Practical Ecommerce

Automating Social Media Posts with Dlvr.it

Social media campaigns have become a mainstay of ecommerce marketing. Even the smallest of online retailers are likely to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, and there are indications that social engagement may improve shopper relations and, possibly, sales.

But the process of posting regular updates to social media sites is time consuming. It’s those regular updates that keep social-media audiences engaged.

Dlvr.it is a service that can automate and schedule Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Twitter posts to better engage potential shoppers.

“Your social customers are critical business assets that can help you not only deliver better service at a better value, they can help your product marketing teams, give your brand marketers real-time feedback, advocate for your brand, generate leads for your sales teams, and deliver predictive analytics that can catapult your brand right to the head of the pack,” wrote the authors of a Lithium white paper, “Making Social the Way You Do Business.”

Using Dlvr.it

Dlvr.it lets businesses publish an RSS feed to social media sites, including Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Creating a Dlvr.it account is as simple as entering an email address. Once the account is created, a marketer can add destinations like Facebook. Each destination requires authorization, using the social networks standard authentication process. Put simply, Dlvr.it becomes an app that connects to a social network.

Each destination should be authenticated, allowing Dlvr.it to post directly to sites like LinkedIn.

Each destination should be authenticated, allowing Dlvr.it to post directly to sites like LinkedIn.

Setting Up Routes

Under the “Deliveries” tab on Dlvr.it’s main navigation, there is an option to create a new Route. Routes in Dlvr.it define which RSS feeds should be published to a specific set of destinations.

Start by creating a new Dlvr.it Route.

Start by creating a new Dlvr.it Route.

Name the Route. It may make sense to make this name descriptive.

A marketer may have many Routes. Descriptive names can help with organization.

A marketer may have many Routes. Descriptive names can help with organization.

Under the Sources section of the Route select “add” to open a new dialog window. In this window checking “new” will open a Feed URL dialog. Paste the URL for any standard RSS feed into the Feed URL field.

Any standard RSS feed can be published via Dlvr.it.

Any standard RSS feed can be published via Dlvr.it.

The Feed Update tab of this dialog box is used to schedule how often the selected RSS feed is checked for new content. This is different from scheduling when content is published.

Marketers might want to consider checking the feed often enough to keep the destinations — again, Facebook or Twitter are examples — fresh, but not so often that a scheduled, automatic publishing campaign becomes a kin to spam. To start consider setting the “Max Number of Items to Post per Update Period” to one per feed.

The Feed Update tab allows a marketer to schedule how often a feed is checked.

The Feed Update tab allows a marketer to schedule how often a feed is checked.

The Item Text tab of the dialog lets users add a prefix or suffix to any post from the RSS feed. Users may also replace or remove certain words from the RSS feed. For example, if a feed might have a competitor’s brand name in it, a marketer could always replace it with the phrase, “a retailer,” rather than allowing the competitor’s actual name to appear in posts. This tool may also be used to remove profanity.

Dlvr.it allows users to filter feeds.

Dlvr.it allows users to filter feeds.

The “Filter” tab allows for further feed manipulation, letting marketers avoid posts about potentially offensive topics or topics unrelated to the business’ segment.

Marketers may even eliminate some posts from the feed.

Marketers may even eliminate some posts from the feed.

The Scheduling tabs allows marketers to choose the days of the week and times of the day that posts from the feed will be published to the Route’s destinations. Leave this section black and Dlvr.it will simply publish anytime it finds new content in the feed.

Marketers have complete control over scheduling.

Marketers have complete control over scheduling.

Under the Advanced tab, select full content for Routes headed to Tumblr or Facebook. A summary is better for Twitter.

Next, select a destination for the feed. Dlvr.it supports more than one account for each social network, so it is possible that a single Route could post to a couple of Facebook pages, as an example.

Destination are chosen from a list.

Destination are chosen from a list.

What to Publish with Dlvr.it

Marketers will almost certainly want to publish company blogs and even new product announcements via Dlvr.it. As an example, a northwestern U.S. retailer publishing about 20 posts per week via Dlvr.it has been able to generate a reach of more than 12,000 and garner more than 2,500 clicks per week on average.

It is also a good idea to publish from trusted, industry-related sources like blogs, news site, or magazines.

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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Comments ( 4 )

  1. Andrew Youderian May 23, 2012 Reply

    Very useful! I didn’t know about this service and have been looking for something to help automate my social network posting. Thanks!

  2. MerryMary Whyyabuggin May 23, 2012 Reply

    This sounds like a really useful application for online merchants or advertisers, thanks Armando.

    How do you think dlvr.it measures up to sites like Buffer and Ifttt?

  3. Armando Roggio May 26, 2012 Reply

    MerryMary Whyyabuggin, I personally use Dlvr.it for all RSS based automatic posting. I think of Ifttt as a different sort of tool. For example, I would use Dlvr.it to post from a feed and Ifttt to respond to a specific action.

    How about you?

    A.

  4. Bill Flitter June 27, 2012 Reply

    Armando, thanks for the review of dlvr.it! Another handy feature for merchants is the ability to create a direct post that may include specials and coupons, and schedule it to go out at a future date. More info here: http://blog.dlvr.it/2011/04/three-new-features-geo-tagging-interactive-stats-and-direct-post-enhancements/

    Best,
    Bill Flitter
    Founder/CEO
    dlvr.it