The best part about this tutorial is that the Facebook Page doesn’t have to be one you manage. You also don’t need a Facebook account to follow along.
As long as you can find the public Facebook Page, then you can use these steps to get notified when the latest posts are added!
You don’t need a Facebook account, but it’s helpful
You can still get notified of Facebook Page posts with this method, even if you don’t have a Facebook account. So, if you’re not interested in having a Facebook profile, you can still use the steps outlined in this tutorial.
You will need to know the URL of the Facebook Page you want to receive notifications from.
A quick Google search can help you find the Facebook Page. If the page is for a company or brand, then they usually link to their Facebook page from their main website.
For this tutorial, I’m going to activate text messages for the Learn Robotics Facebook Page. Give us a follow, if you’re not already!
How to receive a text message from a Facebook Page
Here are the high-level parts to set up SMS text notifications when a Facebook Page adds a new post.
- Convert the page into an RSS Feed
- Create a Zap to use the Facebook RSS Feed to send an SMS text message
- Test it out!
We’re going to talk more about these parts in detail below.
Part 1: Convert the Page into an RSS Feed
The first step is to create a Facebook Page RSS Feed.
- Go to the RSS app feed page.
- Select Facebook RSS Feed.
- Type in the Facebook Page URL you want the Learn Robotics Facebook Page to text you, then you’ll type in: https://facebook.com/learnrobotics
- Then, create an account. The free plan lets you create 2 RSS feeds, which should be fine for this project. If you need more features, then consider signing up for a paid account.
- Open your dashboard and click on the feed for the Facebook Page you just created.
- This is the page that has the URL for the new Facebook Page RSS feed URL. We’ll use this in Part 2, so don’t close out of this tab.
Part 2: Create a Zap to send the RSS feed as an SMS
We’re going to use Zapier to trigger an SMS when the RSS feed has a new item.
If you don’t have a Zapier account, you can create one for free. The free plan gives you 5 zaps and a refresh rate of 15 minutes. If you’re okay with getting notified within 15 minutes from when the Facebook Page has a new post, then the free plan should be sufficient for now.
- Open up a new browser tab and go to zapier.com
- Create an account or sign in
- In the dashboard, “Create your workflow.”
Use the following settings:
- Connect this app: RSS by Zapier (search RSS)
- With this one: SMS by Zapier (search Zap)
- When this happens: New Item in Feed
- Then do this: Send SMS
When you’re finished, click “Use Zap.”
- This will launch the Zap editor. We’re going to map the Facebook RSS feed to the RSS feed app in the Zap editor.
Here are the settings:
- Feed URL: https://rss.app/feeds/mmpbF….xml
Copy the feed URL from the RSS App in Part 1, Step 6, and paste it in the Feed URL box in the Zap editor.
- Username and Password are left blank
- What Triggers A New Feed Item is left on the default settings
Press the continue button when you’re finished.
You’ll see a message to test the RSS feed to collect sample data. Run the test, and if things are working correctly, you’ll see a message saying “We found an item.”
- Click the Continue button to set up the SMS Zap.
Make sure that the following settings are configured:
- Next, you’ll connect your phone number to the Zapier SMS system. Enter your phone number in the pop-up window.
Choose whether you want to get a PIN via SMS/text or a phone call. Click “Send Pin.” And wait for the pin to arrive on your phone.
Confirm the pin by typing it in. Once your number is validated, you can continue to the next step.
- Now, we’ll customize the SMS message. Choose a From number. I recommend picking a static phone number so that you can add it as a contact in your phone. Zapier provides a lot of choices for phone numbers. It doesn’t matter which one you choose unless your provider charges you for out of state text messages. Pick one and then move to the next step.
- For the Message field, we’re going to choose the “Title” and “Link” data fields from our RSS feed.
Click on the Message field and use the drop-down to choose data.
- When you’re finished, click continue. Then, run a test. Choose “Test & Continue.” You should receive a text message with the last post from the Facebook Page (or the most current item in the RSS feed).
- Lastly, add the Zapier phone number to your contacts. You can name it “Learn Robotics FB Page” or something memorable. Then you’ll know the page is texting you when there’s an update!
Modifications and Applications
These steps can be used to convert just about any RSS feed into a text notification system! So, if you’d like to receive updates from an RSS feed directly or a different Social platform, then you can modify the RSS URL to suit your needs.
I’m currently using this method to receive updates from my local community. They are very active on Facebook (but I’m not), so rather than missing fun community events, I receive a text when something new is added! It’s a great (automated) way to stay in the loop without having to live on Facebook or manually remember to check a particular Facebook Page.
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