Social Media Tools

Spy on Your Facebook Competitors with HyperAlerts

The great thing about companies widely publishing APIs in this age of collaboration is that crafty third-parties can develop tools and features that the developers of the “mother ship” forgot. Browse through Laura Fitton’s amazing One Forty (the app store Twitter neglected to build) and you’ll find thousands of Twitter add-ons. But now that Twitter is clamping down on API access and trying to have their cake and eat it too, the next frontier for API-driven frosting is on Facebook.

Among the best of this new-ish breed of Facebook features is HyperAlerts. Developed by HyperInteraktiv in Oslo, Norway, this free social media tool monitors Facebook pages and sends you updates via email.

If you’re a Facebook page administrator, you may have other things to do besides sit on your own Facebook page for hours and hours. HyperAlerts lets you multi-task by emailing notifications whenever a Wall post or comment is created.

Using HyperAlerts is as simple as the plot of Hop:

Hyperalerts 300x265 Spy on Your Facebook Competitors with HyperAlerts

The HyperAlerts Facebook Page Updates Dashboard

1. Enter your email address and a password

2. Add the Facebook URL of any pages you want to monitor.

3. Select the notification frequency you desire (immediately, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly).

4. Determine whether you want to receive Posts and/or Comments and/or only your Own Content.

The emails you receive are nicely formatted, and most importantly emails contain embedded links to each comment or Wall post, so you can click through to a specific place on the Wall.

I set up a HyperAlert for the Facebook page for The NOW Revolution, and got an email instantly each time someone commented on the (intentionally) terrible video interview of Amber Naslund by our friend Matt Ridings

HyperAlerts Email 226x300 Spy on Your Facebook Competitors with HyperAlerts

Actual HyperAlerts Email Update

Better than Facebook

You may be thinking “But doesn’t Facebook offer this service itself now?” Yes, and no. Indeed, you can get email updates of your fan page activity. But, HyperAlerts has two crucial advantages that Facebook lacks:

  • You can get HyperAlerts to any email address, not just those associated with your fan page;
  • You can get a HyperAlert for any fan page, not just your own.

The competitive monitoring opportunities are significant. Want to know whenever your competitors are launching a new contest or promotion on their Wall? Get a HyperAlert. Want to know whenever your competitors are being criticized by their community? Get a HyperAlert. Want to monitor the progress of your favorite band, restaurant, social media strategy consultant, professional football player, or warlock and don’t want to be clicking all over the place to do so? Get a HyperAlert.

It’s essentially RSS for Facebook pages. Very handy indeed. And at the outrageous price of totally free, you can’t go wrong. (Plus, as 1/4 Norwegian myself, I’m rooting for the guys from Oslo).

Have you tried HyperAlerts? What do you think? If you haven’t tried it yet, how would you use it?

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri J

    Woo-hooooo – How completely fabulous! Can’t wait to get in there and mess around!!

    My only question would be if there is a trick to setting up a quality alert. But the screen shots look pretty straight forward, so I’m not too worried.

    Good news for FB Page Admins! Thanks Jay… :)

  • Bryan Person

    Jay: I also use HyperAlerts to keep tabs on a couple of Facebook Pages I manage. Another thing I like about the service: When it delivers an alert for a new comment, it shows the thread of comments (if not all of them, at least the last several), so that you can see everything in context. The official Facebook alerts don’t do this either.

    • Bryan Person

      The only thing I don’t like about HyperAlerts? There can be a slight delay in e-mailing you a new comment (they might come in a half hour “late,” for example). In most cases, that delay isn’t a problem, but it’s worth noting.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Great point Bryan. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://grasshoppergroup.com/ Allison

    I use hyper alerts to manage 3 Facebook pages. I love it because it also recaps the conversations at the end of each week (well you can pick when it does this – I have it recap weekly). It’s a great way to keep track of the engagement.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Very cool Allison. I haven’t tried that yet. Good tip!

  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    The coolest thing about this is the notification frequency. If I’m monitoring a competitor, I may not necessarily want to get updates instantly from them. Good daily or weekly digests would be sufficient for keeping tabs on what’s going on outside my own page. Can’t wait to try this out later on

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Exactly Drew. There’s monitoring, and then there’s stalking…

  • Dana

    Do you have any advice for creating or monitoring analytics for competition FB pages? I constantly struggle trying to put the metrics of my communities into context for clients and find it tough to create good metrics to measure against w/o access to the FB Insights of competitors pages.

    • Dana

      By the way, I love your blog. I get excited when there’s a new posting in my Google Reader because I know it’ll always be insightful and concise. Thanks for all the great info, Jay! Keep it comin’.

      • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

        Thanks for the kind words Dana. I really appreciate that.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Check out http://allfacebookstats.com They just launched a competitor Fan page metrics analysis product.

      • Dana

        Oh wonderful, you just made my week. thanks for the link.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/jwongjk Jan Wong

    Wow, this is a gem! Now this is what I call spying – without having to rely on (sometimes annoying) Facebook email alerts. Thanks for sharing, Jay!

    btw, I’ve been trying to look for a copy of your book in my local bookstores but they seem to be out of stock almost everywhere :(

  • http://twitter.com/jwongjk Jan Wong

    Wow, this is a gem! Now this is what I call spying – without having to rely on (sometimes annoying) Facebook email alerts. Thanks for sharing, Jay!

    btw, I’ve been trying to look for a copy of your book in my local bookstores but they seem to be out of stock almost everywhere :(

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      I guess that’s a good news/bad news situation for me. Where do you live?

  • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

    Hey, thanks for sharing this Jay — I really need to get up to speed on how to leverage FB more effectively.

    This tool will be a good start on measuring what what I’m doing and what others are doing to get some traction in the community. I haven’t quite gotten that figured out yet.

    As they say, practice makes perfect!

    Cheers to you sir : )

  • Dina

    Great information. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • http://twitter.com/katpinke Katie Lukens Pinke

    I can’t sign up fast enough. This is awesome tool I definitely need Jay. Between my work, personal and volunteer social media commitments I can’t wait to try HyperAlerts. Thanks so much for highlighting how to use it. I’m getting started! Looking forward to seeing you in St. Louis, Fargo and Sacramento for The Now Revolution book tour. I think attending three different locations might make me a groupie?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      You may win most events, other than me and Amber!

  • Deanna Kastrinos

    I also happened to notice this today. HyperAlerts will notify you when another page tags you in a post. Facebook alerts does not do that. (Or at least it didn’t.)

  • http://www.extremejohn.com/ Extreme John

    Oh wow this is a hot little time saving weapon. Thank you for the article and thanks to John Aguiar for sharing it.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Good point Carol about not monitoring group pages. I hadn’t considered that, as I get so many emails from groups that the last thing I want to do is monitor them via yet another email. But, if I wanted to monitor a group that I wasn’t a member of, this would be a great new wrinkle to add to HyperAlerts.

    Thanks for the kind words about Convince & Convert. What other blogs do you like in this category? I’m always interested in what else people are reading.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Good point Carol about not monitoring group pages. I hadn’t considered that, as I get so many emails from groups that the last thing I want to do is monitor them via yet another email. But, if I wanted to monitor a group that I wasn’t a member of, this would be a great new wrinkle to add to HyperAlerts.

    Thanks for the kind words about Convince & Convert. What other blogs do you like in this category? I’m always interested in what else people are reading.

    • http://www.interfaceaustralia.com Carol Jones

      JAY,

      Greetings again from rural Australia.

      What other blogs do I read on a regular basis?

      Social Media Examiner
      Mari Smith
      Copyblogger
      Inside Facebook
      Rise To The Top

      And so many of my Twitter friends read so many other blogs, that I set aside a few minutes each morning to scan through new offerings on Twitter.

      I also devour food blogs because I love to cook.

      Fashion blogs because I am a Diva.

      I follow all the major Australian newspapers on Twitter. Breaking news is always exciting because I rarely watch TV.

      And anything else that piques my curiosity.

      I’m a reader. So YouTube is like a foreign country to me. I rarely look at videos and if I do, I often lose interest after just a minute.

      The only time a video grips my attention is if it’s a tutorial about something I need to learn how to do. But even then, I prefer to read.

      It’s always a pleasure to stay in touch. I’m booked into your webinar presented by the Australian Businesswomen’s network on the 12th of April.

      As I’ve already read – and learned from – The Now Revolution, I look forward to listening to you discuss it.

      Best wishes and take care,

      Carol

      Carol Jones
      Director
      Interface Pty Ltd
      Designers of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover
      http://www.InterfaceAustralia.com

      Ironing Diva’s stories are at http://bit.ly/TheIroningDiva

      • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

        Great list. See you on the 12th (11th for me)

  • http://www.facebook.com/stateofthehearthospice Laurie

    I set up an account a few months ago before Facebook had alerts when, I believe, Mari Smith suggested it. But I never got any alerts. I wondered why but I kept forgetting to check. Well, your post reminded me to check back into this and it turns out that I had typed my email address incorrectly. No wonder I wasn’t getting any alerts! I’m all set up now, received my first alert moments ago, and it’s great! So, thanks!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      That’s a pretty funny tale Laurie. Happens a lot, I’m sure. Glad you’ve got it all set up now!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      That’s a pretty funny tale Laurie. Happens a lot, I’m sure. Glad you’ve got it all set up now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stateofthehearthospice Laurie

    I set up an account a few months ago before Facebook had alerts when, I believe, Mari Smith suggested it. But I never got any alerts. I wondered why but I kept forgetting to check. Well, your post reminded me to check back into this and it turns out that I had typed my email address incorrectly. No wonder I wasn’t getting any alerts! I’m all set up now, received my first alert moments ago, and it’s great! So, thanks!

  • Cynthia

    Someone mentioned already that you can’t use this to monitor groups but I’m finding it wont monitor profiles either which is understandable – but is a problem when your (rule-breaking) competitor has a profile instead of a page. Stinkers.

    But I’m very excited about this tool too! I love that it will notify me of my page’s updates asap but once a day on things I just want to keep an eye on. Someone also mentioned below it will notify you when another page tags your page in a post – doesn’t FB already do that? After I finish adding my competitors’ URLs, I’ll look into that as well.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual office assistant

    Its true that we cannot spend hours together on Facebook and thank for the tool. I have tried it with my Facebook account and it worked well. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual office assistant

    Its true that we cannot spend hours together on Facebook and thank for the tool. I have tried it with my Facebook account and it worked well. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://spirocks.com Spiro Pappadopoulos

    We use this with our clients and their competitors, as a self made analytic of engagement. As a marketer it is useful for its obvious monitoring, but also as a motivator for our clients to engage and try to ‘out do’ their competitors. Once it is in their faces that the other guy is working on it, somehow the priority list gets shuffled a bit.

  • http://divahound.com Shannon Huppin

    I am just beginning with HyperAlerts – can’t wait to start using it in a more robust manner to check out my competition! I love the idea that it’s essentially RSS for FB pages.

  • Anonymous

    Is Hyperalerts not working for anyone else?

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