What is IFTTT?
IFTTT is an acronym for “If This Then That”. It’s an online service (and phone app) that links everyday actions you take on the web to keep you more organized and save time. By creating IFTTT “recipes,” you can set IFTTT to automatically perform a task you may have been doing manually. Tons of tasks. Let’s look at some examples.
My Favorite IFTTT Recipes for Small Business Owners
Social Media Automation
There are tons of social media IFTTT recipes for small business owners to tap into. If you want to push your blog posts out to your different social media channels, try these recipes:
- Schedule Social Media Posting: If I post to WordPress, then post to Social Media Page (for Facebook, for Twitter) Simple and sweet: Push your WordPress posts straight to your Facebook Business Page or Twitter Timeline.
- If I post a photo on Instagram, then create a post on my WordPress Blog This reverses the above recipe. If you are an avid Instagram user, automatically share your posts onto your WordPress Blog. You can even map the tags you are using on Instagram to place your new WordPress post into a relevant blog category.
- If I post a photo on Instagram, then tweet the photo If you like your Instagram snaps to end up on Twitter anyway, this is a great solution for you. As an added bonus, this recipe makes your pics show as full images rather than just links.
- If a Google Calendar event starts, post to my Facebook Page. Keep followers and locals up to date with your events by syncing a Google Calendar with your Facebook Business Page. This recipe will automatically share the details of your Google Calendar event 15 minutes before it starts! You can set up a separate Google Calendar for events you’d like posted so you don’t post your meetings or dentist appointments to the public.
- Find new clients: IFTTT’s ability to crawl the Web can do more than alert you when your company is mentioned online; it can also help you grow your client base. Jeff Ferguson, CEO of Fang Digital Marketing, said IFTTT has helped his company seek out potential clients. His IFTTT recipe searches Twitter for tweets around a specific keyword, and then alerts the company, so it can seize the opportunity and reach out to the user. “If they ask a question about a service that we provide, we can be right there with an answer,” Ferguson said. Learn how to create this recipe below.
Check out the IFTTT WordPress Channel for more ways to automate your blog postings.
Monitor Your Competition
As a small business owner myself, I know how important it is to keep up with my competition. You can use IFTTT to automate a lot of the information gathering you are used to doing. Let me show you how.
- If [X competitor] creates a blog post about [Y subject], then text me. Want to keep an eye on that pesky new boutique down the street? Set an IFTTT recipe to send you a text each time the owner posts about a store sale on her blog.
- Monitor Twitter for negative comments about competitors and proactively reach out and offer help. This one is a bit more advanced than the other recipes, but it gives a good idea of how powerful IFTTT recipes for small business really can be. Source
- Use Twitter Advanced Search and search for queries like, “worst” OR “terrible” OR “awful” AND “[competitor]”.
- Use Page2RSS to create a feed from this Twitter link.
- Create your own recipe on IFTTT:
- THIS Channel: Feed then ‘New Feed Item From Page2RSS Link.
- THAT Channel: Gmail or Email and Send An Email.
- Repeat steps to add more competitors. Set up filters in your inbox to organize these messages.
Automate Small Business Tasks
As a designer, I hate paperwork. It’s so tedious and I wait until the 20th hour to gather all of my information. This makes things stressful and burdensome. And quite frankly, owning a small business should be fun, exciting, and more about passion than paperwork. Luckily, there are a lot of paperwork, filing, and basic bookkeeping tasks that IFTTT can automate for you.
- If I receive an e-mail receipt, add it to a spreadsheet This is one of my favorites. I used to do this manually in April of every year, trying to get my tax information submitted at the last minute. Now I can just go through the spreadsheet that was automatically created for me, and simply weed out my personal purchases rather than hunting down my business ones. This recipe hunts your e-mail for the word “Order” or “Receipt” in the subject line, and even adds the first attachment from the e-mail.
- If an order is placed on your website, log it to a Google doc spreadsheet Just set up a label for your incoming orders in Gmail, then use this recipe to keep log of every order made on your website to a Google doc. The days of entering data by hand to stay organized are in the past. This is a great feature if you are a very small business and don’t have a secretary to keep track of this for you.
- When a customer orders your product/service, Todoist adds a new task in your Inbox.
Make Business Travel Easier
- Track your travel expense by logging your trip details to a Google spreadsheet!
- Total trip miles and average MPG posted to calendar
- Email yourself a city or country name, and get the #wikitravel article in Pocket!
- Send #travel itineraries and flight confirmation emails to #Kayak mobile app.
- Log my mileage to Evernote! |
- Export Automatic Trip Data to aGoogle Spreadsheet
Apps like IFTTT are really helping small businesses with smaller marketing teams. This is a great way to keep up on all of your social media efforts, administrative tasks, and even travel. Once you start using IFTTT recipes for small business, the possibilities will feel endless. Want more resources or success stories about using IFTTT for small business? Check out this post on Business News Daily for inspiration, or view the IFTTT hot recipe list to see what else you can do.
Leave it to the Geeks!
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