It seems like Facebook is always launching some new feature, or changing one that we've come to know and love. Today, Facebook is rolling out a change to the Link Preview settings that will change how businesses and social media managers post links to pages from now on. This link preview update will remove the poster's ability to edit the meta title, description, and image associated with a link in a Facebook post. Any past or pending posts with custom metadata will automatically revert back to the original metadata associated with the shared URL.
One the one hand, this update is understandable as it is designed to combat the proliferation of 'fake news' on the platform. If people can't edit the metadata, it means that they can't game the system when posting the link. But on the other hand...this is going to be a headache for marketers.
Here are 3 ways to ensure that your posts are optimized for posting on Facebook:
Ensure your website meta data is completely filled out.
Since Facebook will be pulling the link title from the link that you post, make sure that your page titles are labelled correctly on your website, and that your blog post titles are short and descriptive. You'll also want to make sure that your meta description is completed for every page and post on your site; this should be 1-2 sentences long, and concisely explain what the content on the page is about. Yoast SEO is a great plugin for Wordpress sites; Squarespace has SEO fields built into every page and post, so make sure you use them regularly!
Optimize the social sharing image for your website.
This will be your only chance to control what image Facebook uses for your posts, so choose wisely! Wordpress and Squarespace both have built-in options for the social sharing photo assigned to each page and post on your site. I would recommend creating a template that you can quickly and easily use to generate a custom image each time you need one. If you don't have access to Photoshop or InDesign, PicMonkey is an excellent online resource for image creation.
Test your post data before sharing the link on Facebook.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's always a good idea to test out your link on Facebook before sharing it! This is especially helpful if you're new to metadata and are unsure if you've filled in the right fields. After you paste the link into your Facebook post, it will automatically generate the preview directly below the text post. If it doesn't look right, the description or title is too long, or the image isn't pulling properly, go back and edit the page until you're happy with the preview.
At the end of the day, we're at the mercy of platforms like Facebook, but that doesn't mean you should shy away from any updates or new features that are released.