Every day millions of links are shared on Facebook. And we know that the best way to get people to click on those shares is to have a good visual attached to them.
So when you have a piece of content that you want to share, you want to make sure it appears how you want it to appear. Nothing is as bad as a link share on Facebook that has an incorrect image attached.
That’s when Facebook Debugger can help.
What is Facebook Debugger?
Facebook Debugger is a tool that allows you to see “helpful feedback about your page markup,” Facebook says.
That means you can use it to see how the code of the website displays when shared on Facebook.
The results page will spill out a lot of technical information on what Facebook is seeing in the URL that you input.
How do you use Facebook Debugger?
All you need to do is open up Debugger and paste the URL into the field. The results page will give you the following:
- scraped information
- object properties
- share preview
- raw Open Graph document information
- like button warnings that should be fixed
- Open Graph warnings that should be fixed
How can you use this information?
Simply put, you can use this to make sure what you are about to share on Facebook is displaying how you want it to display. This is especially helpful to content creators.
One error that I see frequently is the correct thumbnail image is not displaying with the link preview. Using Facebook Debugger works to make sure the correct thumbnail image displays or can be chosen from among a handful. That ensures that the visual content you want shared is displaying correctly.
New share preview
As I mentioned, the results page gives a share preview. This is a new feature of the tool, and it’s one of the best features of it. Take a look at it:
— Dan Shure (@dan_shure) July 11, 2014
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When you interact with a page on Facebook, those are the two most common ways you will do so.
And, a new Facebook marketing is asking you to choose one of those responses.
This is what happens: A page will post an update (link share or photo, generally) and ask those who see the post to like if they agree with one option and comment if they agree with another option.
In other words, it’s a poll using Facebook actions. You can see an example above from the KLM UK Facebook page.
Legitimate or lame?
Why this tactic could be legitimate: Likes and comments are at least two of the metrics you measure for your Facebook success.
Why this tactic could be lame: If you want to set up a poll, you can do so; Facebook has that option already.
A lesson from big brands
Marketing tactics can sometimes have a trickle down effect, meaning big brands use them and then smaller brands adopt them. However, I perused most of the Top 20 brands on Facebook, according to FanPageList.com. None of the brand pages I looked through were using this tactic.
In fact, most brands often posted unique, brand-specific content as opposed to memes or other content that was not original to the brand. (Surely that’s one reason those are top brands on Facebook.)
But I digress: My point is KLM UK could have found some other way to use the above content without asking for fans to vote via likes or comments.
Measuring the efforts
Think about this: If a brand posts a one of these (a Facebook-action poll), does it hurt engagement numbers? For instance, if someone really wanted to like the photo above but didn’t want to vote for Africa, they might have left the content without liking or commenting.
Brands could measure this by comparing Consumers vs. Reach for Facebook-action poll posts versus other similar (photos to photos, link share to link share) posts as Jon Loomer suggests as a Facebook Insights ratio to monitor.
This is not a tactic that I have used, though, so I have no data to compare and contrast.
A call for action
But brands asking for likes or comments usually is not a bad thing. In fact, as Hubspot points out, calls to action on Facebook lead to more likes and comments (and more shares if the CTA is “share”).
In that light, providing a CTA is not a bad thing. But posturing the content as a Facebook-action poll could be.
What do you think: Is this a tactic that should be embraced or scorned by marketers?
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If you use social media tools every day like I do, then you’re bound to find a hoop here or a hole there that you have to jump through.
Sometimes it would be easier if that wasn’t the case. Sometimes you find yourself wishing for something that would make your life easier.
These are the things I hope happen. This is my wish list for social media for this year.
Too often do brands or bloggers or whoever post content on social sites that is, frankly, not good. Too often do they do the gimmicky thing and post something that isn’t necessarily relevant to them just to garner likes or comments.
Let’s stop this.
Let’s start posting content that is better than that, content that is relevant to the brand and its customers, content that unique.
Networks playing nicely together
Be honest: You, too, got sick of the bickering among networks last year. Most recently, Instgram and Twitter having a tiff over not showing photos in tweets. But there are certainly more examples.
Social media users are tired of it. We just want to use the networks we want and for them to get along. (Yes, I know this is a pie-in-the-sky wish and that it will not happen. Still …)
Mulitple managers for Facebook interest lists
Here’s a more tangible wish. I love Facebook interest lists, and it’s how I navigate the network now.
But I would love to be able to share managing duties of a list with another Facebook user. Already I have encountered a handful of situations where I had a list but a friend made their own because they could not add to mine. Make it happen, Facebook.
What do you wish to see in social media this year?
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Publishing Schedule and Contact Me
New #FictionFriday short stories and other writings on Fridays.
Contact me at polleydan(at)gmail(dot)com.
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