Automatically Update All Your Social Networks From Drupal

| Drupal

Would you like to be able to update your Drupal site and automatically send those updates to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, Ning and dozens of other sites?

This tutorial will show you how.

Our first part will be to create an RSS feed to export new posts. From there we'll use Twitterfeed.com and Ping.fm to distribute the posts to all our social networks.

Creating an RSS Feed

There are at least three ways you export an RSS feed from your Drupal site. We'll break the options into easy, medium and hard:

Easy: You can just use Drupal's default feed. Simply add rss.xml to site's address. For example the main Drupal.org feed is at http://drupal.org/rss.xml. The downside is that you don't have much control of the feed's content. Whatever is on your site's frontpage will be included.

Medium: A module called "Syndication" will give you more control"

  • Drupal RSS FeedsStep 1: Visit http://drupal.org/project/syndication to download the latest version of "Syndication".
  • Step 3: Extract the files into a folders on your desktop. The folder will be called "syndication".
  • Step 4: Login to your site's files via FTP and navigate to /sites/all/. If there isn't a folder called /modules/ here, create one.
  • Step 5: Upload the "syndication" folder to /sites/all/modules/
  • Step 6: Go to Administer >> Site building >> Modules and enable "Syndication".
  • Step 7: In your admin menu you should now see an option called "RSS Feeds". Click on this menu link and you'll be able to create custom feeds based on either particular taxonomies or on particular blogs from the Blogs module.

Hard: You can use the "Views" module to completely customize your RSS feed. Full instructions are here.

Whichever route you use, the key is to end up with a URL for your feed at the end. Keep that safe and we'll use in a few minutes.

Sending your Feed to Twitter and Facebook

  • Step 8: We're going to use a service called Twitterfeed to send our news automatically to both Twitter and Facebook. The first step is to visit Twitterfeed.com and register.
  • Step 9: Login to Twitterfeed and click "Create New Feed".
  • Step 10: You'll see a box like the one below. Enter the title, and then paste the RSS feed from Step 6:
  • feed url

  • Step 11: Click "test rss feed" to make sure everything is OK. If it is, click "Continue to Step 2".
  • Step 12: This next part allows you to send your feed to Twitter and Facebook amongst other options:

    feed url

  • Step 13: Twitter and Facebook will allow you to authenticate your accounts and link them to Twitterfeed directly from this page. You can also add "UTM" tags which are designed for Google Analytics. They will show in your analytics results, so you can see how much traffic has been sent from Twitter or Facebook.

    feed url

  • Step 14: The final step is a really powerful feature here that many people overlook ... Ping.fm. If you create an account and authenticate it here with Twitterfeed, you can then pass on your updates to Linkedin.com, MySpace.com, Ning.com and dozens of others. There is a full list available here.


About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.