Getting an RSS Feed to post to your Facebook Page’s wall

Sounds so easy doesn’t it?

Here’s what I learnt in trying to get a custom-created RSS feed (not one generated by blog software) to appear as posts/status updates on the wall of a Facebook Page. This information applies to all kinds of RSS feeds though. If you’re using WordPress, there are several plugins that purport to offer this functionality. In my experience they can be unreliable, usually through no fault of the plugin author or WordPress, rather Facebook changing something that breaks the plugin.

The purpose of the exercise was to get the latest special offers on an e-commerce site appearing on the company’s Facebook Page wall.

Facebook Notes – not quite what we’re looking for

The most straightforward option should be the one provided by Facebook, right? Notes offers the ability to import a blog/RSS feed into the Notes tab of your Facebook page and in so doing post an announcement for each ‘note’ to the Wall. Sounds great but what you get in practice is a link from the Wall to the individual note, which appears in it’s entirety. The objective was to take a user from the Facebook Wall post straight to product page on the e-commerce site, so this clumsy and unnecessary intermediate step means Notes doesn’t do it for us.

RSS Tab for Pages – does what it says on the tin, but no more

This application, which creates an RSS tab on the Facebook Page imports the feed just fine, and if that’s all you need then it’s all gravy. It is supposed to also post items to the Wall, but that feature doesn’t work.

Social RSS – Fell at the first hurdle

With a score of 2.3 out of 5, and the latest post referring to the fact that things are broken, this one didn’t merit a try.

RSS for Pages – Disappointing

I’d expected more from Involver, “the web’s most trusted social marketing platform”. RSS for Pages doesn’t deliver, or at least, it didn’t work how I’d hoped. It created a ‘News’ tab with my RSS feed on, but there wasn’t anywhere to specify that items should be posted to the Wall (and none of the items were), even though automatic posting to the wall is mentioned as a feature (though that may be in the paid for version only) and the suggestion that I upgrade to get a refresh time of better than once a day, with zero information on cost, had me searching for an alternative.

RSS Graffiti – We have a winner!

RSS Graffiti works almost exactly how I want (I wouldn’t mind being able to remove the ‘via RSS Grafitti’ annotation, but that’s probably a compulsory thing, and the Source and Published lines seem like overkill). The main thing is the user clicks the link and goes to the page you want, not some interstitial page. There’s no unnecessary tab added to the page, the settings for how it works all make sense, and you have a fair degree of control, including the ability to post to the Wall items dated in the past – handy if you need to get some older items posted.

If you’ve found any other solutions that work well, please share them in the comments.

image credit: jovike via Creative Commons on Flickr

Using your Facebook Page Wall Posts on your website

Polevkarna's Facebook WallUpdating things in two places can be a pain, in terms of just the time it takes, or because your own website isn’t built on a content management system that can handle quick updates.

I’ve seen a lot of businesses recently with what looks like an unloved website, but a very active Facebook presence. Sure Facebook has 500 million users and counting but not everyone’s on Facebook and not everyone thinks to go there for the latest info.

Why not display your Facebook wall on your page?

The easy way

Facebook make this easy, with a widget: the Like Box is the one you’re after.¬†You can alter how it looks a little but if that’s not what you’re after, there’s always…

The not so easy way

If you want more control over your how feed is displayed, you can make use of your page’s RSS feed, which only shows the page’s own wall posts, not those of people who ‘like’ your page (formerly ‘fans’). You’ll need to look at the source code of your page to find the feed address, then use some software on your own website to handle that feed. Most CMS platforms have capabilities, either natively or through plugins to read and reformat RSS feeds as required.

One advantage of the not-so-easy way is that most of these plugins will include the text right in the page code, rather than using an iframe like the Facebook Like Box does, so you get an SEO benefit of having updated relevant content on your site and therefore indexed by search engines.