June 19, 2014

Automating Facebook and other Web Apps via Zapier

Filed under: Automation — Marcus Tettmar @ 12:09 pm

A while back someone was looking for a way to post from a macro to a facebook page. A few methods were mentioned. There’s another one which is easy and reliable and that is to use Zapier.com. I’ve made a video here to demonstrate how to set it up:

But this demonstrates a lot more potential than just posting stuff to Facebook. Facebook is really just an example. Zapier supports a huge array of other web apps, including help desk systems, CRM systems, email, google docs, popular accounting platforms and a lot more besides. The same principle as used in my video above can be used for those too. So if for example you wanted a macro to create an Invoice in Freshbooks. No problem.

So instead of having to automate the front end of these web apps or spend the time or pay a programmer to work with their API directly, Zapier is a simple solution which sits in the middle. They have a free plan too.

It would also be possible to work the other way and get data OUT of web apps. There are a number of ways to do that including writing to a MySQL database (which Macro Scheduler could read) and saving text/CSV files to a dropbox folder (which Macro Scheduler could read), sending emails (which Macro Scheduler could retrieve) and so forth. Maybe that’s another video.

I’m sure you can come up with some other cool ideas. How about: Running a macro via SMS.

You get a Twilio account with a twilio number. Set up a ZAP which responds to a new SMS sent to your Twilio number and saves a file in a dropbox folder. Have the body of the message saved to the file. You have a macro which is set up on a new file trigger.

So when Macro Schedueler sees a new file in the dropbox folder it runs a macro, which reads the body of the newest file and then parses out the name of the macro it needs to run …

Now you can run macros remotely on your machine from your mobile phone via SMS 🙂