ifttt-buffer-gmail

Use IFTTT + Buffer to update all your social media profiles

There are a bunch of options for updating multiple social media profiles at the same time. Many of the best ones cost money, and many of the free ones don’t work all that well.

I need a way to update Lawyerist‘s Twitter feed, Facebook page, LinkedIn group, and Google+ page with each new post. I was using a hodgepodge of options for a long time, including FeedBurner for Twitter, Twitterfeed for the Facebook page, and updating the LinkedIn group and Google+ page manually. This worked, but not well. I couldn’t always get LinkedIn and Google+ updated on time, and Twitterfeed recently stopped updating our Facebook page altogether. Plus, our analytics were spread all over the place.

The other day, I was poking around in my IFTTT and Buffer accounts, and I think I finally found a pretty-close-to-perfect solution.

If you don’t know, IFTTT (If This, Then That) is sort of like the missing API for the Internet. It connects dozens of services to each other. For example, IFTTT keeps an eye on my Flickr account and updates Twitter (and, formerly, Facebook) whenever I post a new public photo on Flickr. Or you could set it to send you a text message whenever it is going to rain. There are 60 “channels” you can plug into IFTTT “recipes” as of this writing, so there are a lot of possibilities.

Buffer is a tool for updating your social media profiles. You can tie it into Twitter, Facebook (including Facebook pages), LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Google+ pages, and App.net. There is a convenient Chrome extension and a secret email address for adding to your Buffer on the fly. Buffer makes it easy to schedule updates. You just fill up your Buffer queue, and it takes care of spreading out your updates through the day. With the free version of Buffer, you can have up to three accounts, and your Buffer can contain up to 10 items. Or, you can have Buffer post right away.

Among the channels in IFTTT is Buffer, but that’s not actually how I do it. That’s because the Buffer channel only lets you post to one of your Buffer accounts. I wanted to update all of them at once. To do that, I use Gmail.

Here is how to set it up:

  1. In Buffer, make sure all the social media profiles you want updated are set to update by default. To do this, just make sure there is a check next to each one in your Buffer dashboard.
  2. In IFTT, make sure your Gmail and Feed channels are turned on.
  3. Now, create a new recipe.
  4. For this, select the Feed Channel, and choose the New feed item box. Then, enter your blog’s RSS feed.
  5. Click the Create Trigger button.
  6. For that, select the Gmail Channel, and choose the Send an email box.
  7. For the To: address, use your secret Buffer email address.
  8. For the subject, use {{EntryTitle}}. (You can copy and paste from here, or you can customize each field using the + button.)
  9. For the body, use {{EntryUrl}}<br>@now (the <br> creates a new line in the email, and the @now signal tells Buffer to send updates immediately, instead of adding them to your Buffer queue).
  10. Click the Create Action button, give your recipe a description, and click the Create Recipe button.

You’re done! Now, whenever a new item appears in your RSS feed, IFTTT will update Buffer, which will update all your default social media profiles.

2014-02-26 Updated to reflect Buffer’s support for Google+ pages.

22 thoughts on “Use IFTTT + Buffer to update all your social media profiles

  1. I currently send all of my Twitter updates through to Facebook using the Facebook Twitter app (which, sensibly, doesn’t post @ replies on Facebook). The primary reason I hardly ever use Google Plus is because there’s no reliable tool to crosspost my Twitter updates to Google+ (at least there wasn’t many moons ago when I last looked).

    1. Although I’m currently on hiatus from Facebook, I’ve gone back and forth on whether I think Twitter and Facebook should be tied together. In the end, I wound up posting separately to each. For me, at least, Facebook and Twitter are very different places with very different audiences, and I rarely want to put the same post in both places.

      Plus, when I see people using Twitter to post to Facebook, I rarely take the time to like or comment, because I assume they are using Twitter, not Facebook, and are less likely to see my response.

      I suppose it depends on who you have in your networks, though, and how you want to use them. I don’t mean to say I don’t think it is appropriate to feed personal tweets to your Facebook profile, just that I wound up deciding not to.

  2. I’ve been searching for this kind of solution for some time! Annoying as hell that IFTTT only supports one Buffer channel, this is a great workaround. Thanks for posting.

  3. Thanks, this helped me greatly posting marked content from a feed to a Facebook & Google+ page. Kept Twitter in ifttt=>buffer, with Twitters post length limit only article title & url are posted.

  4. It seems that you really can schedule posts to Google Plus from IFTTT.

    Specify a trigger as a Feed, WordPress blog, Tumblr blog, Delicious, or with any other app you want to use for sharing a link.

    Set your action as either an Email or Gmail.

    In the To: box, add your buffer app email address.

    Add a title in the Subject: box.

    In the Body:, enter {{EntryUrl}} or whatever other URL coding you must use.

    Under the URL, enter @p followed by the name of your Google Plus page. For example: @profiles My GP

    I got this information from Buffer’s own email guide (http://bufferapp.com/guides/email). However, I sent them an email because I have a few questions about differentiating my social profiles that happen to have the same name. Let me know if the above tips worked for you.

  5. Thanks Sam. Exactly what I was looking for when I was trying to setup IFTTT with Buffer and saw I could only use one channel (on the free version at least). Much appreciated.

    1. Yup tried and tested works a treat – a warning to others… sometimes take a while to kick in – I waited nearly an hour for the post to appear across my social media networks

  6. Hi great post and workaround. My twist is I point my multiple Blogs RSS Feeds to Feedly – Then use Feedly as my RSS input source – for IFTTT. – Then use Gmail as you listed. 2 quick questions or observations – Should I assume its just an update on IFTTT as there is no {{EntryUrl}} but only a {{SourceTitle}} parameter in IFTTT and the @now I assume is a preference not mandatory because I want to use the scheduling feature in Buffer and I didn’t see why you went with @Now. Can I just leave it off and it will work? Love the oost and thanks save me lots of heartache.

    1. You could also try using Yahoo Pipes to combine all your feeds into one custom merged feed and use that as the source in your IFTTT recipe. Then you wouldn’t need Feedly as an intermediary.

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