Knowledge Base

How to Optimize Your Content for Facebook Sharing

A major goal for any business with online content is to have it shared on social media. One of the best platforms for this is Facebook. With 1.44 billion monthly active users, and of those, 1.25 billion on a mobile device (source: Statista.com) – having your content shared on Facebook can immensely expand your brand awareness and potential customer base. Sharing is Caring Header Image Unfortunately, capitalizing on the opportunities provided by the world’s largest social network isn’t as simple as just having a “Like” or “Share” button on your page. While there is no surefire formula for sharing, being aware of and planning for how your content will be shared on Facebook will ensure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities to take advantage of this free visibility. So what are some key steps to seeing your content shared and re-shared?

Use Open Graph Tags

Open Graph, or OG, tags are essentially a type of meta data that tells Facebook what to share from your page instead of letting their crawler decide for you (something that Facebook readily admits may grab text and images that are “basic and incorrect”). By using OG tags in the HTML of your content, you can tell Facebook what to share and how to display it. Here are some essential OG tags and what they can do for you:
  • og:title – The title that will be displayed, without branding or the domain being shared from.
  • og:site_name – The site name that will be displayed.
  • og:url – The display URL. All shares on Facebook will use this as the identifying URL. Do not use any session variables.
  • og:description – The description for your content that will be displayed on Facebook. This should be at least two sentences long.
  • og:image – The URL of the image you want displayed with your content.
  • og:type – This will affect how your content is displayed. The default content type is website, which works in many cases. However, by setting a type that most closely matches your content, it opens up additional options such as offering the ability to ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ your Facebook page to anyone who reads or shares the content. A full list of Open Graph object types can be found here.
  • og:author or og:publisher – If you have set your content type to “og:article”, these tags will let you link to the Facebook page for the author or publisher and offer anyone viewing or sharing your content on Facebook the opportunity to like or follow them.

Choose the Right Image in the Right Size

The image displayed with the link to your content can make or break whether your content is shared; the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer than it is today. The image shared with your content will be the first thing readers see, making it the most important part of your content. You want that image to speak to the topic of your content and to grab the interest of your target audience so they want to click through, otherwise readers may skip over the post without even reading the title or description. An extra step you can take beyond choosing a relevant image is to put the title, topic, or a compelling quote from your article as text that is actually in the image itself. In this way, you can take the most compelling or relevant keyword or phrase from your content and make it the most prominent part of the post your content is shared in. By default, Facebook’s crawler will choose the first image in your content to display when your content is shared, with the option for whatever user is sharing the content to choose a different image pulled from the content page. By choosing the image you think is the most interesting and best represents your content and making it first on the page, you greatly increase the likelihood that it will be what is shared; better yet, by using the og:image tag, you can ensure that the optimal image for your content is displayed. Choosing the right size image is also key. To avoid having parts of your image cropped off, you’ll want to choose a resolution that is close to a 1.91:1 aspect ratio. While the minimum image size is 200×200, anything smaller than 600×315 will cause the image to be displayed much smaller than normal, making the post less prominent. Using images that are at least 1200×630 will give you the optimal display across all devices, particularly high resolution ones.
Vertical Rail Knowledge Base Facebook Sharing
Content Optimized For Facebook Sharing
Following these practices isn’t guaranteed to get your content shared, but they will ensure that you don’t miss out on opportunities for that to happen by making it as easy as possible for it to be shared and disseminated. This can lead to more conversions, expanded audience and reach, and even better page rank for your content. So don’t leave things to chance – put these recommendations into practice and leverage the world’s largest social network to your benefit.

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