For the last six or eight months, a friend of mine has told me that she uses Twitter as her RSS feed. She follows everyone she’s interested in and follows the links they provide via Twitter (whether to personal or news blogs). She doesn’t use any other aggregator. Her experience made me stop and think: do all bloggers think to link their blogs to their Twitter account? Depending on where you are in your social media journey, this may be a new idea for you. You may not be aware of the tools available to help you link your accounts so readers, no matter where they are, can find you.
Twitterfeed allows you set it and forget it (wow, I really hope that’s not trademarked by the Ronco guy–it’s just so snappy). By associating your blog’s RSS with your Twitterfeed account, any time you publish a new article on your blog, the URL is shortened via bit.ly and fed directly to Twitter via your Twitter account (you can also feed it to Facebook). In addition, the confirmation email I received said, “If you use Feedburner and have authorized their awareness api then you can also see those stats on your dashboard, making it easy to compare your traditional RSS distribution with Twitterfeed’s social distribution.” If you take advantage of that feature, you could find some interesting correlations.
To set up a Twitterfeed account:
- Go to Twitterfeed.com.
- Complete the sign-up form with an email address and password.
- Choose whether you’d like your feed to be sent to Twitter or Facebook.
- Connect with the appropriate account by clicking either the Authenticate Twitter (to send your feed to Twitter) or Connect with Facebook (to send your feed to Facebook) button.
- Type in the name of the feed you want to send out.
- Type in the URL of the feed you want to send out.
- Click Update Feed.
If you like, you can use the advanced settings to set
- update frequency (every 30 minutes, every hour, on up to every day)
- whether to include the title and/or post description
- which service to use to shorten your links (e.g., bit.ly, SnipURL, TinyURL, etc.)
- post prefixes and suffixes
TypePad has recently unveiled some new feature to its software. One of those features allows you to share your newest posts with Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed as they are published. To use this feature, though, you’ll need to link your TypePad account with those third-party social media tools. Just go to Settings > Sharing and choose which accounts you want to share your TypePad posts with. Right now you can only share your posts with Twitter, Facebook, or FriendFeed. Once you’ve established a connection between your TypePad account and your other social media accounts, follow these instructions for sharing your posts with Twitter (and/or Facebook and FriendFeed):
- Write your post as usual.
- Check the box next to Twitter (and/or Facebook and FriendFeed) under Share This Post in the right sidebar of the New Post page.
- Save/publish your post as usual. When the post is published, TypePad will send the permalink of the article (shortend via bit.ly) to the accounts you checked.
Do it yourself
You may not want to tweet everything you post. Many people choose to tweet only posts by others or posts they’ve written themselves only if it relates to a specific, current conversation. In those cases, you can simply paste the permalink into your tweet and Twitter will automatically shorten the link via bit.ly.
You’ve probably noticed that the tools I’ve recommended all use bit.ly to shorten your URLs. It’s by far the most popular URL-shortener and I encourage you to try it out. The feature that makes bit.ly so popular, I think, is that it allows you to set up an account with them and track how many click-throughs your bit.ly links receive. If you’re tracking that information, you can really get a good idea of which social media communities are using your information consistently. You can also track which topics are more popular than others. When it comes to data tracking, the possibilities are endless. Bit.ly is just one more tool for your arsenal.
Related interesting reading:
- Twitter’s Chief Talks About Lists, Traffic and Revenue by Claire Cain Miller
- Basics: Grow Your Blog with Twitter’s List Feature by Neicole Crepeau
- Real-Time Google Reader Shares to Twitter–There’s an App for That by Louis Gray
- How to Make Your Blog and Tweets Work Together Like a Charm by Alex Cristache
This article was cross-posted at BlogHer.com.