IFTTT and Twitter

This started out by creating a ‘retweet bot’ that would take the content from a specific user and (I thought) retweet it on my account.  I went through the extremely easy interface (kudos) and set up this retweet bot.  Then I went to Twitter to see the sparks fly…. and nothing was happening.  I missed the IFTTT disclaimer that these applets may take up to hour to get started so I jumped back over and clicked the “check now” button that gets everything moving immediately.  To my delight, it worked and my twitter account was firing off great information, infographics, and articles about all things techy (read all things I like).  And it was fast too!

( *Disclaimer: I’ve been aware of IFTTT for over a year now but I’ve never put it to any real use.  I’ve added a few applets that I can trigger from my phone or watch and I’ve run a few automated processes, but nothing enterprise level or for a business.  I was aware that it could be used for things like retweets and Facebook integrations but had not dived in until today.  I found, to my delight and horror, that this bot programming platform was extremely efficient.   I thought this would be simple.  I was wrong.  )

It was automating retweets within minutes of the tweet and everything was going up on my analytics card from all the increased activity.  Then I noticed a slight flaw.  IFTTT wasn’t retweeting like you would imagine on the Twitter platform.  It was copying all the text and posting it on it’s own, essentially plagiarizing the original author and making it look like original content coming from my account.  On top of that, some of the content wasn’t coming through correctly.  I decided to add the original username in front of the post to accommodate this flaw and something else weird started happening.  When all 140 characters were used in the original tweet, my tweet would truncate the end of the message.  I ended up with weird hashtags like #InternetOfThin #BigDat and #DataVisu which doesn’t work at all.  Time to switch gears because tweeting the text of my target account wasn’t getting me anywhere.

I changed up the tweet formula to post the username of my targets, a short static blurb, and a link to the original tweet.  This worked well and I was happy enough with the result that I wanted to replicate it on our Auximiti Twitter feed.  I had the Auximiti account sending out great information about all things tech.

Next, I started to connect the miniature twitter storm I was creating to my personal account, the exact same way I had just set everything up.  What this ended up doing is causing my personal account to send out tweet after tweet that simply referenced the Auximiti account putting out tweet after tweet about its target content producers for it’s audience.  The message was “Check Out This Tweet!” and it showed another tweet that said “Check Out This Tweet!”  It wasn’t going any further to show what the first retweet content was in the first place.  This wasn’t good so I fumbled through the rest of the retweet options available.  None of them worked.

Eventually I gave up and came here to sound a warning about multiple retweet bot chains using IFTTT.  It doesn’t work.  I still have high hopes for the IFTTT platform and its integration with the Internet of Things which is what many people and companies are using it for. As far as automating your social media presence, it’s just one small tool out of the many you will need to be successful on social media.  My end solution?  Manually use my personal account, as I always have, and let the company account run on its automated system from WordPress (which includes posting from here when new articles are written).

If you haven’t used IFTTT, I recommend giving it a spin.  It is fun and it can do some pretty helpful stuff too.