It’s easy to add an automatic feed from any webpage, news feed or blog to your Facebook Fan Page.
Last week, I blogged about how you can use a blog feature to create a news feed for your organization, and why you might want to want to do that. One way to share what you’ve put up on your blog (whether it’s educational or promotional) is to post links to it from your Facebook Fan page. Usually, the link and a small “teaser’ of the article content are posted– not the whole article. This will drive interested readers back to your website.
To add an automatic feed from your blog/news feed to any FB page you are an administrator for, first go to Appbistro.com. Login through your FB signon. If you “Allow Appbistro to manage my pages” during sign-on, you will greatly simplifiy installing applications. Appbistro has dozens of applications for FB pages. If you are the admin for more than one page, select the FB fan page you wish to install to in the upper left. Then search for RSS apps. Most apps on Appbistro are free or very low cost. There are several RSS apps to choose from, but right now, I’m using “RSS Graffiti” as my app of choice. Click on the title of the app, and it will take you to the app’s page, with an option to install to FB. Use that option. Usually, you will have to configure the feed back on FB on your page. The app will install a new tab, and that’s usually where you configure from.
8/16/11: Some time in the last few months, this has apparently changed– RSS Graffiti is no longer on Appbistro.com. To install “RSS Graffiti” on your FB page, go to that app within FB (http://apps.facebook.com/rssgraffiti/) Add it to your profile and then configure it for any pages you are an admin for.
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Note that most of RSS apps have the option to install multiple feeds. So you could have a blog “column” from the executive director or pastor, and another promotional news feed from the organization both posting to your FB page.
Just a tip: you will want to enter the URL of the “feed”, not the URL of your blog. One simple way to get this is to go to the home page of your blog and click on the RSS symbol in your browser. It should open up a dialogue box to confirm a subscription to that site, giving you the feed address, which you can copy and paste into the FB app. (You can of course, cancel the subsciption.)
Hope this is helpful for folks! In the comments, I’d love to hear how you are connecting up your blog/news feed & Facebook pages.
When I say “blog” to some non-profit folks, what they seem to think that means is either “opinionated editorials” or “narcissistic what-I ate-for-breakfast-reports”. But blogs can be a great tool for non-profits.
A blog can be editorial or inane, but more basically, a blog is a special kind of website (or a specific function on a website), usually managed by blog software like WordPress (what this blog uses), Blogger, or others. Articles (aka “posts”) on a blog are arranged on the blog home page in chronological order, with the most recent on top. Each post also has it’s own stand-alone page too (usually accessed by clicking the title of the post). Most blogs also allow readers to comment or question in response to the post, but this feature can be turned off.
Lately, I’ve been recommending to non-profits that they develop a “News Feed” by using a blog. Most blogs allow multiple authors, so several staff or leaders can contribute. Posts can be:
- news about the organization (“We’ve just received an award”)
- educational (“Here’s what we do to help”)
- promotional (“Attend our big event”)
- seeking help (“We need furniture donations for a family”)
- prompting action (“Come serve at the soup kitchen”)
- and probably a dozen other ideas!
The real power of the blog as News Feed is when you link it to your other media. The blog posts can be longer and have more detailed information that is really practical in a single email, an email newsletter or in social media like Facebook. With the News Feed, you have a location for that longer info (without having to put it up and take it down off regular webpages) and you can put links to it in those other medias. For example, a short “teaser” couple of sentences in an email newsletter, concluding with a “Click here for more info.”
A best practice would be to use the URL of the stand-alone post page in your link (instead of the chronological-order home page), since by the time your reader gets to the home page, you may have made other posts, so what they are looking for won’t be on top any more.
A blog may already be a part of your established website, or you may be able to easily add a blog. Having your news feed be a part of your larger site is ideal, but if it’s not feasible, WordPress.com and Blogger and other blogging sites offer free (but limited feature) blogs. Most of those services also allow you to buy a domain name to use with that free blog (this can be less than $25 per year).
In the comments, please post ideas about how you are using blogs for your organization.
Next week: setting up your News Feed to automatically post on your FB Fan Page.