Blogs, Author Platforms, and Connecting (pt 16)

This is the last tool I’ve worked with enough to know how powerful it is.  Unfortunately, the power behind the tool is not the versatility, or how well it can discriminate between what you WANT and what you GET, it is from the versatility in the way it can help connect social media platforms that may not otherwise get connected.

The program is called IFTTT, which stands for “If This Then That.”  It is a simple boolean  triggered app with “recipes” you set up, so that there is a triggering action followed by a triggered action.

For someone building up a Twitter following, this can be a very useful tool – but USE WITH CAUTION!

I’ve tried several recipes, and finally wound up settling on three or four that didn’t overwhelm me, or annoy anyone else.

So, on to the nitty gritty parts.  It is free, so go set up your account.

You’ll have to go through and connect the “channels” you want to use – don’t worry, you can revoke these connections at any time.  If you have an active recipe with that channel, it will disable until you either reconnect the channel, or delete the recipe.

Warning: There are a LOT of channels!

Small selection of channels you can choose from

With your channels connected, let’s set up a useful blog recipe.  Everyone says that Pinterest is a great place to drive interest from (presuming you have a good graphic or two), so let’s make sure our posts are getting posted.

  1. Go into “My Recipes”
  2. Click the big blue button that says “Create Recipe”
  3. Click the blue “this”

  4. Find your blog platform (WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr)
    1. If you need to, use the search bar to help jump to the section of the alphabet that your platform starts on.

  5. Click your chanel
  6. We want any post, so click the box for that
  7. Click the big, blue button “Create Trigger”
  8. Click the blue “that”

  9. Search for Pinterest, and click on it
  10. Click on the only option “Pin to Board”
  11. Fill out the information fields
  12. Click the big, blue button “Create Action”

You’re done!  Not so hard, now was it?

Another useful recipe to have is one for Twitter.  Here’s where you have to be a little careful, because IFTTT does not discriminate once you’ve set in the parameters.  I used one of the automatic list building recipes, and the list I was working on exploded on me.  I’m still not through cleaning it up, and it was a very niche group that I thought were using the hashtag.  Unfortunately, everyone who retweeted, liked, or interacted with a tweet that had the hashtag got added to the list, rather than the original tweeps only.  (No way to prevent it, either.  This is what I meant when I said the power in this program is brute strength, not finesse.)

  1. Go into “My Recipes”
  2. Click the big blue button that says “Create Recipe”
  3. Click the blue “this”

  4. Find your Twitter channel
    1. If you need to, use the search bar to help jump to the section of the alphabet that your platform starts on.

  5. Click your chanel
  6. We want “New Follower” so click that box

  7. Click the big, blue button “Create Trigger”
  8. Click the blue “that”

  9. Search for Twitter, and click on it

  10. Click on “Post a Tweet”
  11. Add the following ingredients:
    1. Full Name
  12. Type your welcome/thank you message
  13. Click the big, blue button “Create Recipe”

 

Deleting Recipes

Sooner or later, you’re going to try to make a recipe, and it’s just not going to work.  No worries, there is a way to get rid of unwanted recipes, so they don’t clutter up your list.

  1. Turn off the recipe (When the recipe turns grey, you know it’s disabeled.)
  2. Click on the pencil icon to edit the recipe
  3. Click the trashcan to delete it.
  4. If you wish to try and salvage it, you can adjust things at this point as well.  Some recipes may be salvagable, others won’t be.  Never hurts to try.

 

A Word of Caution: You can set this up to automatically retweet someone else.  However, it will retweet EVERYTHING they tweet, so do not do this for your entire list – you’ll wind up annoying almost everyone.  If you have a backup account, and are trying to build a following for it – the automatic retweet may be a viable option for that.  If you know someone who needs help boosting their tweet’s reach, and they are a “quiet” tweeter (less than 10 tweets/day or 20 tweets/week) this may be a viable option – especially if you have a larger following, or are on a different sleep schedule.

I have not played around with all of the possible recipes, so am not sure if this little app is a bargain or not.  Considering it runs 24/7, even if you’re not online, I’m thinking it is.  If you’re careful with the recipes you set up, I’m pretty sure this is a good “set and forget” type program.

 

Can you think of any areas in your platform building where this tool could come in handy?

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