Pretty RSS on your “new” Facebook Page

I’m a huge advocate of RSS, always.  Recently I put some thought into how to pull RSS content into the new Facebook Page format, in a somewhat professional/aesthetic presentation.

There are many RSS applications available for Facebook Page owners.  Most, if not all, of these have a very “functional” (aka stark and awkward) appearance, and also are heavily stamped with the name and brand of the RSS application.  What you really want is for it to be stamped with your own brand, right?

Screenshot of Simply RSS, third party RSS application for Facebook Pages

Screenshot of Simply RSS, third party RSS application for Facebook Pages

Just one feed?

Use the Notes application.  You can plug in any RSS feed and have your Notes page automatically pull in new items.  The Notes page has a nice, soft, Facebook appearance and does all the right things such as providing headlines and teaser paragraphs etc.

More than one feed?

You probably already knew about Notes!  You probably are only using an RSS application such as RSS-Connect, or Simply RSS, because you have more than one blog or feed you want to share – and Notes only supports a single feed!

What I recommend is combining your feeds into a single feed, and then using this new aggregate feed with the Notes application.  Sites such as rssmix.com will combine any number of feeds for you in just a few clicks, and then provide a randomly generated URL for your new aggregate feed.  If you want to add or remove a feed from the mix, you’ll end up with a new random URL.  Switching URL’s is something you want to avoid, because everytime you do so you will lose any subscribers that had been following the original URL.

FeedBurner.com allows you to create an account, plug in your random URL (from rssmix.com) and then outputs a new vanity URL such as www.feedburner.com/your_brand.  This is the URL that you want to plug into Notes.  FeedBurner is great because you can go in and change the “input” URL anytime and continue using the same output/vanity URL – as well FeedBurner is one of the few ways I know to track traffic on your RSS feed!

Screenshot of Statistics Dashboard on FeedBurner

Screenshot of Statistics Dashboard on FeedBurner

So to recap:

Step 1: combine all RSS feeds via http://www.rssmix.com/
Step 2: register at http://www.feedburner.com and plug in the URL you got from http://www.rssmix.com/
Step 3: go to Facebook and plug your feedburner.com URL into the Notes application
Step 4: Any time you change your rssmix URL, log into FeedBurner and simply replace the old URL with the new one

Results:

  • Your Facebook Page pulls in multiple feeds into a single, exciting, and attractive page (the Notes tab)
  • Your Facebook Page feed updates everytime one of your blogs has a new item (new note is created)
  • You have a vanity RSS URL that you can also choose to use on your homepage or on other social platforms
  • You have statistics on the use of your RSS feed via FeedBurner
  • Notes will push a headline about each new story to your Wall/Stream tab
Screenshot of the "Notes" tab, which can handle a single RSS feed - either an original or an aggregate of many.

Screenshot of the "Notes" tab, which can handle a single RSS feed - either an original or an aggregate of many.

Let me know if you’re handling this differently, I’d love to know your approach!

4 Comments

  1. I like this idea a lot. I wonder if Yahoo Pipes might be a better way to combine the feeds – that way you can make changes without having to go re-enter a URL in Feedburner every time you add or delete a feed.

  2. Does Yahoo! Pipes provide stats similar to FeedBurner? If it does, this can get cut down to a single service which would be very cool…

  3. Hi Melissa, THANK YOU so much for this. It’s been driving me nutz since the new FB layout for pages came online trying to work with RSS Feeds. A huge fan of Feedburner, I am glad to find a facebook solution with stats I already check. I don’t think Yahoo pipes gives stats but even if it does, I would rather have one place to check stats (in Feedburner). Thanks!

    • No problem, Stacey! How has it been working for you? We hit a few glitches and had to change up the process a bit

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