Yesterday Rand Tweeted This

Well…. OK! I’ll take a stab at it. This is literally my 60 minute assessment of Ifttt. I know I could go into more detail, and ideas will likely develop as I begin using it, but hey, I just set up an account last night 🙂

Let’s go!

What is Ifttt?

Ifttt is like “lift” with no L. Ifttt allows you to combine a variety of tools together into “actions”. An action is a “trigger” plus an “event”.  For example, when I post a new photo to flickr, tweet about it. Or when I receive an email from my mom, post it to FaceBook. This page I’m sure explains it better than I just did and this page list “recipes”: public actions that users have posted for anyone to use. I just have one thing to say about this: REALLY FREAKIN COOL!

What Does a Recipe Look Like?

This is a neat public action (“Recipe”)… it sends you an email if its going to rain the next day.

This is some more detail on how this particular recipe is set up.

Ifttt Has Enormous Potential to Explode

This new platform has such potential to get huge, not only for an idividual looking for a productivity boost, but as Rand inscinuates, for potential inbound marketing capabilities. I’m going to share a few quick things about their potential and three different general ways Ifttt can be used. As you’ll see in my ideas below, Ifttt is only limited by your creativity. You’re combining two tools together, but if you can think abstractly 1 + 1 isn’t always 2. Especially because of the automation aspects.

Being an SEO, my first thought it to look at the search volume numbers for a start-up. Great way to gauge potential interest and momentum. Check it out:

Google Insights shows the beginning of a trend upward in the last month. I believe this is because they recently went from private beta to just beta. Not only that though, they’re showing some good brand search volume:

Not a huge search volume in the US but global is starting to look healthy. Interesting to me as well, that global search volume is much larger, and on the insights chart above there’s been a huge Interest in China.

Some Creative Ways To Use Ifttt

There are three basic ways I can suggest using Ifttt.

  1. Productivity / Automation
  2. Inbound Marketing
  3. Be an Ifttt Enthusiast


I think this was the obvious intended use, to help automate certain tasks. A few examples from Ifttt are:

  • Keep all the photos you upload to Facebook in one place. This basically takes any photo you upload to Facebook book, and sends it over to dropbox.
  • Arcive my tweets to Google Calendar does exactly that – pretty neat idea
  • Send links I post on Facebook to Evernote – cool idea as well.

Inbound Marketing

THIS, is where it can get interesting, and the surface has not even been scratched. Few ideas I had were:

Social Listening

Suppose you’re an accountant and want to receive an email if someone tweets about needing help with taxes. Voila:
Set your trigger – someone tweets about needing “help with taxes”.


Influencer Listening

I like this one, and I’m sure Rand will too. I’d always wondered if I could be notified when someone is “online” on Twitter. Perhaps you’re waiting to share a new piece of content with them, or have a question and you want to ask when they are likely to notice. Maybe there’s something that can do this in TweetDeck or Hootsuite, but I haven’t looked into.

Check ‘er out.

Here, I have told Ifttt to text message me whenever Rand tweets. That way I can hop on Twitter and bother him. And the result?

Tweet from @randfish sent to my phone as a text message.

I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but I’m anxious to put this to the test with some real world examples. I think it has enormous potential for automatic content creation/curation and well as communicating with customers or potential customers.

Be An Ifttt Enthusiast!!

You saw the search numbers and you’ve seen the potential of what Ifttt can do! Check out this:

So head over to Ubersuggest and grab some more Ifttt content ideas:

Few Final Thoughts

If there were more time in the day, I could go on forever. But I had a few last ideas for using Ifttt:

1. Content Curation / Crowdsourcing – you could take all tweets with a certain hashtag or facebook updates and collect them automatically somewhere for a bigger piece of content. Either your own tweets or those of customers etc.

2. Get this into excel / G Docs?? – The last thought I had was, I wonder if there’s a way or will be a way to get some of the data coming from actions into excel. That would be some massively useful info that have, for lots of reasons.

Alright… times out… that’s my 60 minutes first look into Ifttt… hope you liked it!

About Dan Shure

Hi! I'm Dan Shure. I write all of the posts and host all of the podcast episodes you'll find on the Evolving SEO blog. Say hello on Twitter @dan_shure!


  • January 4, 2012 Reply


    It also gets BH interest for the last aspect you dealt with.
    I couldn’t help but ask : where is this Woah Nelly reference from ? I heard it so many times in Yu-gi-oh abridged episodes ehhe

    • January 4, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hey, yes anytime I think “automation” I think “black-hat”. Although I don’t practice black hat, the potential sure is there for that. Haha, I’m not sure where Woah Nelly comes from, at least I didn’t but found the answer here: 🙂

      • January 5, 2012 Reply


        (still me)
        hehe didn’t know either, so that’s where Little Kuriboh took it from.

        Back on topic, there is some valuable triggers for BH, from post on WordPress to channels like posterous (dofollow), delicious, diggo, zootool… I consider writing an article about it. Shame that it’s mostly american; for non-english speaking countries, the impact isn’t as much as important as it could be in USA/UK. It’s a true goldmine, if you know about an english seo using it successfully and giving reports i’d be very interested in.

        You can also use “this” : RSS from others websites, or create some through ponyfish for example, to “that” : WordPress post for example to generate BH content.

        I’ve also read a stunning article about transforming a dumbphone to a smartphone, thanks to ifttt.
        Amusing but i don’t think i’ll be using it, smartphone main pros being the ergonomy, which is not the case here.

