Small Business Websites

How to Use RSS for Business Success

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, is a relatively recent technology which allows anyone who creates fast-changing web content, such as blogs and news, to get their messages to interested readers with minimal fuss, and best of all, no spam.

Currently, RSS mostly used by content-rich sites (mainly news centers and blogs) to keep readers updated on breaking stories or newly published posts.

But RSS can do more than that. Many organizations and businesses have failed to truly make use of the amazing properties which this technology has to offer, thus forfeiting the numerous opportunities to generate greater value, traffic and sales for their product, service or company and the market share represented.

The following are some creative ways that businesses and other entities can take advantage of the power of RSS and generate interest for their organizations, as well as create new streams of income.

"Announcements and Special Offers" Feed

If your business offers seminars, classes, services, products, sales, specials – basically anything that updates, rotates and changes and rotates through a cycle – a dedicated RSS feed may save you and your clients time and money. By creating such a feed and offering your clients access as an alternative to print mailers and emails, you can keep your clients updated, plus sending out special offers and discounts. This saves time by minimizing the advertising cycle. It also enables your clients to save money by allowing them to quickly scan the offering headings and selecting what they are interested in.

"Client of the Week" Feed

Creating a feed that often focuses on a different client, the nature of their business and any special offers they would want made available, can be a great motivation for your clients. This feed takes only a few minutes to create. Include a business link and a photo and your clients will be very pleased.

A Training or Team Feed

If you are heading a sales force or are involved in network marketing and need a way to continually and consistently get updates, training aids, goals, sales copy and other items to team members, you could consider creating a feed to serve this purpose. You can upload digital files in a central server, which others can then retrieve.

Inter-office Feed

Presentation materials, announcements, files, memos, schedule, and new policies can all be gathered in a central feed where they can be easily accessed by anyone who needs them. No one is left out because they have not checked their email, or the messages bounced or got filtered.

Schools, organizations and non-profits

Schools can create a student feed, updated with exam dates, activities, special student offers, school closings, and so on. There can also be a special assignment feed where class materials are uploaded for students who are away from home or ill.

For churches, a congregational feed could supply worship service schedules, daily meditations, special events, prayer requests and other messages to the congregant's desktop. This information could also be accessed members doing missionary work abroad to keep them connected with home, as well as allow them to send updates of their work.

For non-profits, volunteer feeds could offer a continuous update of work needed and available positions, as well as feature organization wish lists and profiles of special volunteers. Fund raising feeds can keep donors informed of giving events and how their contributions are being spent.

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.

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