IFTTT Recipes for White Hat SEO & Social Media Automation
A few days ago I have finally shared all my IFTTT recipes. "What are IFTTT recipes?" you might ask. IFTTT is an acronym for "if this then that". It's a service that allows cross-site programming of multiple other services.
A script you create with their highly intuitive tool is called a recipe.
A recipe needs a trigger, that is, an event that happens on one of the sites IFTTT supports. So for example when someone follows you on Twitter you can send a welcome tweet to that person using an IFTTT recipe.
This might sound complicated for any person who hasn't yet tried to code in their lifetime but for anybody who has ever done even some basic programming it's perhaps the easiest to use and potentially most useful tool you can imagine.
Here you can code without hassle and you can make several sites work together to accomplish one thing: social media automation.
It's not the spammy automation many black hat SEO tools offer though. IFTTT is clean and simple white hat SEO and social media automation for you and me and every business engaged online out there.
IFTTT is not perfect yet. I haven't published my recipes earlier because I couldn't make IFTTT work for me as good as I thought. In many cases there are a small drawbacks. So it's not ripe for prime time yet but there already some tasks you can automate with IFTTT quite successfully:
- cross posting
- repetitive tasks
Automation is a double edged sword though so you have to look out for potential pitfalls. Too much cross-posting or overlapping backups can result in confusion or lost followers on social media.
Auto-posting is an overused way of automation. For example many bots will auto-post my new blog postings to their completely automated Twitter accounts. That' annoying. I really have to hurry to be the first person to tweet my posts in case I want to tweet them.
I tweet only my best postings, not everything like most other people. So you have to subscribe to my feed. I do auto-posting via RSS to Delicious though because I would otherwise forget to bookmark my own articles. I often use Delicious for my research though and not finding my own posts would be stupid.
Many people use Dropbox for backups and IFTTT supports it. I don't like Dropbox, they sent me too many mails after I signed up. You can also backup using other services though. I backup my tweets for example. I send them over to Google Calendar I otherwise don't use. I also backup my Delicious bookmarks on Diigo. Last but not least I backup links I shared on Facebook to Delicious.
Cross posting has been a nono for many years on the Web, long before social media arrived. People used to send an email to several mailing lists back then so they flooded you. So be cautious when cross posting to several social media sites.
For example you can cross post only selectively using a hashtag. In cases where a message is so important that you want to share it on all your social media channels you want to be quick though. Mail can be the fastest way here. Thus I devised three independent recipes for email that work together in the end.Sending an email from my account to firstname.lastname@example.org will result in email to the Internet as I like to call it.
Google+ does not support third party tools for cross-posting. You can only cross-post from Google+ to other sites if you want. I have created two recipes for that purpose because there is one issue: You can't cross-post the original source. Instead Google+ will only send the Google+ share URL. Unfortunately both recipes can't overcome this issue. Nonetheless you can take a look at both, one goes directly from Google+ to Twitter and the other one using Google Reader in-between the two. In both cases the post gets only cross-posted when I add the #if hashtag manually to the post. The same applies to my Delicious to Twitter cross-posting recipe.
Similarly I will send my tweet tagged with #Facebook to Facebook.
Reminders are some of the more popular IFTTT recipes. I don't use them though because they add more noise to my daily information diet. You can send a mail each time the it's going to rain or someone follows you on Twitter. You can get notifications for everything but I'm glad I could minimize the number of email I receive so I won't spam myself.
There might be daily tasks you'd like to automate or tasks that performed on one site will require action on other sites as well. One of the most popular IFTTT recipes is changing the profile pic on Twitter once you have uploaded a new one on Facebook.
A daily task could be a tweet you that makes sense daily. For example you could announce your "opening hours". I understand that most people can't be online 24h so that you could announce every day at nine that you are available and can be contacted in your office.
As you probably seen above I can trigger more than one recipe at once.
I could even create a loop. For example by adding the #if slashtag to a Facebook update. It would get backed up to Delicious and from there send over to Twitter. In case I also added the #Facebook slashtag the tweet would end up on Facebook again. So you see you have to cautious. In fact you are programming the Web for you. Like in a real software this can backfire.
I use IFTTT only occasionally. I prefer to know exactly what I'm posting where. I had some awfully screwed up messages over-automated from IFTTT already. So IFTTT isn't as useful for me as I hoped initially, Maybe you can suggest some improvements or recipes from your own kitchen.