If This, Then That

Stephen Yagielowicz

Many consumers today use a wide range of devices and services to interact with and stay in touch with clients, friends and family. Using their Smartphone to check Facebook status updates is a common example.

Designed to make this easier, ifttt (www.ifttt.com) is intended “to enable everyone to create valuable connections between the services and devices they use everyday.”

Altogether, ifttt represents a treasure trove of time-saving tools for social marketers that automates common tasks.

According to the company, “ifttt” is pronounced like “lift,” but without the “l,” — although you may find it quite handy for technological heavy lifting, among other chores.

“Put the Internet to work for you by creating tasks that fit this simple structure: if this then that,” states the ifttt website. “Think of all the things you could do if you were able to define any task as: when something happens (this) then do something else (that).”

Tasks involve three components: Triggers, Actions and Channels.

A Trigger is the “if this” part of the equation. For example, posting images to Flickr can be set as a Trigger. Triggers are automatically polled for new data every 15 minutes.

An Action is the response to that Trigger. For example, auto-saving Flickr images to your Dropbox account can be set as an Action.

Channels are the basic building blocks for creating ifttt tasks, and are used to define Triggers and Actions. There are currently more than 40 available channels, including Craigslist, Dropbox, e-mail, Facebook, feeds, phone calls, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress and more — just about any way that you are likely to send or receive “a communication” can be used as a channel.

Put it all together and you have a Task that is defined as “If I post an image to Flickr, then also add it to Dropbox.”

These Tasks can be turned on or off as needed and also saved as “Recipes” that can be shared with other users. There are currently more than 25,000 Recipes on the ifttt site.

Altogether, ifttt represents a treasure trove of time-saving tools for social marketers that automates common tasks and opens the door to new traffic building possibilities.


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