IFTTT: Your Recipe for a Simpler Marketing Task List

by Sharon Hurley Hall

Last updated on March 30th, 2018

IFTTT is more than just a strange collection of letters; it’s a powerful tool for marketers. The acronym stands for If This, Then That —  and it’s a site that provides a way to automate a range of online functions.

Automation sometimes gets a bad rap, but it can be a good thing, especially if it saves you time. That’s what IFTTT does.

Here’s a quick guide to IFTTT terminology. (On a side note, pronounce it like gift but without the G: ift.)

To make it work you, put four elements together:

IFTTT in a nutshell

  • a channel (which can be a site like Twitter or Dropbox)
  • a trigger (something that happens on one channel, like uploading a new avatar to Twitter) – that’s the this part
  • an action (something that happens in another channel, like making that new Twitter avatar copy to your Facebook profile). That’s the that part.
  • ingredients – bits of data that are part of a trigger (like a Twitter hashtag)

Together, the combination of channel, trigger, ingredients and action make up a recipe — and there are thousands to choose from on IFTTT. There are personal recipes and shared recipes which you can edit to create new personal recipes.

Confused? Don’t be. We’ve got a roundup of articles that will give you tons of tips and resources, so you can dig deeper into what IFTTT is and learn how it can help you.

Getting Started

IFTTT recipes

Review: IFTTT connects social media, photo and other Web services

The best way to understand IFTTT is to go through the process of setting up a recipe. That’s what this PC World walkthrough offers. Setup is simple and painless and, despite some teething troubles, the author describes the site as “fun and pretty darn useful, too.”

How to Supercharge All Your Webapps with IFTTT

This tutorial by Lifehacker’s Adam Pash walks you through how the site works and shares some useful recipes.

How To Use IFTTT To Save Time & Automate – A Behind The Scenes Look

This is another beginner’s guide covering setup, use and why the author thinks the tool is amazing. Useful ways that the author uses IFTTT include creating a roundup blog post and managing an email calendar — both of which could be useful to marketers. The 10-minute video is worth viewing and there’s also a transcript if you don’t have time to watch.

Social Media Marketing

IFTTT channels

6 Ways To Use Ifttt & Buffer For Social Media Success

Buffer is another of my favorite social media tools, so it was a great day when it was integrated with IFTTT. This article presents a number of useful recipes, including recipes allowing you to Buffer favorite tweets, schedule post updates, share your Instagram photos with an appropriate hashtag and more.

IFTTT as a social media monitoring and marketing tool

As a marketer, you’re probably already using a social media monitoring tool, but what if you could turn the content you are monitoring into more great content your audience can share? With the right recipe you could find out if someone is using your competition hashtag and selectively share that on another network. Or, as this post suggests, make sure your RSS feed updates selected social media channels without having to worry about when the API changes.

12 Ways to Use IFTTT for Social Media Management Magic

Emoderation presents some great recipes here, including ways to link Facbeook and Google+ statuses, send content to Tumblr and more. One tip stands out for marketers who want to be ultra-responsive — a recipe to notify you immediately when things change on your Facebook page.

Create a Simple Twitter Campaign with IFTTT

This post on the Marketing Tech Blog shows you how IFTTT works with something like Hootsuite to schedule Twitter posts.

Content Curation

Why IFTTT Could Be the Best Blogging Tool Ever

Your social media account requires a lot of care and feeding, and one way to do this is by content curation. This post includes a number of content curation recipes to help you do that.

Using IFTTT to Curate Content

Brian Groth shares four content curation recipes here. The thing to note here is that he has specific text, so it’s not just another automated share; there’s context too. Check out recipe number 4 — a good one to customize for your own sharing.

More Useful Recipes

10 Ways to Automate Your Life Using IFTTT

On the Open Education Database blog, writer Ellyssa Kroski describes several useful IFTTT recipes and a few that are just plain wacky. While I don’t think there’s any need to send an automatic warning of a zombie outbreak, the recipe that changes profile pictures simultaneously on Twitter and Facebook is useful for marketers who want to keep branding in harmony.

And these recipes could also prove useful:

IFTTT Resources

By now you have seen just how useful IFTTT can be. With more than 3,000 pages of recipes on the site at the time of writing, it could take a while to find your favorites (though the site includes filtering and search features), so here are some good places to start.

Have you used IFTTT? We’d love to hear about the recipes you have found most useful.



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Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer, university lecturer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website.


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  1. Florentina S. says:
    February 10, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Great selection of resources for IFTTT tool, I like having the ability to post quickly to Twitter and Facebook, for example.

  2. Michael says:
    January 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you for that perfect tutorial!

  3. jeff says:
    October 8, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I have done this for my blog auto post to twitter and facebook

    works like a charm .. this is one the msot innovative tools i have seen in recent times

    last similar one is yahoo tubes or pipes or sumthing


    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      October 8, 2013 at 11:35 am

      I know a lot of people recommend Yahoo Pipes, Jeff, and it’s a great tool, too. For me, personally, IFTTT is easier. 🙂

  4. October 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    HI Sharon,

    Thanks for putting together a nice collection of all the ways to use this IFTTT tool. I love it! Learned alot of new things after visiting a few of the links. I especially got alot from Brian Groth’s post about content curation. Nice stuff!


    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      October 8, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Glad you found it useful, Dwight.

  5. Jake @AgnelWellness says:
    August 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I love IFTTT. I rstarted using it around 6 months ago and I have to admit it is a huge timesaver. Initially,when evernote still allowed rss feeds for its notebooks, it was an integral part of my blogging workflow. Now I mainly use it as a tool to keep a check on my competetors.

    Thanks for the great article

    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      August 13, 2013 at 8:07 am

      Thanks, Jake; I hadn’t thought of using it that way. Got any interesting recipes to share that help you with competitive monitoring?

  6. July 15, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Thanks for sharing my tutorial 🙂

  7. June 25, 2013 at 12:29 am

    IFTTT is a huge time saver. I use IFTTT to organize myself and my sales staff. Whever and where ever I go I check in on Foursquare which will automatically add a row to a soreadsheet and one more recipe will create an event on google calendar. This way Ill know where I have been in the past and when I had been there. Nice post Sharon!

    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      June 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Sounds like a good way to track your activity, Sanjay. Thanks for sharing.

  8. June 18, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Nice Post – now I have to check all the Links – but before I wanted to say – nice Post I found via a friends Post on G+. And the Link to that I saw just 20 minutes before in Twitter 🙂

    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      June 19, 2013 at 8:44 am

      Glad you found it useful. If you find any more useful IFTTT recipes, please come back and share.

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