As someone who manages and participates on a number of Facebook Pages, I have always wondered why Facebook does not give us the means to monitor user activity on pages such as posts and comments. Until recently I used a Google Reader entry that uses Feed My Inbox to deliver this content from other pages, but I’ve been stuck with manual visits for user comments and posts. Earlier this week I saw a wall post from my Friend Shonali that pointed to the Facebook Page Alert App SmackDown. The authors statement really sums up which app was worth even trying:
All I’ll say about Hyper Alerts is this: it is THE BEST THING EVER. It’s free and sends you real-time updates when people post AND comment on your posts. I’ve been managing Facebook Pages for two and a half years and I’m telling you right now, the past week since I’ve started using Hyper Alerts, have been a freakin’ cake walk. – Maggie at Mizzinformation.com
That was the kind of reference that I can appreciate, so I tried the app out. Since using it I have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to share how much butt it kicks to anyone who does not want to constantly “spot check” pages for updated content, comments and posts. You all know who you are, you are the ones who are getting excited right now.
How to use Hyperalerts
Using Hyperalerts is extremely simple, you navigate to their site and setup an account. Once your account is created you are able to add alerts. I started by adding what was the most critical page for me to monitor, my businesses Facebook page. While creating the alert you are able to choose how frequently you will receive alerts and what type of content you will receive alerts about. The user interface is very simple, but I will of course be happy to provide a video tutorial for anyone who’d like a little extra help. For demonstration purposes I setup a second alert for my Rotary Club’s Facebook page, because unless I am posting something there I don’t want to visit it unless I know there is something to comment on (or delete if someone has spammed the wall, though this is becoming less common). My alerts are now setup, this is what the page looks like where I can edit them or add more:
Now that the alerts are in place I receive notices when the criteria I have setup are met. This saves me from those periodic “spot checks” that I was doing previously. Now that it is setup there is nothing else required. Here is an example of an alert:
Fresh from the idea farm
Since this program uses Email and you can monitor essentially any Facebook page, it could easily be used in to achieve some heavy lifting. In conjunction with an Email list you could distribute content notices to a number of users. For example, with a club you might be a part of you could with a little tinkering allow the entire club to receive notices when a particular page had been updated. Or you could even have alerts from your businesses (or a customers, competitors?) page go to a team of people who are at the ready to respond. You could also feed the notices into a system that creates tickets for a team to assign and respond. These are little hacks that might make this already powerful and useful application even more so. Do you have any other suggestions?
Update: 2/5/2011 – Hyper Alerts just got easier!
I was pleased when I logged in to Hyper Alerts today to notice a new button “Add alert from your Facebook user” this makes adding alerts so much easier. Nice to see great changes so soon!
Update: 2/11/2012 – Facebook Pages now do alerts but they stink
Facebook included an alerting function with their big changes to Pages but it is not very user friendly. I still strongly recommend Hyper Alerts.