One of the neat things about blogs is the ability to pull your latest blog posts using an RSS feed. Once enabled you can then use your blog’s RSS feeds to feed your social media sites. This is a great way to make sure that your followers know that you’ve published new content on your blog.
What is RSS and What is an RSS Feed?
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” A family of RSS formats exist, making it possible for websites and blogs to create RSS documents that include either full or summarized text along with other information such as a blog post’s author’s name and date. Users can subscribe to RSS feeds using a web-based feed reader or a feed reader app.
Uses for RSS Feeds
You can use RSS feeds in many ways. For example, using an RSS feed reader, you can subscribe to an RSS feed and receive the latest entries as soon as they are posted. Rather than visiting your favorite individual blog sites to keep up, simply subscribe and get notified anytime a new blog post is published.
Many bloggers and webmasters also use RSS feeds as a means of adding supplemental content to their pages. For instance, have you ever seen a website that has a section with the most current headlines and blurbs? If you’ve ever wondered who has the time to manually enter the latest headlines, and keep them current, on a website or blog, wonder no more. It’s not manual labor; it’s an RSS feed.
You can also use RSS feeds to let your social media followers know that you have just published a new blog post.
Using RSS Feeds to Feed Social Media Accounts
If you have just one social media account, such as Facebook, setting up a blog feed to update your Facebook page is fairly straightforward. You’ll need to use a Facebook app such as RSS Graffiti to do this. If you don’t want to use RSS Graffiti, search in Facebook for other RSS apps. Using RSS Graffiti as an example, sign into your personal Facebook account, click on Apps, and search for RSS Graffiti. Once found, click on it to go to the app’s page. Click on Create New Publishing Plan. Add a “source” which would be your blog’s RSS feed address. This is typically a URL that looks like: http://www.example.com/feed or http://www.example.com/rss. Next, add a target. This is where you’ll choose the appropriate Facebook business page. Follow the prompts and selection your preferences to complete your plan. The next time you publish a blog post, RSS Graffiti will work its magic and push it to your Facebook page.
To push your blog’s RSS feed to Twitter, you’ll need another service. Again, many exist. You might try TwitterFeed.com which can be used to publish RSS feeds to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. Again, this is a fairly straightforward process.
However, it becomes more complicated when you want to use your RSS feed across multiple profiles. Sure, you could set both Facebook and Twitter up with the same identical feed, but that can become redundant. For example, if you have users that follow both profiles, those users will see identical updates on both Facebook and Twitter. Not only will it become obvious that you’re automating your updates, it will also become boring.
To overcome this problem, consider using different category feeds from your blog. For example, let’s say your blog has two categories: home improvement tips and interior design tips. You could push new home improvement tips to Twitter and new interior design tips to Facebook. This way, your Twitter followers will see different updates than your Facebook followers. Those who follow you on both social media sites will receive both updates without redundancy. To do this, you’ll need to find the RSS feed address for your individual categories. In WordPress, the format is: http://example.com/category/category-name/feed. Similarly, you could do this based on tags. In WordPress, the format for tags is: http://example.com/tag/tag/feed.
RSS feeds are a great way to share your content across social media sites. Use them smartly to add some automatic content to your social media profiles.