More and more charities are harnessing the power of social networking sites to spread the word about their organisation and boost their website visitors / supporters.
Whilst you should try to personally post on your charity social networking accounts as often as possible to be an active part of the community, it can also be really helpful and time-saving to automatically syndicate posts from your charity’s website on to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks using RSS feeds.
What does it mean to automatically syndicate our website posts?
Basically it means when you make a new post on your website, the post (or part of it) will be automatically posted on to your social network account too, plus a link back to the original post.
What are the benefits of syndicating our charity website content on to social networks?
The benefits can be huge as people love to share links and articles with their friends and family on social networks. You are likely to get more visitors to your website and more general interest in your organisation as people see your name mentioned and begin to learn more about you.
Sometimes things can take off in a huge way on social networks if lots of people get involved. Some organisations like to offer incentives such as the first 1,000 people to ‘like’ their Facebook page are entered in to a prize draw. (This is more common for businesses but could prove very effective for charities too.)
If you already have a supporter base you should encourage them to follow you on Twitter/add you as a friend on Facebook etc. and share your posts as much as possible. Make sure your website displays prominent links to your social networking accounts.
Syndicating your posts can also help with SEO (Search engine optimisation) – you can improve your website’s placement on search engines as you get lots of relevant links back to your site (very important to search engines).
How do I set up syndication for our charity website?
I recommend using http://dlvr.it to syndicate your feeds.
It’s quite easy to use, just register a free account then click the ‘add route’ button to start setting up your syndicated feeds. (If you’re unsure on anything you can simply add your RSS feed URL and authorise your Twitter/Facebook/etc. account, and leave all the other settings as default.)
Example of a post syndicated on to the wall of a Facebook page using dlvr.it:
How do I find our website’s RSS feed?
If you’re unsure whether or not your website has an RSS feed (what’s an RSS feed?) look out for this icon anywhere on your site or in the address bar at the top of your internet browser:
If you see this symbol, click it and you should find your RSS feed. Copy the URL (in the address bar) of the feed and you can then paste it in when creating your ‘route’ at dlvr.it.
Our charity website doesn’t have an RSS feed. Can we still syndicate our posts?
You can but it will be a bit more work. There’s a couple of options available to you:
Option 1 – add posts manually on dlvr.it
dlvr.it gives you the option to add posts to your syndicated feed manually. Simply click the ‘Post’ link in their main navigation bar and you can add a post.
You could update this each time you write a new post on your website, for example just include the post title and a link back to the page where the post is displayed on your website.
That’s more time-consuming than having your own RSS feed but only a small effort if you get in to the habit of updating it each time you have a new post or add a new page to your charity website.
You could then have one of these services make a feed from your ‘news’ or ‘latest posts’ page (whatever you have on your site). You would then use the URL of the feed the service has created for you when setting up syndication at dlvr.it.
The downside to this is that it may be difficult to set up and you may need to add code to your website ‘behind the scenes’ and not everyone has the access to do this, especially if using a ‘site builder’ type software. Also the HTML to RSS software may not always pick up the correct results when searching for new posts on your website.
In the long run you should look in to upgrading your website to software that includes an RSS feed automatically, or add this capability to your current software (if you’re unsure on what this all means – contact your website host or check their ‘help’ pages, or contact the person who created the site for you).
Note: this article does not include any affiliated links