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The Best-Kept Secret Tool That Drastically Boosts Your Social Media REACH
In my last blog post about social media planning, I talked a little bit about the power of a little-known website (and mobile app) called IFTTT. Y’all… let me just go ahead and BLOW. YOUR. MIND. right now. IFTTT stands for ‘If This Then That,’ and it is my absolutely LIFESAVER for maximizing my social media reach across all platforms. In this article, I am going to tell you WHY you should be using IFTTT for YOUR business, and walk you through some basic steps of setting it up.
Imagine being able to boost your visibility on ALL of the social media platforms, without putting in any actual effort once you get it set up.
Oh, the glory! The joy! The ability to save HOURS of time and sanity! The thousands of people who’ve never seen your stuff before, now able to see your posts! Ahhh!! I can’t contain my excitement!
First of all, though, let me just state clearly that IFTTT is a free service, so I am NOT getting any compensation for this article. I’m simply writing this to help spread the power of reaching the social media masses, so YOUR BUSINESS can reap the benefits. It’s what I do. *casually brushes shoulders off*
What makes IFTTT such a powerful tool for social media visibility and reach?
IFTTT is a very simple website (or app) that has user-created sequences. You connect all of your social media platforms to your IFTTT account, and then use these sequences to connect them all together however you see fit.
This means that with a few clicks of a button, you can set up your Facebook business page posts to automatically post on Twitter.
Or you can set up your blog’s RSS feed to automatically show up on Tumblr. There’s thousands of combinations, for hundreds of services from Pinterest and Pocket to Storify or even Amazon Alexa.
And that’s a POWERFUL tool to have, because you cannot be in all places at once.
An important rule of running a successful business is to focus on the important things and not get sidetracked, right? This is especially true with social media.
You will hear so many successful social media gurus tell you to focus on ONE PLATFORM AT A TIME. You cannot grow them all at once.
You can’t engage on them all at once. (But if you figure that out, please let me know!)
And you definitely can’t be sitting around all day posting to all of them individually. That would be CRAZY time consuming.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize them all, even if you’re not going to have time to go onto each one and engage.
Don’t get me wrong. Engagement is KING when it comes to social media success.
But not posting on Twitter simply because you’re focusing on growing your Instagram is a down-right opportunity LOST.
What are the benefits of posting on as many platforms as possible?
First of all, let’s start out by saying that there’s no penalty for cross-posting.
Is it annoying to see the same content pop up in five different places at the same time? You betcha! But annoying to who?
Who actually goes onto all of these platforms every day for long enough to actually see your posts, specifically?
Are your followers on each platform even the SAME people?! Probably not!
There are millions upon millions of people on each platform. And lots of us are on multiple platforms. But how many times in YOUR life have you followed the same person or company’s page on all platforms- unless you were personally connected to them or their business?
Most of us follow different people on each of our platforms. And most people have different FOLLOWERS on each of their platforms. That’s just the way it seems to shake out, due to good ol’ human nature.
So by taking a few hours on a slow day and opening up a Tumblr account, MIX account, Pinterest, Twitter, and whatever else floats your boat, then connecting them all with IFTTT triggers, you are now reaching people who have NEVER seen your stuff before! Score!!
Even the amazing Gary V recommends cross-posting to various platforms to increase your reach! This strategy is sheer GOLD!
IFTTT has many avenues of social media magic that you can utilize besides cross posting.
There’s so much more to do than just cross-posting! You can set up your Facebook page to automatically post NASA’s photo of the day every day! Or post BrainyQuote’s quote of the day! (Automatic content? Yes please!)
You can set up your posts to only forward to the next platform if it has a certain hashtag!
IFTTT can even pull a YouTube thumbnail on your new video uploads and post it to Instagram or Facebook as a teaser post!
You could probably get lost for quite some time, digging through the different options on IFTTT’s website, and coming up with new ways to reach followers you’ve never reached before.
So how do I get started with my own IFTTT triggers?
The process to get this all rolling is actually quite simple. *Woohoo!*
The first thing you need to do is head over to IFTTT.com. (You’re going to open a new window, so you can keep following my instructions, right?)
Then enter your email to get started with the signup process for a new account, and follow the instructions there.
Once you have your account set up, confirm your email and get logged in, you will see a screen that lists the main platforms that are used most often. It might prompt you to connect something (mine suggested slack when I logged in the first time), but you can just X out of it to get to the main screen with all of the platforms.
It is easiest if you just type whichever platform you want to set up first into the big search bar in the middle of the page.
Start with a social media account you already have and use often, like Facebook or Instagram.
This will give you a lot of different options for connecting your Facebook (or Instagram, or whatever you chose) to other platforms using what they call ‘Applets’ or “triggers.’
For example, we’re can choose to connect Facebook to Twitter with the ‘Tweet Your Status Updates’ trigger.
Once I click that applet, it will ask me to connect both my Facebook and my Twitter accounts, so that IFTTT can link them together.
That’s it- it will run automatically every time you share something to Facebook.
But to have a bit more control, you can click the little settings box in the corner to make some changes.
You can type information into that little box here, like hashtags you want to include in your tweet, or your twitter handle, etc.
And if you aren’t seeing the options you want, you can disconnect this trigger and choose a DIFFERENT Twitter/Facebook trigger that has more options. There’s many of them to choose from!
So play around for a little bit- get a hang of all the different options.
Personally, I never manually go into Tumblr, and very rarely go into Twitter, so these are connections I set up right off the bat. I have somewhere around 4,000 posts on my Tumblr account and 120 followers. (Of course, you don’t have to follow me to see my posts, they randomly pop up based on the content tags you add.) That’s AT LEAST 120 people I wasn’t reaching before, and it took me 2 minutes to set up once upon a time.
I also have a connection for each of my smaller businesses’ facebook accounts to post automatically to Instagram, Twitter, etc., so that I can just go into my one Buffer account and schedule my social media posts for all three of those businesses.
Buffer lets you connect three social media accounts at a time. So I just use IFTTT to cross-posts to all of the other accounts for each business! Easy peasy!
And you can read this article here to find out how I plan my weekly social media content, to streamline the whole process even more!
So now that I’ve completely overloaded your brain with all of these possibilities… I’m just going to summarize this article with three main points to remember:
- IFTTT allows you to automatically post your content to social media platforms you wouldn’t normally use- to people who probably don’t already see your content.
- These new platforms create new opportunities to be seen and found, expanding your visibility and reach.
- IFTTT is free, and only requires you to set up each connection ‘trigger’ or applet once.
Okay now, my awesome peeps, go and get started with your new and improved social media prowess. You’ve got this!