Have you ever pasted a link into Facebook or Twitter to find that the associated image has nothing to do with the content of that page, or that the post description reads like an SEO Mad Lib?
You think twice about sharing it, don’t you?
There’s a way for marketers to control the experience their content produces as it shows up on social networks including Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Control the social media content your page generates through social meta tags.
For instance, if someone copies a link to the index page of the Tim Ferriss blog in their Facebook status update:
The index page of the blog of Tim Ferriss, podcast host and author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”: http://tim.blog/
What you see here has room for improvement in compelling a viewer to click. The problem? The image, headline and description haven’t been crafted to get a click. Someone may even trash this post instead of sharing it.
Luckily, the title, description and image that automatically pops up when a user shares a link on many social networks can all be specified by the content publisher. When the social share content is optimized, the social media content looks good and is more likely to get a click.
Social share optimization is one of the tactics we prioritize with our SMM services . Why?
Aren’t you much more likely to click on the post if it comes across your feed looking like this?
In this doctored version of social media content for the Tim Ferriss blog, the image is set to fill the available space and the headline now includes a benefit statement to compel a viewer to click.
Read on to learn how to customize the headline, description and image of your pages using social meta tags. Jump to these sections with the links below or read on for your guide to optimized social media content:
Schema for Sharing on LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest
Pro Tips for Crafting Social Meta Tags
The point of using social meta tags is to control the way your content is displayed in feeds rather than letting Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms generate the headline, description and image for you.
Adjust or recycle unused title ideas by using them as headlines in social media content.
You may want to test different versions of an image. Use Open Graph tags and Twitter Card tags as a social media marketing testing ground.
Tweak the image and content based on the network. Showcase images and text that will appeal to the unique interests of each network’s distinct audience.
While Twitter is said to default to Open Graph tags if no Twitter Card markup is on the page, in our experience, you get a more controlled result if you include both types of social media markup on a page.
Using WordPress? Social Meta Tags in WordPress Plugins
If you’re using WordPress, several plugins make it possible to implement social meta tags without ever having to write a single line of code.
Some options include:
WordPress SEO by Yoast for Facebook Open Graph tags and Twitter Cards
WordPress plugins for social meta tags are a quick and easy way to associate custom headlines, descriptions and images with your WordPress posts and web pages on a page-by-page basis.
Facebook Open Graph data input fields in the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. If you were to click on the Twitter bird tab, you would see the same fields for customizing Twitter Card markup.
If you’re using different software to operate your site, the social markup for Facebook Open Graph, Twitter Cards and the other major social networks is below.
Open Graph Tags
The Open Graph protocol is Facebook’s standard for implementing social meta tags. It has also become recognized by all the major social platforms, including LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. This means that Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ will often pull the headline, description and image indicated in the Open Graph tags.