accounts.
Some of our favorite social media recipes:
- Automatically add Tweets with a conference hashtag to a Google spreadsheet
- Selectively post your Instagrams to a Facebook Page when you include a specific #hashtag
- Use Google Calendar to keep track of your Buffer posting schedule
2. Automatically Mute Your Phone During Meetings
Most meetings don’t start with a message like the one we see at the movies. So, for those meetings you’re in a rush to get to (let’s be honest, it’s most of them), IFTTT is here to keep things on silent mode.
One of IFTTT’s strengths is its ability to connect with Google Calendar. Save time (and possibly embarrassment) by setting your phone to mute whenever your calendar indicates a meeting.
3. Use Google Calendar as a Time Tracker
This is a great option for a small business that doesn’t want to invest in expensive time tracking solutions. IFTTT offers an applet that will automatically track when people arrive and leave from a specific location set in Google Calendar.
4. Track Brand or Employee Mentions
IFTTT offers many ways to track your company (or someone else’s) mentions on social media platforms such as Twitter or Reddit. These can be automatically imported into a Google spreadsheet for tracking. You can also track specific hashtags.
5. Receive a Daily Email with Craigslist Finds
Freelancers and entrepreneurs who want to monitor Craigslist for job opportunities and gigs now have an easy way to receive notifications based on search times. Craigslist does not have its own native way to track searches, so without this IFTTT applet, keeping up with Craigslist can be a time-consuming manual job.
6. Find Out About New Grants in Your Area
Nonprofits can use IFTTT to discover grant opportunities in a specific city or state. Nonprofit organizations, in particular, may find this applet useful.
7. Save Gmail’s Email Attachments to Google Drive
This is a handy little time-saver that can be particularly helpful if you’re using Gmail to track forms and submissions by a large number of people.
8. Monitor Stock Prices in a Google Spreadsheet
You can keep track of closing stock prices on a daily basis in your own custom spreadsheet.
Customize IFTTT for Your Own Business Needs
The beauty of IFTTT is that if you don’t see an applet that does what you want, you can easily create one that works for you and will be labeled for “personal use” – this means it’s not published on the site for others to use.
The IFTTT Platform also offers paid partner solutions that enable businesses to connect their own technology services to IFTTT’s large audience of users.