This week in Social Media Shooters, I'm answering the question voted most likely to drive people to madness on Facebook.
Website client Pamela McNall of RespectfulSignage.com was at her wits' end trying to get Facebook to display the correct thumbnail image. It's a problem SO common, it deserves this Sunday's full-on social media tackle. Buckle up, y'all!
I'm in meta-data hell Lara...!
Every other time I post something on Facebook it "searches" and picks up the Natl Assn of Professional Women LOGO that is at the bottom of my website. Yesterday I was so frustrated about it, I "took it off" -- It asked if I wanted to "block" it - I clicked yes...
Well, today, there it is again after I posted something on Facebook. WTF!?!? Check this out. Here's my weblink.
It does NOT have the logo on the bottom of the page, yet two seconds ago I posted on Facebook my weblink and IT POSTED IT ANYWAY!!
I'm at a loss. Your thoughts?
Here's what Pam was seeing when she shared her page:
So what is going on here?
Why was Facebook choosing THIS image above all the others that were available from that page?
And how in the world could she fix it?
Well, today we're going to look at:
How Facebook Chooses The Thumbnail Image
Obviously, Facebook can't read your mind. Though you'd think it should be able to by now. I mean, Geez. No, it's reading your digital instructions in the form of what it calls Open Graph protocol.
Unless you provide those "OG" instructions, well, Facebook just picks an image. And the odds of it being the one you want are slim.
Step #1. Every Time: The Debugger
When you create a new blog post or a new product page, it will take a while for Google to index it. But you don't have time to wait for the spiders to make their way to your new page. You want it to share it right now!
So you'll need to tell Facebook to grab the new page's information.
Allow me to introduce you to Facebook's Open Graph Object Debugger. Go ahead and bookmark this page right now because you will be using the crap out of it.
In this case, I'm using my opt-in my page as an example. Perfect ... because I just updated everything on it. So I need to clue Facebook in on the changes anyway.
Sometimes you'll get lucky with this first step. It happens.
But even when I "scrape new," it's still not showing the right image.
Short-Term Workaround: Post from Your Biz Page
Okay, so I don't like the image Facebook has chosen for me. It's not the right size. And it's not, well, visual.
And I'm in a hurry.
No worries. I head on over to my business page. Where I can choose from several options OR just upload the image I want. Kabam!
If you haven't done this lately, you'll notice some major changes. So let's go ahead and look at those now.
Long-Term Fix: Use OG Protocol
The biz-page post is a good quick-fix, but it doesn't solve the problem for OTHER people that share your article/page. So let's force a forever-remedy.
Take a breath, because this is NOT as difficult as it sounds. Pinky-swear.
It's ONE line of code that you place in the HEADER section of your blog post or web page. It tells Facebook exactly what you want to do, essentially over-riding its well-meaning guesses.
And I'm going to give it to you right now. Ready?
<meta property="og:image" content="http://your-image-url.com/jpg" />
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