One of the most common frustrations we hear from small business owners is that they don’t have enough time to stay on top of what they consider the peripheral parts of their business.
Social media always falls into this category even though we strongly believe that it is essential and shouldn’t be the first thing neglected when you get busy.
That being said, business owners are busy. You might want to tweet, but when you also need to serve a customer walking through your front door, social media loses out (and rightly so – serving your customers is more important).
IFTTT is basically a service that let’s you put some of your online activity onto autopilot. Now, don’t jump for joy thinking that you can set it up and then forget about social media forever. This is more like a tool to make sure that you don’t miss anything.
In other words, IFTTT is less like a substitute and more like an assistant.
How does IFTTT work?
IFTTT uses “if ____ then _____” statements to perform certain actions under certain circumstances.
For example, “If the Toronto Maple Leafs win, then tweet “Anyone who shows a ticket stub gets 10% off their bar bill.”
That sounds a little like magic. I need more info.
IFTTT works with 60 different channels (eg. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ESPN, Gmail) and uses all of the information published on these channels to complete these “if ___ then ___” statements, otherwise known as recipes.
You create custom recipes in your account so that you don’t need to frantically grab your phone and tweet if the Leafs win. It is perfect for business owners who don’t want to disappear online during business hours.
- “If it snows, then send a tweet about soup.” – You can personalize this to your business, of course.
- “If someone tweets with a specific hashtag, then add it to a Google spreadsheet.” – This one is great for keeping track of contest entries.
- “If someone has a birthday, then send him an email.” – I might steal this idea for my regular life and never miss a birthday again! Realistically, this is best used for businesses that want to give a deal to customers on their birthday.
- “If [X competitor] creates a blog post about [Y subject], then text me.” – What a sneaky way to keep track of the competition!
- “If a user likes your Instagram photo, then save it to a Google Spreadsheet.” – Any of these kinds of recipes are great for remembering what social media posts worked and which ones fell flat. Recreate the good ones!
As you may have noticed, IFTTT isn’t social media specific. Some people make recipes to keep track of orders that come in or to receive a text if a specific person emails them. With 60 different channels, you’ll be cooking up a storm. Get it? Recipes? Cooking?
Feel free to make the recipe, “If Trifunk posts a blog, tweet about it!”