        I submitted some ideas to ifttt staff -they’re nice and reactive on Twitter- like most users do. It will profit to a lot of people once they’ll implement extra triggers. Now to see about how BH will use it (which i’m also curious about)

        • January 5, 2012 Reply

          Dan Shure

          Hi Again… thanks, wow some interesting ideas there, looks like you’ve been studying up on it! Thanks for the lifehacker article too. Yes, I was really surprised to see Google Insights and AdWords show such high search interest in ifttt outside of the US, like dramatically different. Too bad there’s the limitation for non-english users.

          • January 5, 2012



            Actually the limitation is more about the typology of channels than the actual soft, and those are english. Delicious & likes are way more popular in those countries.

            It’s not that i dug into ifttt that much (for example, your idea of warning whether the weather is sunny didn’t even cross my mind, yet it rocks). We’re still at the beginning, i’m not even sure ifttt staff knows about everything ehehe

            By the way, i couldn’t recommend you enough to follow their twitter account. They’re submitting and relaying nice recipes, ideas from various blogs. The article i linked came up from it

          • January 5, 2012


            And it’s very likely i knew your article from them, don’t remember xd

  • January 5, 2012 Reply


    Some more ideas :
    By the way I have a question : when ifttt sends a text message, does it cost to you ? How fees are handled ?

    • January 5, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Wow dude, thanks for all the info… when I get a text its just like any other text message, so on my cell plan I have unlimited text messaging I think – so its free.

  • January 5, 2012 Reply

    Ross McCulloch

    Some brilliant #ifttt ideas in there, it’s definitely going to become the glue that joins the social web together. Here’s a wee post on an ifttt powered twitter weather channel I put together:

    • January 5, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hi Ross, yes this brings tools that normally stand alone to a new level. Really powerful when you start to combine them together. Thanks for the link too, nice Recipe!

  • January 6, 2012 Reply


    I’ve been using it to email me on on-topic tweets for a while.

    What’s nice is I can format the email so I can have it produce text that I can easily cut/paste straight into a scheduled reply.

    I can see so much power with this.

    If they add pipes and funnels it could be crazy! I’d love it if I could funnel/group a bunch of triggers into a single RSS feed.

    • January 6, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hey, great example of a practical use! Yes, totally! Funneling or even categorizing feeds/triggers would be sweet.

  • January 12, 2012 Reply


    Looks like really fun to take a stab at. I wonder if ifttt can hook up into a sentiment platform like Radian6, UberVu. Again thanks for the quick write up on a very useful tool.

    • January 13, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Nice, the sentiment platform is an interesting idea! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • January 15, 2012 Reply


    Great insight. It would be awesome if “ifttt” releases an API! For now, I can see a huge value in gathering data, and monitoring people.

    • January 15, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Yes, an API would be great! I haven’t done anything more with Ifttt since this post, but I’ve been brainstorming some ideas I may like to put into practical application now 🙂

  • February 11, 2012 Reply

    Jorgen Poulsen

    Hi Dan,

    I’m using ifttt and it is pretty awesome.

    However, I’m not sure your Influencer Listening strategy works. Rand could be using bufferapps or hootsuite to schedule tweets so he wouldn’t necessarily be online.


    • February 12, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure


      Awesome, you bring up a good point (which I too had thought of). I’d recommend people be aware of that – but in Rand’s case the example works because he “tweets from web” which means he uses <--see photo. And also, if you see a bunch of @ replies coming in, the person is likely doing that in real time. Makes an additional case in point, that if you want to somehow get in touch with an influencer you'd want to be aware of their tweeting patterns/habits. -Dan

  • February 12, 2012 Reply


    Great service. I’ve been using to create custom RSS feeds and combined with ifttt it can all become immensely useful.

    • February 12, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Thanks Jason, I’ll have to check out feedity, sounds cool!

  • February 12, 2012 Reply

    Adam Chronister

    From the moment I found out about ifttt I new it had some great potential for SEO. I have already started using for SEO perhaps I will write a post on how I use it to improve my marketing efforts.

  • March 23, 2012 Reply

    Matt Ramos

    Great post. Definitely like the “influence listening” idea.

    • March 26, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Thanks! Wil Reynolds at SEER has taken it to the next level. He has Ifttt text him whenever someone influential is visiting Philly (where he is located) by only texting when their tweet has the word Philly or Philadelphia – so presumably he can help them out/meet them etc.

      • October 19, 2014 Reply

        Ryan Ricketts

        Hey there, Dan. I realize this post is nearly two years old, but do you have a link to Wil Reynolds’s IFTTT recipe for this? I’m writing a blog post and want to give him credit for the idea.

  • October 7, 2013 Reply


    Very nice post, Ifttt is a Great service.

  • December 9, 2013 Reply


    Is there a place where we can submit ideas that need an IFTTT recipe? For example:
    I have been using Verizon’s Call Assistant for many years; one feature is that it will send me an eMail any time there is an inbound call to my LandLine, including the Caller ID info (if available). This has been immensely useful to me, but Verizon has announced its intentions to shut-down the service in January.
    What would it take to create an IFTTT Recipe to send an eMail (or Text) message whenever there is an inbound call to the LandLine?
    I believe a Caller ID box could be hacked to capture the Caller ID info, Date & Time of Call. What else is needed to send this string to an eMail address, or as a Text Message to a Mobile number?

    • December 9, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hmm this is an interesting question James. I’m not sure I know the answer unfortunately!

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