Twitter and other social marketing websites are BIG news. Twitter is a simple concept - if there is anything happening in your company (or your personal life) just post it on Twitter - you have 140 characters to attract the world's attention. Facebook does the same for your personal life, while LinkedIn is more about careers and business networking.
Many companies hire specialists (like InterCommSA ) to keep their names in the media - it's a form of public relations and helps to drive traffic to your website. However if you are an individual or a small business, constantly updating various profiles can be very time consuming.
How can you get the benefit of social networking, without cutting into your normal work productivity?
Firstly, when sites offer a link to social media sites, it's not too difficult to press the button and quickly create a message. If you read a lot, that is a good habit to get into.
Secondly, if you have a company website or blog, why not automate it so that any news or articles are automatically be posted to Twitter. This reduces the amount of time you need to be on Twitter and also adds regular content. More good content means more followers!
So how do you automate your website to send tweets?
- You need to set your website to have an "RSS feed". Only a dynamic or database-driven website can do this. An RSS feed creates links to your latest news or articles, which can then be accessed by cell phone readers and other websites.
RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) a way of "syndicating" your content and exponentially increasing your readership - even if you don't link to Twitter. The InterCommerce website has a feed for each key area of the SME Magazine, as well as for links, downloads and other key subsections.
- If you haven’t already done so, head over to Twitter and create an account.
- Go to Twitter Feed. You will need to create a new account, separate from your normal twitter account. I recommend that you use the same email address and password for simplicity.
- Log into Twitter feed, and set up a new feed for each section of your site. You will be using your website's RSS feed to syndicate to Twitter.
- Once logged in to Twitter Feed you’ll get a screen with a link to create a new Twitter feed. Just click on that to get to the Feeds page.5.
Complete the fields on this page as per the following:
- Username – Enter your Twitter username
- Password - Enter your Twitter password
- RSS Feed URL – Enter the RSS Feed URL for your website. Copy the URL for that page and paste it into this field. (Click on the 'test rss feed' link next to the field.)
- Update Frequency – As I have several feeds, I set them each for a different frequency so Twitter updates at different times during the day.
- Include Item Link – I leave this one checked.
- Shorten Link Through – I leave this one as TinyURL.
- Post New Items Based On – I have this one set at pubDate.
- Prefix Each Tweet With – this text is automatically be inserted at the beginning of each Tweet. I set mine to "Just published: "
- Filter by Keywords – This is handy if you only want specific posts to go up on Twitter.
- Active – Obviously you will want to leave this one checked.
Once you have completed each of the fields click the CREATE button and you are done. Your website posts should automatically start posting to Twitter.
Finally, Twitter is the cornerstone of many other social networking sites. My LinkedIn profile already accesses my Twitter posts automatically! By simply posting an article on the InterCommerce website, both my social networking profiles are therefore automatically updated!