The Pros and Cons of Using RSS Feeds to Automate Social Media
Using RSS feeds to push your blog posts and/or other content to your social media pages can be a convenient way to ensure that your followers learn about your latest posts. However, using RSS feeds in this manner isn’t without controversy. Below are a few of the pros and cons to keep in mind.
The Pros of Using RSS Feeds
First, let’s look at the advantages:
- Automation – Setting up RSS feeds so that your blog posts are automatically announced on your social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook saves you time and effort. If you would normally post manual links each time you publish a blog post, using an RSS feed to automate the process allows you to focus on other tasks such as interacting with other social media users or even writing your next post.
- Set it and forget it – Once set up, everything happens automatically. You’ll never forget to mention your latest blog post again.
- Focus – You can also set up your RSS feeds so that only those in a specific category or those tagged with a specific word are fed to your profiles. For example, if you blog about cars in general and run a Facebook page focused on Honda cars, you could set up your RSS feed so that only those blog posts tagged with the word “Honda” appear on your Facebook page. You could also use RSS feeds from others (such as news from car manufacturer) and adopt a similar strategy.
The Cons of Using RSS Feeds
Now let’s look at the downside of using RSS feeds:
- Automation – Too much automation can backfire. Social media users want to follow real people, not robots that aggregate information. Make sure to use RSS feeds sparingly. While you’re at it, adjust the publication settings so that a maximum of one or two posts can be published in a single day. This way, your social media sites won’t get bombarded with post after post after post.
- Duplication – If you have followers that follow you on Facebook and Twitter and you automatically send your blog posts to both social media profiles, those followers will see your blog post twice. They may feel that there’s no point in following you on both profiles. To avoid this problem, use tags or categories to divert some posts to Twitter and others to Facebook.
- You may not be online and ready to respond once posted – If your Facebook or Twitter account posts a link to your blog and your followers have immediate questions or comments, you really need to be available to interact — that’s the whole point, right? To avoid this potential problem, make sure to set up your automatic RSS feed to occur at a specific time of day when you’re more likely going to be able to respond.
Using RSS feeds to share your blog posts can be a good strategy as it allows you to set it and forget it while keeping your social media page updated with current, relevant information. But it can backfire, too, if you overdo it. Use sparingly, respond promptly to comments, and keep your followers engaged.