How to optimise your website for social media shares
Facebook and Twitter metadata makes social shares of your webpages look great!
There are many benefits to creating content on a regular basis; increasing brand awareness, positioning your organisation as thought leaders, encouraging conversation, driving word of mouth and increasing website traffic, assisting with website SEO performance and improving brand sentiment, to name just a few.
Most content strategies revolve around content on a website – often focussing on regular updates like blog posts and/or news stories that are shared via brands’ own social networks to encourage conversation and generate clicks back to the site. Ideally, you’ll have individuals - your staff, partners, customers and complete strangers sharing your website’s content too.
However, if posts aren’t ‘attractive’, they’re not going to stand out when competing with other posts in busy Facebook timelines, Twitter news feeds or LinkedIn home pages. Posts with text-only links and obscure descriptions don’t stand a chance!
Give your posts a fighting chance
By adding a few lines of metadata to all of your ‘sharable’ content – news and blog posts, product pages, events and your homepage – you can make sure your content looks great when shared on social networks like Facebook.
If you’re using a content management system (CMS), it might already have fields that allow you to enter relevant metadata or some the functionality could be added with some CMS customisation or by adding a plug-in.
Facebook and LinkedIn use the OpenGraph metadata protocol, which allows site owners to specify an image, title, description, public URL and type for webpages.
See the examples below to see what we mean.
Facebook posts with no metadata (rubbish!)
Facebook post linking to an optimised website (looking good!)
And on Twitter, you can use Twitter Cards metadata to add contextual content to links - very useful when 140 characters isn’t enough to convey a message. By adding previews of the websites being linked to, people are more likely to trust the link (rather than blindly clicking on a shortened URL) and therefore greater click-through rates are achieved. And links to pages with Twitter Card metadata generate a preview, making your tweet look more eye-catching than text-only tweets. I’m sure you’ll agree that the tweet on the top is more visually appealing and arguably more trustworthy than the one on the bottom.
Optimised website with Twitter Card metadata (looking good BBC News!)
No link preview, so MUCH less attractive. (Sorry!)
Take the plunge!
Although a little development time may be required at the onset, including social metadata to your website can increase the engagement and reach of website content on social networks.
Here are guides from Facebook and Twitter themselves to help you optimise your site:
Not sure where to start? Get in touch and we can help you ‘socially optimise’ your website!