There are several ways to automatically share blog posts on Facebook Pages. The functionality of each approach is unique with different handling of images, links back to your website, and the need for separate applications to make them work correctly. Let’s look at Ping.fm and Facebook Notes RSS to get started.
Ping.fm is a popular tool for distributing content online. For example, I use the WPing.FM WordPress plugin, so whenever I publish a new post, a link is sent to a variety of targeted social media networks, including Facebook.
I like Ping.fm, because it offers a central admin panel to manage the flow of content and easily swap in/out targets.
Sending Ping.fm content to Facebook results in a post that links back to your original content. It does not support post images and seems to grab a random image from your blog page. In my case, it grabs the image of an ebook in my sidebar. There seems to be no place to correct this and it’s not terribly user friendly.
The benefit is that Facebook Page posts are backlinks, so readers are redirected to my website to read the full story. Good for me, not necessarily good for them. Good for me because readers are now exposed to other content on my site. Also potentially good in terms of SEO, since this approach produces backlinks.
Not good for my readers, because it forces them to exit Facebook to read my content. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s an important distinction for those using Facebook mobile. It puts a wrench in their process and depending on the phone their using causes Facebook to shut down and open a new browser. Potentially very rustrating.
Facebook Notes RSS Import
Facebook Notes is a useful native Facebook application that most people only use in conjunction with some of the more popular list-building Facebook apps. For Facebook Pages admins, Facebook Notes is great, because it has a setting that allows you to import an RSS feed into Facebook.
You can only import one feed. If you want to import multiple feeds, use an RSS aggregator like Google Reader or Friendfeed (which is now owned by Facebook) to combine feeds into one. Be careful though, don’t link to a feed unless to have absolute control of it. Last thing you want to do is overwhelm your readers, which will ultimately cause them to unsubscribe from your Facebook Page.
Using the Facebook Notes RSS Import is good for a couple reasons. First, it embeds the content within Facebook, so readers don’t have to leave Facebook to consume your content. Notes includes the first image from your post, which helps you retain some of the visual appeal you built in the original post and add a bit of variety to your Notes feed. Using the Facebook Notes RSS Import is also dead simple – easy on or off. No need for any additional applications or plugins.
On the downside, Notes will not direct users to your site unless you explicitly put a link within the body of your post. Without such backlinks, there are potentially SEO implications as well. That’s it for cons really.
What do you think? Do you share blog posts on Facebook Pages? How’s that going? What other approach do you recommend?