HootSuite: How to Automatically Send RSS Content to Social Media Accounts

April 26, 2012

When you're overwhelmed as a communicator, automation can be key. This post deals with taking the new content of an existing RSS feed and sending it automatically to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Let's say, for example, that MIT News often writes articles about your department, and that you'd like those news stories automatically posted to your social media platforms without having to:

  • check MIT News regularly for new posts about your department and
  • manually copy the URL of each new story and paste in HootSuite or directly on a social media account

Here's how: 

1. Go to your HootSuite dashboard.

2. Click on 'Settings' (the gear icon on the left-hand side).

3. Then click on 'RSS/Atom'. Your RSS/Atom feeds box will pop up.

4. Click on the button at the bottom labeled 'Add New Feed'. The specific feed box will pop up.

5. Paste the desired RSS URL here.

For example, if you want an RSS feed for MIT news articles about the Center for Ocean Engineering, go to the RSS page on the MIT news site and select 'Oceanography and ocean engineering'. Then copy the URL and paste it into the box in HootSuite. 

6. Select the profiles to which you would like this feed to send posts.

7. Select how often you would like the feed to check for new posts.

Every 24 hours is fine for most feeds; if it is a popular feed, you might have it check more often.

8. Select how many posts you'd like HootSuite to send at a time (one is fine).

9. Check if you'd like to include some of the text of the article in the post. I recommend unchecking this box.

You can prepend each post. For example, you might prepend each post from the MIT news RSS feed with "Today on @MITnews:" This text will appear before the name of the article and URL.

10. Choose your URL shortener (usually ow.ly). 

11. Click 'Save Feed'.

For this example, every time MIT News posts an article about ocean engineering, Hootsuite will automatically post an update to the social media accounts I selected. You can do this with any RSS feed. If your department posts news to its own RSS feed, you can have this news post automatically to the department's social media accounts. 

Posted By
Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Former MIT Social Media Strategist

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