Zapier, the Dude with answers for everyone.

Introduction

Considering that the Public Relations job is very time consuming, due to its nature, receiving information from many sources and consequently sending messages for a great number of people, the PR professional is aware of the fact that he is in constant contact with traditional media and all the non-traditional ones, including social media. It’s normal to think there are simpler ways to get in touch with everyone else in a shorter amount of time.
Zapier software consists in an application that offers a great deal of help for Public Relations and communication professionals. It allows the automation of a number of tasks that are important for the job and simultaneously provides the connection with the particular community, involved in communication of a global scale. Zapier provides the following features:

  • Synchronization with Google Calendar
  • Public sharing of apps that have been integrated
  • Setup of a sequence of triggers and actions
  • Automatic and on-going maintenance of the APIs of integrated apps
  • On-going synchronization of integrated apps
  • Instantaneous ON/OFF Zap control
  • Easy connected accounts management
  • Automation of repetitive tasks
  • An online user community
  • An online developer portal for app developers

Source: http://crm.walkme.com/extensive-zapier-review/ acquired at April 14 of 2016.

http://zapier.com/

Communication Platforms

Zapier provides links with a large number of platforms such as: Facebook pages, Typeform, Google Sheets, Trello, Google Calendar, Gmail, MailChimp, Slack, Evernote, Twitter, Dropbox, Google Drive, Salesforce, RSS by Zapier, Email by Zapier, Webhooks by Zapier, Wufoo,WordPress, Pipedrive, Google Contacts, Podio, Asana, Basecamp 2, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, GitHub, Zoho CRM, HubSpot, Zendesk, Gravity Forms, HipChat, Linkedin, Jira, Instagram, Google Tasks, QuickBooks Online, Email Parser by Zapier, SMS by Zapier, Twilio, Evenbrite, Office 365, OneDrive, Todoist, Smartsheet, Google Docs, Facebook, GoToWebinar, Xero, Schedule by Zapier and MySQL.
This new tool gives the client the possibility to make is own “Zaps!”, they can do it in MyZaps and the user can make its own choice through the use of Triggers, to either add a new page or through Actions create photo, change profile photo or also create post.
Considering the large number of options that Zapier provides to the client, it’s up to him to make the choices that he considers more useful for the information management. The Public Relations professional has certainly a list of tasks and contacts that he considers important and useful to use on a regular base. Contacts with newspapers, social media, emails to clients in one hand, and also the possibility to receive news that concerns his interests, avoiding to spend time making research and getting information that isn’t necessary for his regular job or interests.
Zapier provides the possibility to create links among different platforms that are considered as a prime choice for the user, also gives the possibility to change previews, meaning that it’s possible on regular bases to make new lists that are the most useful for the work based on the needs that are supposed to be achieved by the user.
For the new user the most important step is to understand which platforms are more useful for the tasks he needs to perform. By this we mean that he needs to use two particular buttons called “trigger” and “action”. When you’re using trigger the user is going to choose which platform is going to work with, making a connection between the worksheet in Zapier with the platform of his choice. Next he’s going to use action to ask the software for a particular task, diversified, because it includes automatic answers, automatic posts and is considered a TIME SAVER. The user doesn’t need to be constantly in and out of the platform to check what is going on in social media, as an example Twitter- Facebook, since the follow-up on firms, clients, particular subjects is done with less research time.
Another example of Zapier best use is when you receive an order form, from any type of platform and you want this order to be directly connected with the sales force in the company. This way each time a customer confirms an order through a different platform than Zapier, it’s possible that the sales department has instant information about this entry and starts the follow-up of the order.
We found that connecting Google Spreadsheet plus Sezion it’s possible to automatically make videos which can be sent as email attachments to customers which is a good way to improve sales.
Zapier is also an important help for project managers, instead of making separate task list for each team member is possible to use a single sheet that is sent to everybody and ask Zapier that through Action the division of tasks for each member will be done automatically when you put in the same sheet the information “assigned to”.
For us particularly WordPress users it’s possible to use WordPress as Trigger and another application that makes the connection among the different social media like Buffer.
We can find this link http://zapier.com/learn/101-ways-to-use-zapier where we can find an eBook with all types of instructions about how to use Zapier considering they give everybody the option to use over 200 different web services.
We have found a huge number of platforms that can be used within Zapier, some of them unknown to Europeans, but the general opinion about Zapier is that “he is the dude with answers for everyone”.

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Source: https://www.process.st/checklist/process-street-user-guide

In the above image is possible to check the different tasks available to the user and the connections that are available depending on the purpose.

Competitors

There are a lot of diversified offers in the software market which are competing directly with Zapier, namely IFTTT and PieSync. Current users of this new platforms inform us that though this two options are also important they have different tips of end users. The IFTTT user will prefer to connect with social media, the company says that they have a better degree of synchronising the information than Zapier itself.
PieSync is a direct competitor with Zapier it’s also conceived for business use and the firm inform us that the capacity to synchronize information it’s much bigger than the one presented by Zapier, considering this one has possibilities in terms of automation but doesn’t guaranty synchronization between platforms with the same quality level.
During our research we found that the offer in terms of this type of product is getting bigger every day, but since the application performance and utility depends a lot on the user type of work it’s up to which firm to make the right choice which can turn out to be an important decision to the firm.

Conclusion

In order to achieve the best use of this new tool, we have checked that it requires some training, in order to coordinate the firm’s needs and considering that for business purposes Zapier requires payment, it will be necessary to know exactly which ACTIONS will be more important to each firm. Later make a final decision, considering other possible options.
Like any other product, Zapier can be evaluated trough comparing pros and cons, we found reviews that call our attention that some applications available in Zapier require paid plans and that the customer support is only made by phone for the BusinessPlus plans. Also the fact that the Zap feature takes 15 minutes each, is considered a problem for free and basic plan users (www.itclick.com/zapier/feedback), acquired at April 15 of 2016.

 

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