Put the Internet to Work for You with ifttt: “If this, then that”

Have you heard of ifttt? It’s a pretty clever—and FREE—service that puts the Internet to work for you by allowing you to assign simple, useful tasks based on a simple premise: If this, then that. Pronounced like “sift” without the “s”, ifttt provides a menu of “recipes” for tasks to do all kinds of smart things on the web.

Here’s how ifttt works.

· A Task is anything with the simple structure “if this, then that.” You can think of it as “when something happens (this), then I want something else to happen (that)”

· “This” part is the Trigger. Examples of Triggers are “I post a status on Facebook” or “someone follows me on Twitter.”

· “That” part is the Action. An example might be “post a tweet” or “send me an email message.”

· Triggers and Actions both come from Channels. Channels are social media networks and services such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Dropbox and even Email.

· ifttt takes the Trigger from one Channel with an Action from another Channel and creates a Task.

· Recipes are sample Tasks that you can share with friends or the ifttt Community.

· Tasks can be turned on and off at your convenience, and they are refreshed for new trigger data every 15 minutes.

How would a small business use ifttt?

· Create a Task so that any time you post on your company Twitter feed, it sends a post to your Facebook Page and updates your LinkedIn status.

· Thank people automatically when they mention you or RT you on Twitter.

· When your LinkedIn Profile photo changes, update your Google+ Profile photo.

· If someone follows you on Twitter, automatically follow them back.

· Notify you whenever your competitor Tweets.

There are literally hundreds of Recipes, and counting. And thousands of other ways… to maximize your online presence and take the busy work out of your social media strategy.

That’s pretty much all you need to know. So get ifttting.

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