Improving posts on facebook pages using the power editor

I recently discovered the facebook power editor. A really useful tool for creating and managing your facebook pages posts and ads. In this tutorial I will describe how to use it in order to make better posts for your pages.

Apart from the usual components that you can post on your page (text, links, images), using the power editor you can also add call for action buttons to your  link posts. Let’s see how.

First, open power editor and select the manage pages option from the dropdown at the top of the page.

using the facebook power editor

To be able to view the posts of your page and create new posts, the first thing you need to do is to load the page in the editor. You the download to power editor button to do this. A popup similar to this one will show up:

using the facebook power editor

In it, select the pages option and fill in the url of your page.

Your pages posts will load and you will be able to view them and their related stats (reach, number of people engaged, number of people talking about it).

Now use the create post button to load the following popup and input the data for your new post. Only the link type posts have more options that can be added from here. The others have the same options as when posting directly on the page. For links you can fill in the following info:

  • url – the actualy link
  • post text – the text that will show up above the link preview part
  • call to action – here you can select the text that will show up on the button from the link preview
  • link headline – this will show up as the title in the link preview
  • display link – here you can add a more detailed description of you link
  • description – this is to inform users why they should click on the link and what they should expect to find there
  • picture – here you can either write the url of a picture you wish to use or upload it from your computer

Then for posts you need to check the ‘This post will be published on the Page‘ option. After you click it you will be able to also enter targeting data like languages and location.

using the facebook power editor

After you click the create post button, the new post will show up in your editor, but it is not yet published on your page.

You can check the preview by clicking on the post.

When you are ready to publish the post, use the publish post button, you can either choose to post it immediately or schedule it for later.

Notice the upload changes button turns green.

using the facebook power editor

Click it and that’s it! :) Your post will be successfully posted on the page or scheduled.

I hope this will help you improve your facebook posts. Let me know if you have questions or comments.

As I previously mentioned, the power editor can also be used for making better facebook ads. I haven’t tried that yet, but I did find a good article on how to do that! ;)

How to add confirmation emails to google forms

Have you ever used google forms to get some input from your users? It is really easy to set up a google form, add the required input fields and share the form with your users. Here’s an example of a google form.

After the users fill in the form, they will see a short confirmation message on the screen and their responses will be stored. You might also want your users to get a confirmation email after filling out the form. This is not the default behavior of google forms though so you will have to add a small script to do so.

If you fill in and submit the example form you will receive such a confirmation email and see what we are going to set up.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • from the form edit screen choose the tools menu option
  • pick script manager and click the new button
  • you will be redirected to a new page for adding the script
  • pick form in the popup
  • add a name for your script file
  • clear the code if there is any example code in there
  • add the following code:
function onFormSubmit(e) {
     var response = e.response;
     var itemResponses = response.getItemResponses();
     var name = itemResponses[0].getResponse();
     var emailAddress = itemResponses[1].getResponse();
     var comments = itemResponses[2].getResponse();
     var subject = "Form confirmation";
     var emailBody = "Hello " + name + "!" +
     "\n\n This is a confirmation email!" +
     "\n\n Your details: " +
     "\n\t Name: " + name +
     "\n\t Email: " + emailAddress +
     "\n\t Comments " + comments +
     "\n\n Thanks for filling out the form!";
     MailApp.sendEmail(emailAddress, subject, emailBody);
} 

The code is pretty straightforward: it received the user response as a parameter, it gets an array with the individual answers for each question (itemResponses), it gets the response for each question, sets the subject and the body of the email to be sent and sends the email to the user.

There’s is only one more step to go, we need to set a trigger for this function:

  • go to resources from the menu
  • pick current projects triggers
  • you will notice there are no triggers set up. click on click here to add one now
  • you need to select the method to run (onFormSubmit) and the trigger event from form and on form submit
  • you can also set the notification options – the default is to receive a daily email with the errors that come up, but for testing purposes you could set it to send error messages immediately
  • click save and authorize the app as requested

And that’s it! you now have the needed script. You need to go back to the forms edit page, from the scripts manager popup you need to refresh the scripts list and pick the newly added onFormSubmit script.

And you’re done! You’re ready to test out your form and send it out to your users!

Let me know if you have any questions! :)

A collection of UI design articles

Have you ever asked yourself what are the main principles of web design? What are the main things to take into consideration when designing a website or app? I have, and here are the articles I found interesting.

Definitely worth reading! Enjoy!

If you found any other great articles or books on the subject, please let me know!

What to learn?

What should I learn next? That’s a good question… As a software developer you always have new things to learn, a new computer language, a new technology, algorithm, framework…so many. How do you choose between these?

One more problem is…should you learn something new or just improve something you already know? You might find new ideas, new ways of solving the same problems, even better ways. So what to learn?

I, for one, have lots of lists, of new things I encounter and wish to learn more about, of things I want to improve from my current skills, of tutorials, classes, etc. And I’m slowly making my way through them :)

In the last months, a couple of sites where launched that offer free university level classes. They are Udacity and Coursera . I took some of the classes there and I must say they are a great way of learning something new or just freshening up your skills. The lectures are filled with quizzes to help you understand the course better and there are also some assignments which I really enjoyed doing :D They also keep adding new classes, so you should take a look and see if there’s anything that interests you :) Also if you know of any other such sites, please let me know!

Organizing Hierarchical Databases

I was researching a better way of organizing the database of one of my projects and came across an interesting article. The article is about organizing hierarchical data in mysql databases. Here it is. The two methods proposed are very well explained and also the advantages and disadvantages of using each method are presented. It helped me get a clear picture of the available methods and pick the best one for my project :)

Beginning android development

I have decided to start playing with android, maybe develop apps or small games. But before that, it’s study time :)

I looked for a few introductory tutorials and made a list:

I also found a book which should also prove useful.

I also looked for frameworks that would ease app development, and discovered Corona. It doesn’t seems hard to get used to and there are loads of tuttorials out there to help you, both on their site, or on others.