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Social Media and Online Tools automation using Zapier

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So what is Zapier?

Zapier is an online service that automates workflows between tools and apps. This is basically connecting two services by creating a “Zap.”

I have written a review about the not-so-the-same tool IFTTT, but they practically connect two apps. More about that blog post here:

 

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For this blog, we will use the free forever plan as this is intended for personal automation and to make things less busy. If you’re a business and needs more, their paid tiered plans are available.

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Features:

– With more than 750 apps, premium not included with the free tier.

– Tasks can set to run from 5 to 15 minutes automatically.

– Free plan can still get assistance from Zapier support.

– Intuitive and user-friendly site interface.

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To create a ZAP

Right after you sign-up for either the free plan or a 14-day free trial, you can immediately create a Zap. Simply browse or search for your preferred app to integrate.

Simply go to ‘Zaps’ > ‘Make a new Zap’.

Next is to select the first app for the trigger. You can either search, select from ‘Your Apps’, browse through the ‘Popular Apps’, and choose from ‘Zapier Utilities’.

I selected Facebook Pages for my trigger. This means that when there’s a new post on my page, it will initiate a workflow.

Then the Facebook page where the stream will be triggered.

Then the exact Facebook page.

After Zapier has tested this trigger, you’re done with step 1.

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Next is to set up the second app

Just select the app that will complete the action which the trigger has initiated. I have chosen Slack for the second app.

Then chose a specific action, in this Zap, the workflow will send a new message to my Slack Channel every time a new Facebook page post was triggered.

We need to specify the exact channel where the message will be sent. You can create a new channel through Slack and name it accordingly. In this case, I will choose ‘Offline Messages’.

You also need to setup the messages. By clicking on the insert field icon, it will list down all the available info to include in the message. This is basically composing the template or format of the message.

Selecting the details from the dropdown is like writing a message. Simply select anything that you think of feel is necessary

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And here’s how it will look like. Of course you may need a different information, so it varies.

The next fields are so easy to follow and setup, so just do anything as you see fit and hit ‘Continue’.

Zapier will run a final test to this workflow, you can skip, or if you click on ‘Create and Continue’ it will run the Zap. Once it’s finished, simply name the Zap and switch it on.

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To see if it really works!

Your latest Facebook page post’s details should be in a form of a message in your specified Slack channel. This is what it looks like on mine.

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10 Zaps to automate our Social Media workflow

I will be focusing mainly on my three favorite social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I have included workflows to connect them to some online tools such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Contacts, Google Sheets, Spotify, and Gmail.

1. Share new Gmail messages matching a search to Facebook

This works the same as Gmail search. So when you receive a new mail and it matches anything you specified in the search, it will automatically post it on Facebook. I use this to share coupons/discount offers, if I want to post an email from a specific address, if I receive a free event invitation, etc.

For more information on how to set up the Gmail search, you may refer to Google’s help article.

Search operators you can use with Gmail

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2. Post Dropbox photos to Facebook

The reason why I upload my pictures on Dropbox than directly post them on Facebook is to retain their original quality. Facebook employs a heavy compression for up to 90% and is continuously doing it to all the photos uploaded there. Well they don’t intend to be a photo repository or an archiver for high-quality photos.

While Dropbox can only store upto 2GB of files for their free plan, it is, in my opinion, decent enough to store and backup my photos without losing the quality.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account yet, please sign-up for one here.

3. Tweet at new Twitter followers

 

Remember when you follow someone/a business Twitter account, they immediately thanked you? Then you thought it was a bot? Well, we call it automations.

This Zap will even allow you to personalize your message through placeholders.

4. Add new posts you like on Instagram to Dropbox

This means that when you like an Instagram post, the image will be saved to your Dropbox. Except from stalking my Kpop, Jpop, and Thaipop idols, I also save some pictures that I might need like the style guru’s post. To sign-up to a free Dropbox account, please refer to this link.

5. Save Liked Instagram Photos to Sorted Google Drive Folders

This is similar to number 4, and for users who prefers Google Drive over Dropbox, this one is for you.

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6. Share Facebook Page posts on another Facebook Page

This Zap is for users who have multiple Facebook pages. You can share a post to your second account without leaving your main account. Though this only works for two accounts only – your main and one more.

7. Share Instagram Photos to Twitter Automatically

If you are into multiple social media, this Zap is for you. When your Instagram is already connected to Facebook, it automatically shares your pictures there, with this Zap, it will also post your pictures on Twitter, thus making your social media accounts updated with your status. 🙂

8. Create a new Google Contact when a new Twitter user follows

I have set this as an example on my IFTTT blog. We can also apply this to Facebook and Instagram. That is if you’d like to save your social media followers’ contact details.

9. Post new Spotify playlists to your Facebook timeline

The purpose of this Zap is the convenience of sharing your new Spotify playlist without manually doing it. While not all people are comfortable in sharing the music they listen to, there are of course those who’d like to share them to the world!

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10. Add new tracks in a Spotify playlist to a Google Sheet

This is one example of the things we can track using Google Sheet. We may never know when we will need them, but it’s better to have a spreadsheet list of things.

Wrapping up

Zapier is a wonderful online tool that automates a workflow so we don’t have to manually do them. So instead of manually saving our pictures from Facebook to Google Drive for backup and personal purposes, we can let Zapier to the job for us!

There are a few things to consider, unlike IFTTT, Zapier is geared more towards online tools or apps. So we will not see an automation for home appliances. Of course, both are targeted to their own specific market.

We also may need to consider the limitations of free plan:

  1. While it runs the Zaps every 15 minutes like the paid plans, it is limited to 5 Zapz at a time.
  2. Tasks are limited to 100 a month. These are when a piece of data were moved or that they have taken action.
  3. Because it is free, the access to the premium apps is not available.

Finally, if you have used, are using, and will be using Zapier, what is/are your favorite Zaps? Let me know in the comments below.

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About the author

Ernest Ducay Jr

Ernest Ducay Jr

Memra Project Admin

Loves green tea, dogs, and cats. I'm also a freelance WordPress site developer.

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