We work in a fast-paced digital age where our projects and efforts live across many different tools. Some of those tools are software built into our phones and laptops, some are apps we've downloaded, and others are programs provided to us at work--most are extremely helpful, but very few integrate with one another. As a result, we're constantly switching between tools in order to get things done or move information from one place to another. That's not great, because task-switching basically kills productivity--the opposite of what we want!
I had no idea that things could be a LOT more efficient, or that I could do time-consuming tasks (like moving contacts from my company's CRM to our newsletter) automatically until someone introduced me to the automation and integration tool IFTTT.
Once it's set up, you can use it to connect the platforms you work with, supercharging your ability to get things done. Since co-founding my content marketing company, Masthead Media, I'm constantly looking for ways to get more done in less time--and this program has been an incredible time-saver.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is pronounced like "gift," which is essentially what it is. This platform connects your apps in ways the apps can't do on their own--without any knowledge of coding required. Applets (which used to be called "recipes") are the foundation of the tool. Basically, applets are what enable your apps to talk to each other.
Whatever type of marketing you do, there's a scenario where IFTTT will work for you. Here are five really cool ways you can put IFTTT into play at work.
Keep your social media feeds fresh and full
We know how important it is to keep our social media feeds up to date with engaging content, but we also know curation and creation could literally eat up your whole workday. Here's where IFTTT.
You can set up an applet that will use Evernote or Pocket to save interesting information you find, then you can add it right to your social media queues by using a scheduling tool. Then you'll be ready to set it and forget it.
Stock up on newsletter content and filler links
By curating content with IFTTT applets, your internal newsletters or even external newsletter composition will become much easier, and much less time-consuming. By setting up an RSS feed app like Feedly, you can build a list of "must-read" articles to add to your newsletter.
Recycle and back up your old content--automatically
We know content is king, but if that's the case, then "repurposed" and "repromoted" content are the queens. Using old content that has performed well in terms of engagement (likes, comments, impressions) and backlinks is a surefire way to keep your content game strong.
You can use IFTTT to recycle content. Find one of your tweets has performed really well on Twitter? Save it to Evernote with an IFTTT applet. Once you've saved up enough tweets about certain topics (and you can also organize them by hashtag or label in Evernote), set yourself up a reminder to write a blog post on this topic.
Send your team recurring or automatic reminders
IFTTT contains applets that will allow you to schedule emails to send later. To do this, you can create a recipe that will trigger an auto-email to send at a certain time or date in your calendar. The best use-case for this applet is if sending a reminder email out to your team, other contacts, or yourself. (At Masthead Media, we also use Boomerang for Gmail for this purpose).
Monitor media mentions and your online reputation
There's no reason not to use free tools to help your marketing strategy--you don't need a fancy tool to monitor mentions of your brand on a variety of platforms. IFTTT can help you set up a brand monitoring dashboard by connecting Google alerts to an RSS feed, then connecting that RSS feed to a Google sheet. Track any phrase you want this way.
Even though automation can sometimes have a bad reputation, if you do it right you'll save yourself a lot of time getting rid of menial tasks clogging up your to-do list. Besides, these tools are becoming more robust with time. That could be the difference between getting out the door at 5:00 P.M. and 5:30... and you know how much of a change in the traffic travel time that makes.