How to use RSS feeds for business? 4 main ideas

Can RSS feed readers be used for business?

100% – RSS feed readers are the perfect tools for digital businesses. They’re not expensive, so you don’t have to worry too much about the cost in the long run. Plus, many RSS readers have their own business plans packed with incredible features and you can directly inquire about a custom plan that fits your budget and needs.

Readers are fairly intuitive to use as they’ve been around since the beginning of the Internet as it became widely available to people everywhere. You don’t need high online literacy to pick up the basics and they’re effortlessly customizable. Not just in terms of visual layout, but filters and the types of feeds you can add from YouTube to Twitter to Instagram all the way to Telegram.

Even better, current market leaders like Inoreader have also developed ways to help teams get their work done faster and share content with each other live. The team feature helps with collaborative work, though you can create other workarounds such as creating your own custom newsletter that is sent around the office for internal use only.

I’ve shown you the great potential. Now it’s time to figure out the practical applications.

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4 main ideas

Social listening

Social media listening should be a top priority for any business currently. No marketing strategy can survive the harsh realities of the Internet without reliable minute feedback. Not to be confused with social media monitoring (a process measuring social engagement), social listening covers the qualitative data on top of quantitative metrics.

It’s about tracking conversations surrounding your brand even without being tagged in posts. The goal of social listening is to gain deeper insights into your performance as a brand and what your customers want. What do these conversations tell us? What useful course of action can we take?

Is there any way to turn even negative feedback into strength? The answer is always yes.

RSS can easily compete with social listening tools thanks to its wide support of different feeds and filter options. You can be as precise as you want to be.

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Track results 

This leads into the topic of tracking how well products or campaigns perform. As I mentioned, it’s all about precision and you can really sink your teeth into the tracking process. What I recommend doing is creating a specific folder for a campaign or a slogan or a product you want to monitor and then populating them with as many different sources of information as you can.

RSS feed readers, especially Inoreader, have branched out of the bread-and-butter RSS feeds into supporting social media platforms, forums and even Google Alerts. One of the best sources of pure unfiltered content is Twitter. Inoreader supports Twitter searches and hashtags, which makes it possible to spot any reactions to your social media efforts.

That’s on top of following major trade publications, blogs and newsletters that might provide an official reception of your products and campaigns. This way you keep an eye on both the public and peers in the same breath.

Follow competitors 

Competitors are a valuable resource, ready to be mined, and it’s unwise to sleep on any brand that can claim stake in your turf. As they say, forewarned is forearmed – words to live by.

Competitors can provide a blueprint when they do well, but also serve as warning when their move doesn’t yield results or backfires completely. But there’s also a different aspect to this. What your competitors do and how your shared audience engages with them makes an impact on the market and opens up pockets of opportunities waiting to be exploited.

RSS readers are quite versatile when it comes to spying on your competitors. Track new releases, criticism, praise, discounts, promotions and product campaigns. Any RSS reader worth their salt has the means to accomplish this fairly easily. What you gain from tracking competitors is fresh ideas for your own campaigns, product R&D and choosing the right time to schedule your own product launches.

Get inspired

Finally, we come to what RSS feed readers were designed to do in the first place – keep you well informed on upcoming trends and industry news. Things change fast (depending on your industry and market segment, it can be lightning fast) and you have an obligation to keep up. Or else.

RSS can be used in a variety of ways to generate inspiration:

  • Generate ideas for new content, service or product. Companies should always look into ways to expand their offerings.
  • Learn about what your target audience prefers and enjoys. You certainly want to add some value to their engagement with your brand.
  • Use customer insights to identify potential sales leads. This can span anywhere from just the right moment to announce a sale or explore interactive marketing campaigns.

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How to integrate it with other platforms?

Integration is the easiest thing in the world. I use Inoreader, because it already has built-in support for a host of other applications like Pocket, Evernote, OneNote, Instapaper, Dropbox and Google Drive. All I have to do is go to Preferences, then Share, Save & Login and connect my account to any of the applications. Then I easily save articles not just on Inoreader, but directly onto the other services. That’s what I love about Inoreader.

Another way to integrate RSS readers is through services like Zapier and IFTTT, which are quite handy, easy to learn and not that expensive to use. Practically free, if you don’t have too many commands in mind. You can create the same commands for Pocket, Evernote and the rest, but the list doesn’t end there.

Potential commands you can create include sending articles on Slack, posting articles on Twitter and Facebook, creating Google Calendar events, and log new RSS updates as new rows in Google Spreadsheets. As you can see, these integrations further automate processes and add value to your day-to-day workflow. 

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