Last week we looked at some of the social media spreadsheet add-ons that are available. Continuing our spreadsheets for social media theme, today we are going to look at one of my favourite tools – IFTTT – it stands for “If This Then That”.
This powerful service allows you to link web channels (web applications) to each other via a “trigger” and “action”. The combination of channels, trigger, rules and actions is known as a recipe and once you join IFTTT for free you have access to many recipes that are created for you already or you can create your own.
The basic premise is that if a trigger “fires” on one web application, then an “action” will be carried out on another web application. The possibilities for this tool are practically endless but here I will show you one of the ways that I use this tool for social media purposes.
Feedly to Google Sheets
Feedly is a service that allows you to organise all your RSS feeds from blogs and websites into categories in your Feedly account. When a new story appears you can mark it with tags that you have created.
I use an IFTTT recipe to put details of the articles that I tag in Feedly into a google spreadsheet which then makes it easier to schedule this content for sharing via Hootsuite.
I have created tags in Feedly for content that I think is suitable for sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and I have created IFTTT recipes for each of these:
- Recipe 1, If article in Feedly is tagged “Facebook” then put its details into a Google Sheet called “Facebook – content”
- Recipe 2, If article in Feedly is tagged “Twitter” then put its details into a Google Sheet called “Twitter – content”
- Recipe 3, If article in Feedly is tagged “Google Plus” then put its details into a Google Sheet called “Google Plus – content”
How to replicate this recipe:
Step 1) Create accounts for Feedly, Google and IFTTT if you haven’t already got them. Create your tags in Feedly before going any further.
Step 2) Log in to your IFTTT account
Step 3) Click “Create Recipe”
Step 4) Click “this” to choose your trigger channel
You will be presented with a choice of channels (you are looking for Feedly). The first time you use a channel you will be prompted to activate it by entering the login details for that account and authorising the connection.
Step 5) You are then presented with a list of the available triggers for that channel. For this recipe choose “new article tagged”.
Step 6) You then need to choose the relevant tag from the drop down menu. These are pulled though from the ones you have created in Feedly.
Step 7) Click on “That” to choose your action channel – you are looking for Google Drive. Again you will have to activate the channel by entering your login details if you have not previously done this. In the screen below you can see I have chosen a tag “CT”.
Step 8) Choose your action – for this recipe it is “add row to spreadsheet”
Step 9) On the next screen, name the spreadsheet in the top box but leave all the other boxes with their default values and click “Create Action”.
Step 10) Activate the recipe and you are taken to a list of your recipes where you can test that it is working correctly, turn it on and off etc.
That is it! Once your recipe is active, any new article that is tagged in Feedly with the tag that you specified has its details automatically added to a Google Spreadsheet on your Google Drive – links, heading, details, source are all recorded! You can then adapt this spreadsheet for scheduling the articles in your chosen social media management tool!
IFTTT is a straightforward way to link web applications together to automate tasks that would otherwise take you a long time to complete. It is a fantastic service which is easy to customise, even for non “techy” people so get going and have fun creating your recipes!
Let us know in the comments section whether you have tried this, whether you already use IFTTT and what for? If you have any questions, ask them here too!