Nearly every social media marketer out there is looking for ways to automate their social media channels to grow them with as little effort as possible. However, the challenge is doing so without lowering one’s quality standards or descending into the waters of spam, an obstacle that’s more difficult to overcome than it may seem.
Despite all of this, RSS social media feeds, if used properly, could be the extra oomph your social media growth strategy needs. Simply put, having a subscription model has the potential to not only get more eyeballs on the content you’re publishing, your sales count could massively benefit from it as well. Think about it – someone who is an existing subscriber of yours is a warmed-up prospect and thus much more likely to take the next step of becoming a paying customer.
Now what if we were to combine this simple formula with the social media channels where you’re already posting? For instance, if you’re already active on Facebook, you should certainly consider implementing the RSS feed for Facebook posts. If, on the other hand, you only have a website, we’ll show you some quick and easy RSS social media hacks; with these, you can have your website automatically post to your social media networks without you lifting a finger.
Sounds exciting? Then let’s dive right into it!
The basics: what is RSS?
RSS is by no means a new technology. In fact, it dates back to 1999 when it was introduced by Netscape, a popular browser at the time. However, it wasn’t until a couple of years later that a group of savvy marketers started using it for the purposes of syndicating content online.
Under the lid, the technology is pretty straightforward. Think of it like a detector of fresh content. Traditionally, you’d have to refresh a page to see if new content was posted from the time of your last visit. With the help of RSS, there’s no need, given the webmaster has implemented it – your browser would notify you automatically.
On their own, website and social media RSS feeds reduce plenty of manual labor to the bare minimum, allowing the reader to be notified as soon as a fresh piece of content is out and ready for consumption. But what if we told you there’s more to RSS social media feeds and how you can utilize them to take some of the work off your shoulders in your social media marketing?
Keep on reading to find out how!
“Double dipping” your posts by integrating RSS feed functionality into your CMS
Wait, wasn’t this post supposed to be aimed at social media marketing? If so, what does running your own website with its standalone CMS like WordPress have to do with anything? The answer is: a lot. Patience, we’ll share everything you need to know.
As a savvy digital marketer, you already know the importance of casting your net wide and expanding your reach. In a traditional sense of the word, this would mean pouring twice as much energy into your social media marketing campaigns by, for example, starting a new channel on a whole new social media platform. However, with time being such a precious and limited resource, some would rather pour all their effort into maintaining and growing a single channel, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But what if we were to let you in on a secret and tell you that you could “double dip” on your content creation efforts? The idea is to write a post once, post it on your website, and then automatically have it be reposted on social media via RSS, either in its original form or slightly altered with the help of AI.
Even if you decide to post it as is, there is no duplicate content penalty you need to worry about on social media channels, quite unlike what is the case on Google. And technically, your post would go out on your website first, so that effectively takes care of that problem (it would be seen as the original). The only thing that should be a concern to you is that you aren’t infringing on anyone’s trademarks or copyright (which you won’t be, assuming you’ve written the content yourself).
The great news is that most CMS solutions out there support integrating an RSS feed with ease, especially WordPress. So if the technical aspect of implementing it is sending shivers down your spine, knowing this is going to take a huge weight off your shoulders. At least that’s the general idea. We’ll give you the rundown of all the technicalities below.
Technically, for RSS feeds to pick it up, you’re going to need to structure your content in a specific way – in XML format, that is. The reason being is that RSS readers require it to be written this way to understand it. For example, they need to know what part of your content is the title and what part represents the body of the article.
Just don’t start panicking! Again, all the technical aspects of this are taken care of by the CMS itself and possibly some free plugins if you want to extend upon the core functionality of what you can access by default. This means that, as long as you have the basic proficiency of writing the title in the title input box and the actual meat and potatoes of the article in the main body (all while using subheadings where necessary), that’s just about everything it takes to make your website RSS-ready.
In addition to being able to cross-post your content to social media this way, it will also make your readers’ lives easier when it comes to being notified about new content being posted. If you’re running WordPress, chances are your RSS feed is already live. To test, enter the following URL:
While doing this, make sure your blog’s full installation path is in there. So if you’ve installed it to yourdomain.com/blog, the URL you need to enter would look like this:
This is where you should find your RSS feed presented as XML as we’ve talked about. If, for any reason, it’s not there or you’re using a different CMS, there’s likely a plugin out there you can install with one click and that will take care of your RSS compatibility woes.
