HootSuite Syndicator: Power your Social Media with Content from RSS

By Jordan Behan | 2 years ago | No Comments


Google Reader may be shutting down, but don’t count RSS out of the game just yet. As the video below explains, the smartest social media practitioners are using RSS in totally new ways.

When you’re under pressure to push content through your social channels, the number one challenge is producing high quality, relevant content. The HootSuite Syndicator can help by providing you with a library of content that you can selectively choose to share.

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.47.40 PMDiscovering new content with RSS is easier than ever before, with the latest version of the Hootlet, which now supports adding RSS feeds from your favorite websites as streams in the HootSuite dash.

Content marketing and curation are rising in popularity among brand marketers, even while popular RSS readers are being closed down or withering into obscurity. The new HootSuite Syndicator app now puts full control of content curation into the hands of the dashboard user.syndicator-screenshot2
These new product releases bring together a number of powerful HootSuite tools. The dashboard provides a window into all your social media content. The RSS app lets you add any feed into this view and now the Hootlet makes adding RSS feeds even easier. Once you’ve subscribed, sharing that content with HootSuite is a breeze.

Visit the Chrome Store today to install the Hootlet. After that, you just need to subscribe to your first feed, and HootSuite will take care of the rest. The HootSuite Syndicator will be automatically added to your dashboard, along with a stream for your new subscription. Follow these easy steps below to try it out today.

  1. Install Hootlet in your Chrome browser
  2. Click any RSS feed link (often found in the famous RSS icon)thestar2
  3. Choose where you want to add the Stream in HootSuitethestar_cropped
  4. View Your Content in HootSuite Syndicator Streamssyndicator-screenshot1
  5. Read, curate, share.syndicator-screenshot3


Already using the Hootlet? We have even better news for you. Your favorite browser plugin has already been updated, and you just have to click any RSS link to try it.

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loebs88 5pts

How do you share the RSS Stream with your team? There doesn't seem to be an option for that. 


Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

Hi @loebs88,

Thanks for reaching out to us, my name is Camille from the Help Desk and I'd be happy to assist you in this matter! RSS feeds would be managed through the Syndicator feature, which can be added to your team member's dashboard individually as you can not share this app at this point in time. 

I hope this provided insight to your inquiry, please reach out to us on Twitter, @Hootsuite_help or via Private Message on our Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/hootsuite should you have any further questions!

Best regards,

Camille | Customer Advocate | hootsuite.com/help

Denise B
Denise B 5pts

Thanks for sharing this information! Is there any way to use Hootlet and Hootsuite Syndicator on Firefox?

Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

@Denise B Yes Denise, Hootlet is available for Mozilla Firefox!

Hootlet can be added as an extension to Firefox, here:


The Hootsuite Syndicator is an App available on the web dashboard through the App Directory.  

You can view more on the Syndicator here: http://appdirectory.hootsuite.com/?q=Hootsuite+Syndicator

If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to us @Hootsuite_Help on Twitter!

Best, Taavi | hootsuite.com/help

palmequipment 5pts

Super ... glad to be able to get my Google Alerts into Hootsuite.

I get the error "there was a problem with this subscriptions link" though when I try to add a feed which has no content ... which happens quite often with Google Alerts when there is no new alert at that time. I can only add Google alert RSS feeds if they currently (at that moment) have an <entry>.

Is there any way to add 'empty' feeds to watch them for new 'entries'?

palmequipment 5pts

Actually I had the same problem with the old Hootsuite app RSS Reader, which was why I gave up on Hootsuite last year. I hope I've missed something obvious.

Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

Hi there,
Thank you for reaching out, my name is Ernesto from the Vancouver office and I'm more than happy to help you.
We will like to further assist you over Twitter @Hootsuite_Help or by live chat in https://hootsuite.com/help
Best Regards,
Ernesto | Customer Advocate | @Hootsuite_Help

palmequipment 5pts

@Hootsuite_Help_Desk Thanks ... I've found a work around ... RSS to IFTTT to a Twitter account into Hootsuite ... around the houses but seems to work better than Google alerts!

KevinMcLaren 5pts

Im switching from a PC /chrome / Google ecosystem to  Mac / safari / iCloud. 

I have Hootlet added to Safari in the menu bar. But how does this RSS syndication sync? Cant work it out?

Hootsuite_Help_Desk moderator 5pts

Hi @KevinMcLaren,

Thank you for your question - I'm happy to help clarify!

The Hootlet extension will allow you to share a link to a particular website you're visiting. The RSS Syndicator, on the other hand, will allow you to monitor and share posts from your Hootsuite dashboard. You will be able to share posts via Hootlet and the Syndicator App with those Social Profiles you have added to your Hootsuite account. 

