When you are planning to share a new product or post on Facebook or other social media, it is important to prepare your web page before sharing it. If you skip this preparation, then you are less likely to bring users to your website. After all, isn’t the goal to bring people to your website to read your article or purchase your product?
Here is the problem with social media posts that aren’t prepared. If they aren’t correctly prepared with the Open Graph (OG) meta data, then when you click on the Facebook image, the viewer sees image instead of going to the website.
Here is an example of a product that was not prepared correctly. When you click on the image, it simply opens a larger image for viewing. Toys “R” Us is not making it easy for their followers to find the website page.
When you click on the Facebook post, instead of going to the website, you go to a larger view of the image. An opportunity was missed to bring the customer to the website. Now, it is possible that the customer will click on the small link in the post, or navigate to the website to make the purchase, but the post doesn’t make it easy for them.
Here is a result of a correctly prepared WordPress page. When you click on the image, it opens up the web page. Using the Facebook OG meta data properly prepares a post or product for social media sharing.
Open Graph (OG) Metadata is the Magic
Facebook invented Open Graph metadata, and now most social media companies look for it on a shared web page. The trick is to add the image, title, and description you want to use on social media on the website, and not in social media itself.
So what is metadata? Metadata provides information about website that isn’t the website content. It is generally invisible when viewing a web page, but it is very important to browsers and social media. The Facebook metadata looks like this, in code:
<meta property="og:title" content="Bye, Bye Germs by Anna Pence" /> <meta property="og:description" content="Finally, your kids will want to brush their teeth" /> <meta property="og:image" content="https://crushcavities.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/crush-cavities.png" />
Don’t worry! You don’t need to code the metadata. While OG Meta Data sounds a bit like a developer level activity, the Yoast Plugin, used on most WordPress websites, makes it very easy to do with a few clicks. If you don’t have the Yoast plugin, consider adding it to your WordPress website. There is also a Yoast Add-on for Shopify websites.
Yoast is a plugin that makes it easier to manage the meta data for your webpage. The meta data helps search engines and social media provide a good listing for your website page. Most WordPress websites already have the Yoast plugin.
How to prepare your page or product
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Steps to prepare your product and post it on social media
- Edit Post and Scroll to Yoast
In the product editing, scroll down to the Yoast area. Click on the Social tab. With Yoast premium, you can see a preview of your social media post. The free version of Yoast is fully functional, but doesn’t have the preview.
- Prepare Your Image
Find or make a landscape image. The best size is 1200 by 630 pixels. Choose an image WITHOUT any text on it, because text could be cropped off in Facebook.
- Upload Your Image
Click on Select Image and upload your landscape photo. Take a moment to specify the title and description for the post. Keep in mind that when you post the image on Facebook, you will still be able to introduce your post. The title and description will appear underneath the photo.
- Share the link to your post on Social Media
Share the link to your product on Facebook. Don’t upload images to Facebook! Allow Facebook to grab the image from your website. Once Facebook has grabbed the image, title, and description from your meta data, you can delete the link from your Facebook post.
This is the magic that brings people to your website and makes it easier for them to purchase your product.
Want to change how your Facebook post looks?
The first time you share the link to your product, Facebook goes out and grabs the metadata for your image, title and description. It then saves that metadata for future use. So, if when you see your post on Facebook you would like to make changes, you need to tell Facebook that you want them to recrawl your website. This may seem challenging, but Facebook makes it easy.
Simply go to the Facebook Debugger at this link:
Cut and paste the link to your product into the debugger, and ask Facebook to re-crawl it. Sometimes there is a lag to when changes come through, so you may need to give it a few minutes.
By preparing your post or product for social media, you can greatly increase the chances that your social media post will bring customers to your website.