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Cheating At Social Media: Letting Automation Do The Work For You


Let’s face it, updating the social media for your business or brand is often the last thing on your to-do list. Things always come up, but that’s part of running a business.
Cheating At Social Media with IFTTT

by Chase Clymer

April 18, 2017

Luckily, updating our social media at Electric Eye is a well oiled machine at this point.

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
– Bill Gates

While I’m not saying I’m lazy, I did find an easy way to do it. We’re not reinventing the wheel here, just utilizing the power of automation to save us a ton of time. Now, we only have to update one platform that pushes to all the others we use seamlessly.

I know this ‘hack’ has been around forever, but not our method. Most social media platforms have a built-in way to push the update from one social to another, but they come out terribly formatted with ugly links to photos. The reason being is they all instinctively want the content to ‘live’ on their servers to boost numbers on their platform's analytics. So these pushed updates usually don’t make sense, linking back to another platform and are generally ignored in the timeline because of its robotic look.

The way we push our updates from one social to the other makes beautiful updates that look like we spent time to post them from the actual platform. In reality, we spent less than a minute posting to one and letting the magic happen.

“So how do I do this for my business?” you ask, thinking about all the time you’ve wasted logging in and out of accounts. That’s what this post is all about! I’m going to show you how to update your social media in less than one minute to save yourself a ton of time.

I could write an entire blog post on social media platforms, but I’m going to stick with what is probably the most common three that all businesses use. Those are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I recommend you stick to only a few platforms that actually make sense to your business’s niche. It’s a proven fact that choice leads to unhappiness, so make your customers happy by limiting the amount of socials they can follow.

Now that we’ve identified the social media platforms we’re going to tackle, I’m just going to move forward assuming everyone picked the three I mentioned above, because you can hot swap the name of the platform with the information below and get the exact same results.

The first thing we need to choose is which platform we’re going to update ourselves, and have that push everywhere else. If Instagram is in your bag of tricks (which it should be!) then it will remove that choice for you, because the Instagram API doesn’t allow you to push content to it, so by default it becomes the starting point of this whole chain reaction.

Now comes the backbone of this whole process. Enter IFTTT!

IFTTT Homepage

Alternatively, you could use Zapier, which is another favorite of mine, but IFTTT is free and I’m all about saving money (Though we at the agency pay for Zapier for other automations, it’s super useful).

So sign up for IFTTT or log into your account, and we’ll start the magic. Once you’re logged in, click on search and type in ‘instagram’. You’ll probably see something that looks like below:

IFTTT App Page

Click on the Instagram icon, and you’ll be greeted with all the cool applets, which are ‘if this then that statements’ that people have created for that platform.

IFTTT App Page

I’m going to assume here that you want to push all of your Instagram photos to your business’s Facebook page, so I’ll walk you through that. Locate the second option that says ‘Post your Instagram photos to a Facebook Page’ and click on it. By the time you read this post, the order may have changed, but the principle is still the same.

IFTTT App Page

Once you press Turn on, the magic begins by integrating the APIs together. Next, it will ask you for permission to access them.

IFTTT App Page

Press Ok, and authorize IFTTT to access your basic information. You may need to sign in first.

IFTTT App Page

Immediately after you authorize Instagram, you will then authorize Facebook. Continue as yourself and keep pressing Okay until you see this screen.

IFTTT App Page

Make sure you select the right Facebook page, and then click Update. You’ve now linked these two together, and saved yourself some time in the future.

IFTTT App Page

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now let’s do the same for Twitter. Click Search again, and go back to the Instagram service page. You’ll notice your newly activated applet at the top, and scroll down to find ‘Tweet your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter’.

Now let’s repeat what we just did for Twitter.

IFTTT App Page

Once you turn it on, you’ll need to grant it permission on Twitter.

IFTTT App Page

Then authorize the app.

IFTTT App Page

And we’re golden!

IFTTT App Page

You’ve just linked together your social media apps using automation.

Now, when it comes to posting to others via Instagram, you need to keep in mind how the posts will appear on your other accounts. So, do not tag people or brands with the @ sign, because this will not translate well to other channels. Instead use the tag a photo option in Instagram. Also, do not use hashtags in the description, as it should only be words, because this will be used on other channels as well. I still recommend using hash tags, so immediately after posting, just comment on the with 5-10 hashtags (30 is the limit if you wanna go crazy!) that are appropriate for the post.

Just because we have now simplified the entire posting process, there’s still work to do. You still need to pay attention to what is going on with your profiles, especially if people are mentioning or messaging you. Make sure you have all the push notifications turned on for the profiles you use. Also, try and get back to people as soon as you can. People expect social media to be faster than an email to get a response.  

In a nutshell, social media is a necessary evil for business in 2017 and most of the time there are more important daily tasks to accomplish. Hopefully, linking together some of your accounts with simple automation will free up your time to focus on your business.

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