IFTTT stands for “if this, then that” and per their company slogan, the tool allows you to put the Internet to work for you using “recipes.” These recipes consist of actions and reactions across common tools, platforms, services and websites that don’t generally work together but that DO work together with IFTTT.
For example, if you post a photo to Instagram with a specific hash tag, you can set it to post to a specific Facebook page as well as e-mail it out to specific people. Here are just a few examples of their recommended recipes that you can plug and play for your own use:
Automating some of your online actions can save you a ton of time and allow you to focus on what truly matters. Whether you’d prefer the time to spend with your kids or do other meaningful work or go to a yoga class, freeing yourself up from some of the repetitive tasks is extremely useful. IFTTT gives you back time that you can spend elsewhere.
One of the best ways to put IFTTT to work immediately is to have it track your social media mentions.
Why You Want to Track Social Media Mentions
There are a few reasons why you might want to track your company / brand / personal mentions on social:
- You are hosting an event and you want to capture the timeline during the event to capture who was there, who was active and what they were saying
- You want to track everything and sift through the mentions later to pull out the testimonial-style mentions to use as social proof in your marketing
- You’ve launched something new and you want to get a sense for how your audience is feeling about it
- You want to use questions that come in via mentions as future ideas for content generation
IFTTT allows you to set up a recipe once that will “listen” to social and track mentions of either an @ name (example: @ErinBlaskie) or a hash tag (example: #BYBStories) automatically. The recipe will store these mentions in a Google Spreadsheet, online, so that you can access the data at any time and share it with your team, if necessary.
While this solution works great for people who have a smaller following, larger brands (and companies with large followings) will want to look at something more robust to track their mentions. This is where tools like Meltwater, Radian6 and BrandWatch come into play.
How to Set Up the Recipe on IFTTT
After you’ve set up your free account, you then want to spend a few moments connecting all of your applicable channels. Doing this early on in the process will save you time and effort later so take the time to connect any account you have the potential of using so that you aren’t having to verify them at a future time.
Once your channels are connected, go to “My Recipes” in the navigation menu and then click on the blue “Create a Recipe” button.
Next, click “This.”
Choose the social media channel you wish to track. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to use Twitter. Once you choose the channel, you’ll be presented with the available options for that particular channel. You can track any / all of these but my two favourite options for Twitter are:
- New mention of you (will track every single mention of your Twitter handle as it happens)
- New tweet from search (this one is great when you want to track a hash tag or any other keyword)
Decide what you want to track and click that option.
For this example, I’ve selected “New Mention of You” so it automatically fills in the search term using my connected channel. Intelligent, isn’t it? Now it’s time to set up the trigger — the “That.”
After clicking “That”, you’ll then be taken to the channel selection screen and this time, you’re going to choose the Google Drive option.
Next, you’re going to choose the Google Drive recipe option of “Add a row to a spreadsheet.” This means that every time a mention is made of you on Twitter, it will automatically copy it into a specified spreadsheet and add it to a new row. The rows are limited to 2,000 entries so you will want to keep an eye on this and switch to a new spreadsheet when needed — especially if you have a very active social media presence!
Once that piece is done, you’ll want to key in the specifics for your spreadsheet. I’ve filled in my responses in the screenshot that follows to help you out.
The final step is to confirm your recipe.
After you’ve clicked “Create Recipe” the recipe will begin to run immediately.
While it seems daunting to set up, you’ll only have to do this once and you’ll reap the rewards of doing so for quite some time. You can also rinse and repeat these steps, changing up your search modifiers to track other parts of your brand / company or specific hash tags, to create an incredibly efficient tracking system for your business.
Set up your account on IFTTT and browse through the available recipes. There are thousands of recipes that have been created by their user base that will help you to create a much more efficient and streamlined business (and life!) Leave me a comment below and tell me which recipes are (or become) your favourite.
If you’d like to use IFTTT for your business but don’t have the time to set it up, contact me! I can help you get your account set up, create the recipes you need and suggest the best ways to use the account to maximize your business’ efforts.