The RSS feed is one of the most useful tools to come out of the web 2.0 revolution, yet it is the most frequently misunderstood by professionals outside of the internet marketing industry. So I took it upon myself to explain 3 useful ways to distribute content with RSS (really simple syndication). After reading this post, I hope you have a better idea of what RSS feeds can do and how they can help you spread content across different websites and applications. Common Craft explains the power of RSS feeds in the video below:
1. Facebook Feed for Blog Posts
Even though the experts say that almost 99% of interactions with your Facebook Business Page happen in the newsfeed, it is still helpful to users by supplying interesting tabs. You can download an application called Networked Blogs. Once you add the application to your page, you will be able to add your RSS feed to the application, and voila! you have a special tab where users can view your most recent blog posts. For more information on how to install the application and control feed settings, visit the Networked Blogs Facebook Application Page
2. Twitter Feed for Monitoring Conversations in Netvibes
One of the most powerful aspects of Twitter is that you can monitor conversations based around keyword themes. As a manager of social media, listening to the conversations from your target audiences is a key tactic within a successful social media strategy. What you will want to do is go to Twitter’s Advance Search and set up several keyword themes you will want to monitor. Once you see the results page, there will be an RSS Icon and the description “Feed for this query”. You will want to right click on the feed link and copy.
Now you should go to your Netvibes account and create a new tab for a listening dashboard. Go to the top left and click on the green button that says “Add content”. Right below the button, you will want to click on the “Add feed” link. From there, all you have to do is paste the Twitter feed address that you originally copied in Twitter’s Advance Search. You can do the same process for as many Twitter searches as you need. Check out this great tutorial video for adding RSS feeds to Netvibes.
3. Google Alerts for Monitoring Brand and Keyword Mentions
If you want to get a better idea of the overall conversations happening about your brand and keywords, Google offers a free service called Google Alerts. When you get to the main screen, in “Search terms” type in the keyword phrase that you want to monitor. In “Type” choose Everything or a specific type of content that you would like to monitor (i.e. Video). I always recommend to choose “as-it-happens” for how often the content gets delivered since it will be in a feed. For Volume, I usually choose everything, as sometimes you will miss important results if you choose “Only the best results”. Now the important part: You will want to choose “feed” instead of your Gmail address. Lastly, click on “Create Alert”.
Once you get to the next page, you will want to right click on the orange feed link and follow the Netvibe instructions from above. If you are loyal to Google, you can use Google Reader to do everything that Netvibes does, but I personally like Netvibe’s interface and functionality. Feel free to try Google Reader for your needs. You might like it better.
There are many other ways that you can deploy RSS feeds into your social media activities, but these are the ones that Social Media HQ has found most valuable for us and our clients.
Do you have any other creative ways that you use RSS feeds? We want to hear your ideas!