RSS Feeds and EveryoneSocial

Andre Larsen
Andre Larsen
  • Updated

Wouldn’t it be great to save time curating content to share with your team? They would have the most recent information to read and share, giving them an advantage because they are knowledgeable on current affairs. This is made possible using RSS Feeds to source Group Content. In this article, we’ll go over

What is an RSS feed

Really Simple Syndication feeds, aka RSS feeds, are designed to pull website content, such as blogs and podcasts, and display the content elsewhere in chronological order, with the newest listed first. RSS feeds are text files usually hosted by the site you want to pull the content from. RSS feeds are accessed via a URL that an RSS reader uses to read the RSS feed and display its content for you.

You will need to copy and paste the URL into an RSS reader for it to pull the latest content automatically. We use EveryoneSocial’s Group Source feature, which pulls content for keywords and Twitter profile feeds.

What does an RSS feed look like

EveryoneSocial’s Group Source feature reads the RSS feed and displays basic information about the content, such as the title, meta description, and link to the content. Usually, content has an accompanying image, which makes the content card visually appealing.

Here’s what the RSS feed’s text file will look like.

RSS_XML_file_example.png

Here’s what RSS feed content will look like after the RSS reader reads the content. Content pulled from an RSS feed will have the URL displayed on the top left, with the post directly below the URL. See below.

RSS_Group_Source_Example.jpg

🔹Note the content does not have an author attributed on the top left.

How can I find an RSS feed?

Many websites have an RSS feed readily available for you. Once you find the website with content ideal for a Group in your EveryoneSocial Workspace, look for an orange icon with the letters RSS or XMLrss_feed_icon.png These icons can be found on the site's footer or in blog articles. Once you see the icon, click it to access the XML file, copy the URL from the address bar, and paste it into Group Sources.

If you do not see an RSS feed icon, there are two actions you can take. 

Perform an online search: Most companies will have an article on how to find an RSS feed, if one exists. For example, if you use Medium and want to find an RSS feed, search for "Medium RSS feed" and use their instructions on how to get an RSS feed. 

Use an online service: Use an online service to find an RSS feed. We recommend starting with feedburner.com. Simply enter a website’s URL to see if Feedburner can generate an RSS feed for the website.

Some URLs are incompatible with Feedburner, and an RSS feed can not be generated, usually due to the file size or an incompatible file format. In that case, try an alternative RSS feed generator like RSS.app or FetchRSS.com.

Can’t find an RSS feed? Try Zapier’s tips on How to Find the RSS Feed URL for Almost Any Site.

Google Alerts as an RSS feed

You can use Google Alerts to set up an RSS feed. Google Alerts builds an RSS feed that is basically a keyword search.

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. Enter the keyword to use.
  3. Add filters.
  4. Select RSS Feed from the Deliver To drop-down.
  5. Click the RSS feed icon.
  6. Copy the URL in the address bar.

Create_a_Google_Alert_RSS_Feed.gif

Why use this instead of the keyword functionality for Group Sources? Google Alerts allows you to filter keyword sources using multiple keywords, locations, and news types. For example, you could set up a Google Alert RSS feed for company name + cybersecurity and Google Alert’s RSS feed would present content with those keywords.

Add a Youtube Channel RSS feed

You can use a Youtube Channel's content to feed content to EveryoneSocial. All you need is the channel ID. If you own the channel, Google has detailed instructions to find the ID in your settings

If you do not own the channel, here are the steps to take to find a channel ID.

  1. Go to the Youtube channel.
  2. Copy the URL from the address bar.
  3. Use an online service to find the channel ID. We use Comment Picker in the GIF below.
  4. Add the channel ID to the RSS feed URL:
    https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=THE_CHANNEL_ID_HERE
  5. Enter the RSS feed URL as a Group's automated source

Youtube_Channel_RSS_feed_process.gif

That's it!

Add an RSS feed to EveryoneSocial

Once you have the RSS feed, add it to your Group’s settings as a Source. We'll automatically add the 10 pieces of content most recently published, in the last 30 days.

Click here to learn how to add an RSS feed as automated Group content.

Troubleshoot an RSS feed

If you add an invalid RSS feed, you’ll receive the following error.

“Error: ‘The field Source Value with the value RSSFeed.Here is not a valid RSS feed’ Incident Id: ID# here” (See below.)

Error_Code_RSS_Feed.png


If you control the RSS feed, we recommend reviewing the potential issues at hand using the RSS Advisory Board’s Validator Service at RSSBoard.org/RSS-Validator

Enter the feed address you added to EveryoneSocial’s Group Source and check the status of the feed. RSS Advisory Board’s Validator Service will break down any possible causes for feed errors, highlighting the line number where the potential cause is located and the issues found with the associated text.

RSS_Validator_example_results.png

🔹 If you do not control the RSS feed, you may be able to contact the website admin to have them assist with troubleshooting; however, due to the time this takes, we recommend using another RSS feed with similar content. See

Troubleshooting an RSS feed’s content in EveryoneSocial

RSS feeds can be accepted with individual content pieces failing. You’ll typically see a content card that reads “Sorry about that. We ran into a problem rendering this content.”

RSS_content_card_error_code.png

This usually means something changed with the RSS feed. You can troubleshoot individual content using the same steps above.

Best Practices

🔹 Only use quality RSS feeds

Content added should always benefit your team and help them improve your company’s brand and their personal brand. Everyone on your team should be able to log in to your Workspace and see content that answers “What’s In It For Me?”. This leads us to our next best practice.

🔸 Quality over quantity

If you’re following another best practice for sourcing content, you’ll also require Group moderators and admins to approve content. Don’t inundate them with RSS feeds that pull in large quantities of content a day. RSS feeds are designed to automate your work. If approval is required to ensure quality content is delivered, it should take time to review the content. On average, let’s say the entire process to access the approval tab, review, and approve the content takes 3 minutes. That means it will take your team 30 minutes to review automated content daily for just 10 pieces of content. If your users also submit content, add 3 minutes for each submission, and the approval time quickly compounds. Therefore, we recommend researching quality RSS feeds first to ensure you have quality content before pulling it into your EveryoneSocial Workspace.

🔹 Source 3 - 5 pieces of content

A good goal is to add 3-5 pieces of quality content in each Group daily. This ensures your team will stay interested in accessing the Workspace and reviewing content and gives them more sharing opportunities. Not everyone will want to share the same pieces of content so be sure to mix it up.

Here are some suggestions for RSS feeds.

🔸 Test your RSS feeds

Before activating an RSS feed, test the feed by opening the URL in a separate browser tab. This will help you confirm how often this feed is updated. If the feed is updated every few minutes all day, it would not be recommended to bring this into an Admin’s approval queue. It will flood that queue with too much content, which would require more work on the Admin’s part to sift through the feed to find quality content to provide for the program.

 

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