You can find more information on them here: 



I hope this helps and let us know if you have any other questions.


Kathleen | @Hootsuite_Help | Hootsuite Help Desk - http://ow.ly/dBnBz

MargaritaUM 5pts

I've been using Hootsuite for a few years, and I like how the company keeps evolving. On a daily, other tools come. One in particular is vWriter.com. This tool keeps Twitter updated from RSS Feeds. Has anyone used this tool before? Thoughts about it? Reviews, if any? Thanks.

Julie 5pts

Can you do keywords with the RSS to hootsuite?

productivityllc 5pts

I love this feature now that Google Reader is dead.  This evening I'm doing some reading went to add a new RSS and the Hootlet feature to add to Syndicator showed up, awesomeness. Share information more productivity across your social networks. 

Denovati 5pts

I am a long-time HootSuite user and a big Hootlet fan. I was curious about this new feature and thought it might be valuable, so I tried to set it up using our own feeds (Tumblr and the Denovati SMART Blog). Unfortunately, the set up was neither intuitive nor easy to figure out, so I abandoned the effort (and I'm a fairly sophisticated user). Based on the comments preceding mine, apparently a lot of other people have been encountering problems too. Maybe I’ll try again in the future when some of the initial kinks have been worked out.

Courtney Shelton Hunt

PS - Not sure why, but my identity is showing up using our old Twitter handle/brand, rather than our new one: @Denovati. 

jordanbehan moderator 5pts

@SMinOrgs @Denovati. What troubles are you having specifically? Did you install the browser plugin, restart your browsers and then click on a feed? "Setup" is as easy as installing Hootlet, and then any click on an active RSS feed (admittedly, some don't seem to work, given the many RSS variables) to add a new stream for it. If you opt to add a new "tab" and "stream," the RSS app should install itself in the background. If your experience deviates from this, let's share the specifics with @HootSuite_Help to see if we can it solved for you. 

As for the display name, could it be coming from an existing Livefyre account that you have? 

Denovati 5pts

@jordanbehan: Thanks for your response. I would say the problem began with the fact that the instructions (either from HootSuite or in Chrome) didn't make clear what to do if you've already got the Hootlet installed. Also, nothing explicitly stated that a restart was necessary. I tend to have LOTS of tabs open at once, so I have not tried restarting the browser yet. We'll see what happens when I do it tonight. I had actually tried adding the stream directly via HootSuite first, but that didn't work either. The RSS app did not install itself in the background. Based on your comment, I have now found it under New Apps, and I can try to install it, but it is unlikely I would have found it on my own. As I said earlier, the process was neither intuitive nor easy to figure out. I know that's not typical with new HootSuite features, at least in my experience, but it was certainly true in this case.

As for the display name, yes that's likely the case. However, I posted by clicking the Twitter icon, which usually grabs the info from the Twitter account that's currently open. Since SMinOrgs was changed to Denovati (i.e., it's not a new account), I would have expected Livefyre to grab the current handle/profile pic rather than using the old info.  

Thanks again. 


Barbara Fowler
Barbara Fowler 5pts

I do like this but it is very slow loading and i can't seem to subscribe to some of my old feeds. I am buying a new computer and maybe that will help. 

TMContact 5pts

@HootMatt  some of my rssfeeds do not update in the syndicator. When i check the website there is some new content. Even in the feedburnerpage i see some new articles. When i add it to my dashboard  i cant see any new updates after 28th of june. Iḿ i doing something wrong?

I already removed it completely and add i again. no difference. And this problem is not containing all of my subscriptions. Just a few of them do not update. Can you help me?

HootMatt moderator 5pts

@TMContact Thanks for your feedback. I'm going to ask around the office and see if this is a known issue or an isolated case. I suggest you try @HootSuite_Help too. 

Derek Weidl
Derek Weidl 5pts

@HootMatt @TMContact Hi there - I'm having similar issues with various RSS feeds as well. I can't seem to find a pattern to suggest if it's specific to certain types of feeds or not. One example: my Google News RSS feed that I just created is no longer updating. Various other website feeds don't seem to update either or are very delayed in updating compared to when I followed them on Google Reader (like over a day delayed).

A separate issue I'm noticing is with RSS feeds from Blogger. New posts show up in Syndicator. I click to bring up the window. If I click the post title, it will send me to the RSS page instead of the actual post title.

TMContact 5pts

@Derek Weidl @HootMatt @TMContact 

there's another strange thing related to this issue. When i add a feed that is not updating in the syndicator to the RSS reader, it's updated to today... 

so i can solve it now to use the reader instaed off the syndicator but  the options are limited. Just to let yoou know.  

Richard E
Richard E 5pts

Great tool. Can the streams be shared across your organization?

