Practical Ecommerce

The PEC Review: Dlvr.it for Social Media Distribution

Blogging, social marketing, email marketing, onsite merchandising, and search engine advertising are just some of the tasks that an ecommerce marketer must manage on any given day.

Dlvr.it is a new online service that can help you automate at least one portion of that marketing workload: social marketing. Effectively, dlvr.it lets you take an RSS feed and automatically redistribute it to Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, Tumblr, or LinkedIn. The service also includes filtering, scheduling, and tracking features rarely found in similar offerings, which is why I am awarding dlvr.it five out of a possible five stars in this, “The PEC Review.”

“The PEC Review” is my weekly column created specifically to introduce you to products or services that I believe will help you improve your business. This week, let me show you why I think dlvr.it can help you market your store.

Video Review: Dlvr.it

Dlvr.it Redistributes RSS Feed Content

Before I try to describe dlvr.it’s many and varied features, I want to make clear that its most basic function is to take Internet content in the form of an RSS feed and redistribute that content as I described above.

This means that you can syndicate your store’s blog content, product alerts, coupons, or new inventory directly to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and similar sites. And, you can do this automatically once you’ve set up a few simple “routes.” In this way, the act of publishing a new blog post or adding inventory will also instantly inform your Facebook fans or Twitter followers about the update.

It is also possible to integrate content from other RSS feeds into your Facebook and Twitter marketing. For example, if you sell household items like candles, decorations, or kitchen utensils, you can include links to articles from Martha Stewart’s “Up Close & Personal” blog. Dlvr.it can do it.

Routes

Beyond basic redistribution, dlvr.it can do a lot to drive your social marketing. The tool has established “routes” that describe one or more sources (RSS feeds) and one or more destinations. Each route can be customized to your liking.

Screenshot of dlvr.it page.

Screenshot of dlvr.it page.

Content Flow: Trickle and Scheduling

Dlvr.it offers several features to help you manage content flow and avoid slamming your followers and fans with dozens of status updates all at once.

My favorite of these features is called “Trickle.” When you turn Trickle on for a route, dlvr.it will never flood your social media stream; rather it will select one or two new posts based on your settings and then wait the duration you define to post more. You can also set the maximum number of posts per day from any feed.

You may also schedule feed updates. For example, if you find that most of your Twitter followers are online from about 3 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can set up dlvr.it to post only during those hours.

Filtering

Dlvr.it will also sort through and filter an RSS feed, only posting articles that contain keywords you define or that don’t include negative keywords, which you also define.

This is great if you’re including industry news or blogs in your social marketing. For example, including a feed from Martha Stewart’s blog may help you engage potential customers on Twitter. But what if Martha recommends one of your competitors in a blog post, complete with praise for your rival? If you were unaware, that post would end up in your Twitter feed. But with dlvr.it, you can simply exclude any posts that contain your competitor’s brand—that simple.

What’s more, you can even replace text, changing one word for another programmatically.

Automatic Hash Tagging

On Twitter, users often include hash tags in posts, and some social media mavens believe that using hash tags, like #ecommerce will help your stream get noticed in a Twitter search. Dlvr.it can be configured to automatically add hash tags based on the content of a feed’s category tag.

Tracking

Dlvr.it monitors clicks for any posts that include the company’s shortened URLs (or custom short URLs, but more on that in a moment). The tool even does geo-location and time tracking, so you can see where your clicks are coming from and when.

Need more data? Dlvr.it can be integrated with Google Analytics, Onmiture, and other web analytics solutions by adding tracking tags to the end of links. In this way, you can watch the effect of your dlvr.it-powered social marketing efforts right in your regular analytics tool. An important note: this only works if the link is aimed at a site you own. So you won’t be able, for example, to see links that lead to Martha Stewart’s blog captured in your analytics tool.

Branding

Dlvr.it will also allow you to use a custom-branded short URL for post links. You simply need to own and control the domain for the short URL, aim it toward dlvr.it’s servers, and add the domain in the dlvr.it control panel.

Price

Dlvr.it is free. The company does plan to launch a premium service later this year that will include more and better tracking, among other features. But, the company’s founder and president, Charles Smith, told me in an email that dlvr.it “will not charge users for the basic service/tools that are currently free.”

User Interface

Easy.

Summing Up

Dlvr.it will save you time and make you a more effective social marketer. It is one of the easiest and most intuitive tools I have used, and well worth the perfect five out of five I’ve awarded it here in “The PEC Review.”

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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  1. Paul Chaney July 6, 2010 Reply

    Another great review Armando. I enjoy using dlvr.it to "deliver" Practical Ecommerce and Ecommerce Developers feeds to our Twitter and Facebook fan pages. It makes my job much easier than having to rely on me to do things manually. Plus, the formatting options dlvr.it gives you makes the content fit perfectly within a given setting.

    Allow me to add one personal note. I’ve know dlvr.it’s creator, Bill Flitter, for years. He pioneered the use of RSS advertising via his company Pheedo and has always had his finger on the plus of RSS. I applaud this lastest innovation, dlvr.it.

  2. Armando Roggio July 7, 2010 Reply

    Thanks. Hey, if you enjoyed this post–as Paul did–please let me know.

    Also, I am always looking for new review topics, so if there is a product or service that you love, please tell me about it so that I may review it.

    A.

  3. Bill Flitter July 7, 2010 Reply

    Armando, happy to hear you love the product. Awesome video to go along with the review.

    Paul, appreciate the kind words.

    Let us know how we can help.

    Cheers,
    Bill Flitter
    Founder
    Dlvr.it

  4. Marquis Hunt July 10, 2010 Reply

    By far the best social media tool for expanding content is Hootsuite. The interface, although much is squeezed, is much better, There are many more functions and many more ways to combine content, and it can schedule just the same.

    Delvr is amazing in its filtering and automation functions, which is why the product is more key in marketing and SEO, But Hootsuite is a good supplement if not should be the main organizer of daily content.

  5. oliversitedesign July 15, 2010 Reply

    After reading your article I decided to sign up for Dlvr.it and use it to update my Facebook and Twitter pages. It worked like a charm and was easy to configure, but my only criticism is that using a service like this means you can’t customize your tweets or posts. It just shows the title of your post from the feed with a link. I realized that I wanted to say more about the post than just the title. If you do a great deal of tweeting and posting and customization of each tweet isn’t that important, then Dlvr.it works great.

  6. Paul Chaney July 15, 2010 Reply

    @oliversitedesign – Actually, dlvr.it is highly customizable. You can add prefix/suffix info to the posts, or change what gets delivered based on where you want the content syndicated (the "routes").

    Now, if you want to add personalized info to each post, then, no, it’s not designed to do that. But, if you have lots of content like we do here at PeC, it’s a dream come true.