How to automate your ‘business life’ online

Imagine if you could automate a big chunk of your ‘business life’ online.

If instead of checking Twitter every 5 minutes for new followers, you could relax and watch the tele. If instead of having logging into multiple social networking sites to communicate with potential buyers you could set it to happen automatically.

Well, here’s something which could save you a HUGE amount of time and hassle.

The best bit is it’s free.

It’s an online tool that acts as your very own virtual PA happily firing off emails, posting tweets or Facebook updates in response to certain ‘trigger events’ which you specify.

It’s like your own personal robot managing some of those time consuming (but essential) online tasks…

I know this sounds a bit science fiction but bear with me.

If you’re an Internet Marketer or an entrepreneur of any sort you need to be using social media. Like it or loathe it potential buyers expect brands and trusted companies to have an online presence.

The problem is your Facebooks, your Twitters, your Google Pluses – they all need a lot of upkeep if they’re to work effectively.

First there are all the different logins and passwords to remember… then there’s the monitoring… the posting. If you have to log in to different social networking sites every time you want to communicate a new offer to clients it can eat away at your time.

There are some things that’ll always require the personal touch but for everything else there’s this clever new website.

It’s called ‘If This Then That’. It might look unassuming but let me run through some of the areas of your online life it can automate for you.

This could save you a lot of time maintaining your online presence.

1. Multipost across different social media platforms automatically. Want to post your updates on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus at the same time? You can set this to automatically post your updates across any combination of the major platforms.

2. Greet and thank any new followers you get on Twitter automatically. You can set this so that every time you get a new follower it’ll automatically tweet a thank you message (of your choosing). It’ll even include their name.

I did this with the new Insider’s Edge Twitter. You can see it working for yourself. Just log in to Twitter and then ‘follow’ here:

Insider’s Edge on Twitter

(Within 15 minutes you should see a message appear on here thanking you).

3. Automatically tweet every time a new post is added to your website – This is a brilliant one for anyone with a WordPress site. It’s a zero effort way to push traffic from your Twitter account back to your website. People see that you’ve uploaded a new article, follow the link and bang, you’ve just increased your traffic.

And it’s not just useful for the business stuff.

You can also…

4. Have websites automatically send you an email from their RSS feed each morning. Great if you prefer reading the headlines from your inbox, rather than having to visit individual sites. For example you could have BBC News email you the morning’s headlines each day.

5. Automatically download Facebook photos you’re tagged in to your DropBox folder. Bit of a quirky one this, but good for folk who complain they never have a decent photo of themselves. Every time someone tags you in Facebook, the photo’s saved into your folder.

(By the way, if you’re not using DropBox yet and have no idea what I’m talking about – you can see my article on it here. It’s a fantastic tool).

These are just examples of 5 tasks you can automate. If you take a look on the site you’ll see dozens more. You can also fashion all sorts of weird and wonderful bespoke automations using the ‘Create Task’ feature.

And in case you’re wondering, it’s called ‘If This Then That’, because that’s how the site works (in a literal sense). You make ‘if –> then’ commands.

The ‘recipes’ section on the site shows you popular automated tasks that people have already created. With those it’s literally just a case of authorising it to access Twitter, Facebook, DropBox (whichever site you want involved) and then following the simple steps.

It took me approximately 30 seconds to do the Twitter one.

I’m a big fan of this concept and I think it’s one to keep tabs on. It’s only just launched and the scope for developments and further integration is massive.

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