You may be aware that you can update your personal Facebook profile by email. Log in to Facebook, then visit http://www.facebook.com/mobile/ and you can find your own personal “update Facebook” email address. Anything sent to that email address (from any account) will be posted on your wall – you can even add pictures to the email and they will be posted on your wall.
What about business pages?
Recently (and accidentally – I’ll come to that) I discovered that you can also update a Facebook Business Page by email. If you click “Edit Page”, then choose “Mobile” you can get a secret email address to update the page.
You can update the page by sending an email to the secret email address. If the body of the email is blank, then the subject line becomes the status update. If there is an image in the email body, the subject line becomes the image caption. Store that address in your phone and you have a quick and easy way of updating the page while on the go.
So how did you discover this accidentally?
One of the Facebook Pages I am responsible for is run through a Facebook business account attached to a shared mailbox. Whenever anyone emails the mailbox there is a standard “Thank you for emailing, this box is monitored between 9 and 5 Mon to Fri” auto-reply. Unfortunately, whenever anyone commented on the Facebook page, a notification email was sent to the shared mailbox, which replied with the “Thank you for emailing…” message. Facebook (in its wisdom) then added the autoreply as a follow up comment:
It all looked a bit silly really! I can see the value in what Facebook are trying to do – it allows a page admin to respond to comments remotely (on a mobile for instance) without logging into Facebook itself.
So the moral of the story is to exclude any emails containing the word “Facebook” in the senders email address from any email “out of office” or auto-reply rules. While you are at it, you might as well exclude “Twitter” too. Although you can’t currently update twitter via email (at least not directly – but that is another post), they may end up turning it on at some point in the future (particularly in response to @ mentions and Direct Messages) and it is as well to be prepared!