Bill Hartzer

How to Use IFTTT to Automate Search Engine Optimization Tasks

If you have ever worked with an auto scheduler for tweeting, you know how useful they are. Its great to be able to schedule automated tweets to be tweeted at various times during the day, or week without having to be there to tweet the messages.

If this, then that

Of course, sometimes this type of automation backfires, like when your plans change, and you’ve been tweeting about having a great time at destination A, while you are posting pictures, and status updates about being at destination B. It would be nice to have something set up so that upon a certain action happening, another action takes place. Now, you no longer have to wait for this type of experience, since there is Ifttt.

Ifttt is a website, currently in beta, that allows web users to create tasks that fall into the structure of: if this then that. The “if this” part of the equation is a trigger like “when I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook” or “I send a tweet on Twitter”. The trigger then causes another task to happen – hence the “then that” part of the set up. The end task part can also be set up in a similar fashion like “send me an email”, or “create a status message on Facebook”. So an example combination that could be used on the Ifttt website is “If I’m tagged in a photo, create a status update on Facebook”, or “If someone retweets my tweet, send me an email update”. Ifttt is made to work with several social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and your email. Setting up an account on Ifttt is fairly easy.

After clicking on the “Join” button, you are taken to a page where you can create a username, and make up a password. Once you’ve completed this step, you are taken to another page that shows an example of a task you could create. At the top of the page in the upper right hand corner you will see the tabs Tasks, Recipes, Channels, and a downward pointing arrow. Clicking on the Tasks tab takes you to a list of tasks that you have created. If you have not created any tasks, then it will ask you to create a task. Clicking on the Recipes tab takes you to a page that gives you some examples of what tasks you could enable that are already formulated, all you do is follow the steps to set it up (like a recipe). An example recipe would be to thank people on Twitter whenever someone retweets a message for you. When you choose any of the recipes listed, a small window opens up, and you can put in your credentials for the different channels needed to complete that task. You can go back later, and change, or remove your credentials from any of the tasks that you’ve set up.

Clicking on the Channels tab takes you to a page where you can choose which type of channel you want to set up. For example, clicking on the Facebook icon on the Channel page takes you to another page where you can put in your Facebook credentials to be used for various tasks. Setting up often used channels ahead of time could come in handy when you have multiple tasks that all use the same channels, such as when you need to update something on Facebook, or send a status update. If you are working with various Facebook accounts, you may want to make an Ifttt account for each Facebook account to keep things organized. Clicking on the upside down arrow opens up a drop down menu that contains the tabs Activity log, Settings, and Invites.

Clicking on the Activity log tab takes you to a page where you are shown channels that you have activated. The Twitter, email, stocks, feed, Craigslist, and Ifttt channels are already activated by default, although you will still need to fill in your credentials before they will be of any use to you. The Settings tab takes you to a page where you can change your username, email, password, and / or time zone. You can also use this page to set up url shortening automation if you wish (Ifttt even allows you to use your own account to shorten links). You can also set things up such that Ifttt sends you an email alert if there are any serious issues with one of your tasks. Finally, on this page, you can send out invites to friends, and colleagues to tell them about the Ifttt site.

Overall, Ifttt would be of great use to those who are looking for a way to automate more tasks than just standard automated tweeting, like auto saving all your Instagram photos to Dropbox. Ifttt works with many platforms / channels, and even has the ability to send a message to your phone or SMS device. For those who like to use social media for marketing, and advertising, Ifttt would come in very handy by giving you the ability to send a status update whenever you posted a new picture somewhere, all in one convenient process. Please keep in mind that the website is still in beta, but overall things seem to be working well. For those looking for a new way to automate online tasks, Ifttt is definitely worth checking out.

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