If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time (almost five years!) of blogging, it’s that it takes a lot of time and work to do all the things. Not only do we read the books, but we review them and we rave (or rant) about them on social media. We take photos of them to further promote on platforms like Instagram because Facebook isn’t what it once used to be. You might feel the pressure to be on EVERY social media platform, but how do make time to do it all? The struggle is real and I’m always looking for cool tools to help me be more efficient and productive.
One of my recent favorite timesavers is IFTTT (If This Then That). Since I turned my once mixed Instagram account into a full on bookish account, I find that I spend a lot more time planning, taking and posting photos than I do reading. (And that doesn’t even count the time I spend liking, commenting and otherwise interacting with other readers, bloggers and bookstagrammers.) BUT, I love it. I’ve always been interested in photography and, of course, I love books. Bookstagram is basically the perfect combination of my two loves.
Instagram allows you to post automatically to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Which is great and all, but I want more. First off, I hate that the autopost to Twitter is just a few words from the caption and a link. What’s that about? We all know how important visuals are. Plus, you’re a photo service… why wouldn’t the PHOTO post to Twitter like it does Facebook or Tumblr? Why can’t I automatically share my Instagram photos to Pinterest? These frustrations led me to Google to see if I could find a way to further automate my Instagram process. Which ultimately led me to IFTTT!
The topic of social media and not having time to do all the things came up in one of my bookish chat groups the other day and I mentioned my love of IFTTT. No one else was familiar with it, so I thought it might be fun if I showed you how I use IFTTT to bookstgram more efficiently!
IFTTT offers a ton of pre-made applets for linking up basically anything you can think of, but I’m pretty selective in the ones I use. I only have three activated currently — two to push Instagram to Pinterest and one to push Instagram to Twitter. Definitely click around in the site and see if there’s anything that interests you, though. You might be surprised by what you find.
There are a couple ways to find applets on IFTTT. You can filter by service (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) if you want to see all the options or you can search by what you’re trying to do (Instagram to Twitter) if you know what you’re looking for. Once you select one, you’ll be prompted to link up your social media accounts. Then you just turn on the applet and wait for the magic to happen.
But, anywho. My three applets.
First up: publish Instagram posts as photos on Twitter.
No special settings here. Just turn it on and decide whether or not you want notifications when the applet runs.
Now, my Instagram posts look like this on Twitter:
Big improvement over how it looks if you share from the Instagram app, huh?
The other applet I use is actually one I mixed myself because I wasn’t having luck with any version already available. I have two copies of this one because I’m trying to do two different things here. ONE: push photos tagged with #bookstagram to my Bookstagrams album on Pinterest. TWO: push photos tagged with #bookreview to my In Review album on Pinterest.
You can set up these customized applets on the website or the app, just go to My Applets and click “New Applet”. It’s pretty intuitive, I think, but here’s a set of screenshots to walk you through it.
1. Click “+this” to add the first ingredient.
2. Select the source service. (Instagram, in this case, which isn’t shown in this screenshot.)
3. Select what triggers the action. (In this case, “new photo by you with specific hashtag”.)
4. Which hashtag do you want to use? (#bookstagram for this example.)
5. Click “+that” to add the second ingredient.
6. Select the action service. (Pinterest, in this case, which isn’t shown in this screenshot.)
7. Choose the action. There’s only one option for Pinterest.
8. Fill out this information on the next screen. Basically all you need to do is pick the board you want the photo to show up on. The other info is filled out by default. I didn’t touch any of that.
9. Click “Create Action”.
10. Click “Finish”.
I repeated the steps above to create my second Instagram to Pinterest applet, #bookreview to In Review.
That’s it! I know it looks like a lot of steps, but honestly, it’s like 4 minutes of your time to set up once. Totally worth it for me.
That’s what it looks like on Pinterest, btw. The caption isn’t perfect, but I do love that it takes the first few words and then pulls some hashtags from the text. And it links back to my Instagram photo and, really, that’s all that matters, right?
The only thing that might be frustrating to some is that it does take some time for the applets to run and push your posts off to other social media. But, let’s be honest, I don’t need that Instagram photo posting to Pinterest immediately. Especially if I don’t have to do a thing for it to cross-post. It can wait an hour. I don’t mind. Because, truthfully, if it was up to me to post it manually, I’d never do it. *shrug*
I hope you found this helpful! And, if you’re not following me on Instagram, you should. 🙂
Have you ever used any IFTTT applets?
Which are your favorites?
Do you use any cool tools to make your bookstagram life easier?