In the past two weeks I’ve picked up three new clients with Twitter by monitoring Twitter for the words “wordpress” and “help”. This doesn’t mean I’m constantly watching Twitter. Instead I set up a system using IFTTT and Twitter that notifies me automatically when a match occurs.
IFTTT is short for If This Then That and is an application that lets you put together a chain of actions which get triggered when a change to a web service like Facebook, GMail or Twitter occurs. The chain of actions is called a recipe and, in plain English looks something like this:
IF a tweet occurs with “wordpress” and “help” THEN send me an email with the tweet content and a link to the tweet.
When the recipe is activated, IFTTT watches Twitter for tweets containing “wordpress” and “help” in the same message and then emails me with the tweet. Some other recipes I use do the following:
IF a new Instagram by me THEN create a photo post on my personal blog with the Instagram photo.
IF a new Craigslist posting for a boat for sale in our area THEN send an email to my husband.
Getting Started with IFTTT
First you’ll need an account, so go to ifttt.com and click on Sign Up.
Next you’ll need to active your Twitter channel. Click on Channels (very top of page) and scroll down to Twitter. Follow the directions to log into and authenticate Twitter.
You can also add an SMS channel if you want to receive text messages. Just click on the SMS icon and follow the instructions.
Click on Create Recipe and then:
- Choose Trigger Channel – click on Twitter
- Choose a Trigger – click on “new tweet from search”
- Type in the keyword or keywords you want results from. I typed in: “wordpress” and “help” because I only wanted tweets with both words. For more information on advanced searches for Twitter click here.
- Click on Create Trigger.
- Click on That
- Decide how you want to be notified:
- Email: click on Email and then “Send Me an Email”.
- SMS: If you set up your phone as a Channel, then you can have a text message sent to your phone.
- Click on Create Action and you will see a summary of your recipe.
- If everything looks good, click on Create Recipe.
Your recipe will now run!
Limitations with IFTTT
IFTTT will limit the number of tweets that are returned during a time period, so you may not receive all of the tweets if you are using popular keywords. On the other hand, if it seems like you are getting too many tweets, try limiting your search parameters (see this). If you want to turn off the recipe altogether, the first icon on your personal recipes page will do that.