Pete Codella teaches one of PR Daily’s most popular webinar series about social media tools for PR professionals. Pete has agreed to feature one social media tool every week. This is his inaugural column.
Of all the social media tools I use, Google FeedBurner
is one of the most important. At first blush, you may not consider an RSS feed delivery tool a social media tool, but it most certainly is. And here’s why:
Just as Oprah syndicates her TV show, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is the technology that delivers and syndicates your Web-based content. Blogs come with an RSS feed. Websites and newsrooms can have RSS feeds added to them to distribute their content across the Internet.
FeedBurner takes your native RSS feed—the standard one that comes with your blog or website—and puts it on steroids by adding many new features and services to your initially limited feed.
For instance, it provides portability for your feed. Say you change your blog URL. What happens to that feed? It also changes. If you’re already using FeedBurner, your subscribers won’t even know there was a change.
But that’s not all. Here are four more things that FeedBurner will do for your site:
• Analyze your feed stats.
It makes it possible to view the number of subscribers, including how they subscribe, via RSS Reader or e-mail subscription. You can even view e-mail addresses of those who sign up for your feed requesting e-mail delivery.
• Optimize your feed.
There are currently 11 ways to optimize your feed to reach the widest audience possible. Tools range from ensuring maximum browser compatibility to podcast delivery. I always use FeedBurner’s BrowserFriendly and SmartFeed plug-ins, and I’ll occasionally employ the Title/Description Burner service as well.
• Publicize your feed.
There are another 11 options to better publicize your feed and attract subscribers. FeedBurner gives you tips and suggestions for maximizing your online publishing reach. I always activate E-mail Subscriptions, PingShot, and Socialize.
• Automatically update to Twitter.
Socialize is the FeedBurner plug-in that adds automatic posting to a Twitter account each time your feed’s updated. With this tool, every time I update my blog or newsroom, it sends out a tweet that includes a fancy goo.gl/fb link and the title of the recent post.
In addition, FeedBurner is free and tied to a Gmail account. In my experience, the more Google services you use—search, analytics, FeedBurner—the more Google search-optimized your site will be.
I’m a PR professional, not a Web programmer. But even I can use FeedBurner to make a young, immature feed look all grown up and simply beautiful.
I recommend using FeedBurner to deliver all your RSS feeds.