HootMatt moderator 5pts

@Richard E Good question Richard. This is one of the first things I asked when I had a look at the internal beta. Since Syndicator is an app in the App Directory, you can't share streams with your organization. This is because (**as I understand it**) the HootSuite SDK is not set up to allow developers to share your data with other members of your organization. I believe apps don't have visibility into organizations at all, for privacy/data security reasons. But thanks for your suggestion. Please send any others you have my way and I'll make sure they get passed on (I'm somewhat of an RSS advocate here in the HootSuite nest!). Cheers.

kartiniclinic 5pts

@jordanbehan  - Firstly, thanks in advance for being so responsive; nothing worse than a stale comment thread. So it appears that, as TMContacts queried below, there are types of RSS feeds that don't work (e.g. http://feast-ed.org/FEAST/FEASTNews.aspx). No idea if that's the site's code or what. Contrast that with http://feeds.feedburner.com/LauraCollinsSoapBox for example, where the "View Feed XML" does initiate the HootSuite popup. The workaround for the former example is again as TMContact noted: copy link directly into HootSuite Syndicator's Subscription Manager. 

Now how about a publishing tool like paper.li to pull all that content together in a compelling format exportable to list manager like MailChimp? Or better yet, do it all in HootSuite?! (and if that is already possible, please, please enlighten me).  Thanks again.

pheffernanvt 5pts

Thank you so much for this added functionality for HootSuite. In the spirit of continuous improvement, I'd like to add two suggestions and one question in addition to earlier comments about problems with the Hootlet and the counter-intuitive use of an "X" to add an RSS feed.

1> Please make the name of the group/folder larger and place it at the top of the stream column. I already know I'm in HootSuite Syndicator so repeating that in large type across multiple columns is not helpful.

2> Can the previews be added in-stream with the headlines, or can the sharing buttons be added to the pop-up preview windows? Either would improve efficiency and click workflow.

And one question -- after importing and organizing your feeds, how can you share them with other team members? (Enterprise level)

Barbara Fowler
Barbara Fowler 5pts

I still can't get it to work. Has anyone discovered solutions? 

TMContact 5pts

just want to comment on my own post. it works already. Now i get it. When a rssfeed does not automaticly opens in hootsuite, you just copy the link in your subscription and then you need to click the cross to add it to a stream. a bit confusing. i didn click that botton beacause i didn want to remove it. Make it a plus!

TMContact 5pts

It looks like that there are two different types of rrs feeds. Is that correct? Not all the feeds i'd like to add open the pop up. Some of them just open a txt file. What should i do to import that kind off rss feeds as well? Thanks for responding.

karyncooks 5pts

Giving @Hootsuite Syndicator/RSS a whirl. . .nice addition for longtime users. #dashhboards #curation #socialmedia

augustoayesta 5pts

Hi, it does not work. I have updated the hootlet and nothing. I click in the RSS icon and the only option I get is Share via the hootlet. Please help me.


lutyens 5pts

I've been a google reader user for ages. When I click the RSS icon it opens my google reader subscribe page and nothing appears on my hootlet that helps. What am I doing wrong. I also use Feedly - will this interrupt my use of hootsuite?

FabioScarsi 5pts

Looks like a good starting point, but you should consider the integration with a service like Google Reader was and Feedly is becoming. Such an integration gives many advantages. The most relevant are related with interoperability and shareability among programs and devices.

VladNYC 5pts

This is awesome addition guys. Please allow renaming subscriptions. 

Mike 5pts

Awesome addition guys. I think one of the challenges of syndicating content is finding a good curation tool. It's no Google Reader but hey, at least I can curate feeds and group them any way I like. The neatest part is that it integrates so smoothly with the sharing functions. Good job guys. One suggestion though, could you make the streams expandable horizontally? Like a drag the edges to expand sort of thing, the very narrow view is good for tweets but not so great for feeds. Also if you could add different views (view summary, whole article, etc.)

Derek Weidl
Derek Weidl 5pts

What about sites where you can't find the RSS link? Can you use the url to feed into a subscription? Also, is there a way to integrate Google Alerts?

SandeeJackson 5pts

This is not working for me quite yet. Uninstalled my existing to Hootlet to make sure I was running the most updated version, but I still don't yet get the option to add the feed to my dashboard. I only get the  option to share the link via the Hootlet. Using Chrome 27 on Mac OSX. 

Can't wait to use this! Will be an awesome way to find great content to curate. 

andrewconnell 5pts

So you'd have a separate stream for each RSS subscription? Not a great UX for those who have many (10+) RSS subs... esp people who sub to 100+. Using Google Reader (and now Feedly) it's much easier to tear through and consume all my subs quickly. Horizontal scrolling seems like it would be a nightmare.