Archive for category: Social Productivity Hacks

Building a Searchable Database of your Twitter Followers

04 Oct
October 4, 2014

There are many reasons you may want to search your Twitter followers – common interests, to reach out to influencers, or potential customer issues to name a few.

One of Twitter’s great shortcomings though is an easy way to search through the details of those who are following you.

There are plenty of tools for analysing your Twitter base, but many rely on paid, or at the very least Freemium models to exist and require you to grant multiple account permissions to do so, or giving a courtesy tweet before you can access it.

I’ve been tinkering around with IFTTT again, and have put together a way of building an automated, searchable database using Twitter and Google Docs that catalogues followers as they follow you.

There are only two downsides to this method:

  • It won’t pick up any current followers
  • If someone unfollows you, they remain on the list


The IFTTT Recipe for Capturing Twitter Followers

First up, select Twitter as your trigger. If you’ve implemented some of my previous recipes (like this one), then you will already have this activated. If not, go ahead and authorise it. Once this is done, you will want to select the “New Follower” option.

Default Recipe

Default Recipe

Then under the Action, go to Google Drive. Again, if you haven’t authorised the channel previously, go ahead and do so. From here, select the “Add Row To Spreadsheet”.

You won’t need to create a new spreadsheet in Google Drive, the app will automatically do this the first time for you and then append future entries to it.

Once you have saved the recipe, go back into the edit function and remove any unneeded data you want sent to the sheet. As an example, by default it pulls in the user photo, so I edited the recipe to remove this.

Adjusted recipe

Adjusted recipe


Once activated and you being to amass followers, it begins to look something like this:

Screenshot 2014-10-06 22.10.11

A few other things to note – it will still pick up all the spammy accounts that follow you, and given they naturally drop off eventually, they will remain in your list. It’s a good idea to purge them manually

I also added a header row to the sheet so I can easily identify the information in each column.

From here, simply use Control F or Command F, depending on your OS, and search for anything in the sheet.

If you want to use this recipe yourself, just click on the Use button below.

IFTTT Recipe: Create a Database of Your Twitter Followers connects twitter to google-drive

Hope you find this useful.

PHOTO – adesigna via Flickr, used un Creative Commons

How To Automatically Save Every Link You Share In One Place

04 Sep
September 4, 2014

Did you know that 1 million links are shared every 20 minutes on Facebook?

Add to that the millions of links shared across Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other networks, and that is an overwhelming amount of information that people are pushing.

I share a lot of content each day, and one of the challenges I have found in the past is being able to easily recall where and when I shared information if I want to refer back to it.

Last week I shared an IFTTT recipe I use to capture ideas for blog posts, and this week I wanted to share a few more that I use to bring together all of the links I share into one easy to use repository. It’s not complex, and it creates a searchable index of all links you share across all the platforms you use.

My main networks are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, where I will reshare information I find in while browsing each platform. But I also use tools like Buffer to share links out.

You will need to be using Pocket to make it work (one of my favourite apps for managing throughput). It’s based on link posts shared to each network.

So what does the recipe look like?  Make sure you enable each platform in the IFTTT app, and make the trigger in each:

  • Facebook: New link post by you
  • LinkedIn: New shared link By you
  • Twitter: New link by you

In each case, the Action is the same:

  • Pocket: Save for later

The recipes should then look like this: facebooklinkrecipe twitterlinkrecipe

The Buffer recipe works in the same way, but is a little bit different. Because I always share to Twitter and the same link selectively to LinkedIn via Buffer, I have only set it up to capture a share to Twitter from here.


And that’s pretty much it. Now when you check back into your Pocket app, you will find the links you have shared socially, tagged with each platform they have been shared from.

PHOTO – C/N N/G via Flickr

A Handy IFTTT Recipe for Blog Ideas

18 Aug
August 18, 2014

I’m spending more time lately finding ways to make IFTTT work smarter for me to automate a whole bunch of tasks. For those not familiar with it, IFTTT allows you to create recipes – links between different channels that have a trigger and an action (hence the name IFTTT – If This Then That).

I often find stories online that I have a point of view on and want to write a post about. In the past, I have saved them to Pocket and come back to them at a later stage.

This takes me a step further. The recipe looks like this:


So the trigger for this is Pocket (you can also use Instapaper or any other Read Later service it supports), and you are going to link it to WordPress. If you haven’t previously activated these channels you will need to login to both via IFTTT to set them up and grant permissions.

recipeIn the recipe, you will want to designate a tag in Pocket to send posts to WordPress. Give it a tag of “blog” or “blog ideas”, or whatever is easiest and then add WordPress to the recipe and tell it to create a new post (this will be your only post option at this point).

The next piece is important.

You will need to make sure you edit the recipe once established – you want it to be a draft, otherwise you’re just publishing a post with the name and snippet of the article.

Click on the completed recipe in your list and then EDIT. Scroll down and there will be a “Post Status” box. Click on this and change to “Save As Draft”.draft

Now every time you add an article to Pocket with the tag ‘Blog’, it will automatically create a draft post in WordPress with reference to the original article so you can begin to build your posts around it.

Anyone else got some other great IFTTT recipes for blogging? Share them with me!

PHOTO – Casey Bisson