Getting your RSS feeds published on social media
Now that you’ve finally set everything up and running on the technical side, you’re ready to take the next step of populating your social media channels with content! That’s the exciting part and Ocoya will get you right where you need to be.
That’s right – once you’ve managed to set up your website’s RSS feeds, Ocoya can help you automate the rest and we’ll walk you through the steps, the first one of which is to navigate to the app’s main page. On your left, you will see a tab that says ‘Automation’. Click it.
You can set up your shiny new RSS automation in two ways, either by clicking the highlighted button in the upper left section or the one down below. Either is fine as they will both take you to the same destination.
On the next screen, you’re going to be asked to name your campaign. There are no hard rules here, just make sure that it’s something that makes sense to you and that you will be able to remember what each of these campaigns does if you’re planning to have more than one.
In the section down below, you will also notice a menu that lets you select the type of automation you want to implement. This can be:
- Action link
- RSS automation
- Regular automation
- A/B testing
At the time of writing, not all of these are supported quite yet, but they are high on our priority list and we will get them to you ASAP. As you can see, one of these automatically posts to your social media as soon as one of your blog posts goes live on your website. If that’s the one you want to select, Ocoya will simply take you through the steps.
If, on the other hand, you have your own social media management tool and you want a little bit of extra control regarding when and how you want your posts to go live, you’re going to want to select ‘Action link’. This is what we’ll be focusing on throughout the rest of our mini guide.
Once you’ve selected your desired course of action, click the ‘Save and continue’ button at the bottom.
Next, you’ll be presented with some ways to configure your automation. There’s nothing particular to be said about these, but do have a look if there’s anything relevant to what you want to accomplish.
Do pay close attention to the part that lists several Action link examples. For instance, there’s one for posting a raw post, one for posting a blog with an image, and so forth. You will be able to feed these directly into your automation tool of choice and post or schedule a social media post with the correct formatting.
Spicing things up
We’ve shown you how Ocoya can get your content from point A (your website) to point B (any currently-supported social media network of your choice). But things would taste a bit bland if we left it at that. Instead, we’re here to spice it up with some cool extras such as automated hashtags and other automated AI wizardry, all at your fingertips!
Automatically apply hashtags
One thing you can do is to let Ocoya search for the most relevant hashtags and apply it to your post completely hands-off. We’ve covered the topic of using hashtags on social media in detail, but if you turn on this feature, you won’t have to worry about how to find the right ones or potentially going overboard with how many of them you’ll include. Still, we invite you to give it a read for educational purposes.
Explore other AI features
Another thing you can do is to run Ocoya through an AI, letting it rewrite the posts for you in a style of your choosing or do just about anything else that AI can do these days. For example, if you want your content to be compatible with the Twitter RSS feed or the platform’s limitations, you can instruct your AI assistant to summarize the content in-line with the 280 character limit that is in effect on Twitter (this is soon to be extended, but it’s something to keep in mind).
Long story short, Ocoya can do a whole lot more than just copy and paste. With a little bit of strategic thinking and imagination, you can craft a recipe for AI to turn your website’s content into something that aligns with your company’s spirit and brand, yet is still fresh and original at the same time. With AI and Ocoya, the sky's the limit!
Make the social media world your oyster with RSS feeds
In today’s post, we’ve mostly talked about how to automatically re-post the content you’re publishing on your website (with or without AI-powered modifications). However, that’s far from the only thing that you could be doing with it.
For instance, why not have it the other way around? Let’s say you have a Twitter handle and you’d like to automatically re-post every one of your tweets to your other social media channels or perhaps even your website.
To do this, the first step is knowing how to locate the Twitter RSS feed. Simply go to any Twitter handle of your choosing; in this case, yours. Copy the URL and google a Twitter RSS generator that lets you convert it to a feed (at the moment, there does not appear to be a way to do this from Twitter directly.
Then, navigate to Ocoya and follow the steps we’ve outlined above, and you can start getting creative with automating social media with RSS feeds. If you’d like to do a similar thing for any other combination of social media channels, the underlying logic is more or less the same.
Growing your social media hands-off by taking advantage of RSS feeds is a tried and true approach, so we invite you to start messing around with it to see how simple it can be once you’ve gotten the hang of it. With sophisticated social media automation and scheduling tools like Ocoya, you can also sprinkle in some of the AI magic to generate original and engaging content on the fly, all of which your social media following will absolutely devour if you do it right.