Posts Tagged ifttt.com

Deeper content automation via Feedly and IFTTT.com

Posted by on Wednesday, 10 July, 2013

ifttt-feedly-tumblrIf you recall my previous post on using ifttt.com and BufferApp to automate and time shift twitter posts, as well as my post on auto-emailing yourself Snopes.com articles, you’ll know I’m a big fan of ifttt.com and all it can do to help you automate content posting thereby reducing administrative overhead.

Today’s post is no different. You see, ifttt.com recently added Feedly as a channel to their ever-growing lineup. The inclusion of Feedly has opened a world of potential to users of BufferApp, HootSuite, and Tumblr. Why these three, specifically? All three sites allow you the advantage of queueing your posts for publishing at a later time. This allows an administrator/curator to throttle the content flow to the right cadence for their audience and avoid the potential of flooding the readers with too much.

But that functionality was already available in those channels before Feedly was added, so why am I excited with this new addition… especially when there was already an RSS channel available as a trigger? Simple: the Feedly triggers will pull in not only new posts from single sources, but new posts from entire categories or tags containing multiple sources. In effect this allows for a single ifttt.com recipe to pull in content from a wide swatch of RSS feeds and send the content to the channel of your choice. The potential here is actually quite exciting, as I can now more efficiently curate larger amounts of content from across the web and queue it up back-to-back for publication on a schedule I create and control. Plus, this also allows me to control the sources in the categories/tags without having to adjust/disable/delete a recipe.

Rather than stepping you through the recipe creation, I’ve shared one of the recipes which will take an article from Feedly and send it to your Tumblr queue for publishing later: https://ifttt.com/recipes/103637

This will allow you to either directly reuse this recipe for your own needs, or at least look at it to see how simple the process really is, and how much time it can save you. While there are indeed limits to what you can trigger on and the actions you can take, the potential of ifttt.com is near limitless, especially for automating content feeds in a smart fashion. If you are in social business or content marketing, you owe it to yourself to check this out and see how you can use it to help make your own life easier as well.┬áRemember, this automation is only intended to ease some pain of manual post creation. It doesn’t take the place of actual social engagement; rather it helps you focus on the right things to do and not spend time on the logistics of doing it.

 

Time-shifting tweets to reach global audiences

Posted by on Wednesday, 20 March, 2013

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Another in my sporadic series of looking behind the social business curtain. This time I discuss value of time-shifting your tweets for a global audience, and the steps to help you automate such a concept.

First off, let me be clear: this post is about content promotion and amplification through social channels; it is NOT about engaging socially. Automation should only be a small part of your entire social topology as a content marketer, where it only serves to allow you more time to actually have conversations around your content rather than worrying about how or when it is being promoted.

So, presuming you want your self-hosted content promoted more than just the moment you post to your blog or website, you are probably doing so manually by creating and scheduling posts at different hours. In my industry, we have a global audience, but most of our content is published during North American business hours. Because of this publishing schedule, our content is most heavily promoted on social channels during that same time frame. However, knowing how people across the globe use channels like twitter, it is quite possible, and even very likely, that people in different time-zones are missing the content we’re promoting because it hits their time-lines when they’re away from the office and not paying attention… where’s the automated solution to address this business issue and get our content in from of our global audiences when they ARE watching their tweet streams?

I’ve got a recipe for that:

  1. Create an ifttt.com account
  2. Create a bufferapp.com account and associate your twitter or Facebook accounts
  3. Enable the BufferApp channel in ifttt.com.
  4. Create the recipe

Using ifttt.com, I created two recipes. One which pulls our RSS feed from our blog and posts it immediately and directly to twitter when the blog post is initially published, and a second recipe which takes the same RSS feed, and queues up the posts for publication time sifted by approximately 12 hours. To make the post unique from the initial posting and meet Twitter’s terms of service, I add a hashtag specific to posts queued through buffer.

While the logistics may seem confusing, they’re actually quite simple. Set up your recipe in ifttt.com to pull from your blog’s RSS feed and publish via your connected BufferApp channel. In BufferApp, this is where some basic scheduling is set to ensure you don’t overlap content publishing within minutes of each other. To do this, I’ve set mine to publish one post every hour and ten minutes between 6:30pm PST and 8:30am PST. This makes sure that nothing from this particular feed is posted through bufferapp during my normal working hours in North American time zones, and that we have a constant flow of content pushed through in global time zone friendly hours.

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By implementing this time-shifted tweeting, we effectively doubled our reach over night. Not only did we increase our reach immediately and substantially, but we also reduced the administrative overhead needed to manually schedule these time shifted tweets, freeing us up to focus on conversations and engaging where needed.

Just remember, this automation is only intended to ease some pain of manual creation. It doesn’t take the place of actual social engagement; rather it helps you focus on the right things to do and not spend time on the logistics of doing it.

 

 

Using RSS and Email to prevent future embarrassment

Posted by on Wednesday, 6 February, 2013

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We’ve all seen it: the Facebook post purporting that onions cure every illness, or that asking your friends to make changes on the network will keep your posts private and invisible to all the “baddies” out there.

By this point I’m sure we know that’s all hogwash, but every day there are more and more urban myths that find life, or renewed life (like the Back to the Future post that pops up every other month) because people share without fact checking first. I’m sure some of you have seen my quick reaction to point out a Snopes.com article either clarifying or refuting this claim or that…. perhaps you’ve even wondered how it is I am so quick to know? Well, friends, here’s my secret weapon: RSS and immediate email notification.

Using the What’s New RSS feed from snopes.com, I can see every new or updated article that comes out of Snopes, right when they post it. Mind you I don’t necessarily read all articles, but this puts the topic information in my head so I know where to retrieve the details if I see it pop up later.

But just using RSS means I need to constantly watch my RSS reader for updates, which is a bit of a pain at times. So I added an email notification to the equation using IFTT.com, so now I get an email notice whenever Snopes adds a new article. Here’s the recipe I created to do this, but you can create your own if you prefer to get notices via text, tweets, or a cadre of other various channels!

This results in a nice simple email notice like this, which pops into my inbox about once a day at their normal rate of article posting:

email_snopes2

So now you know my secret weapon in the fight against promoting false content and preventing my own embarrassment, but better yet, now you too can help dispel myth and rumour faster than a speeding… well you know ­čśë