Date: 19th April, 2018
This isn't new news, but it's SO important we thought we would revisit it...
In spite of being around for a while now, the phrase ‘Open Graph Data’ or ‘OG’ is still reasonably unknown.
In a nutshell, Open Graph Data is the information pulled from a webpage to populate link previews on social media. Facebook first introduced OG in 2010 in an attempt to encourage integration between Facebook and other sites, allowing them to be rich in graphic content.
If the OG wasn’t already setup on a website, Facebook gave us the ability to change things as needed, which was great as it allowed us to change the images and text as needed to give maximum impact. This tool was initially great for page owners as marketing is all about the right combination of images and key messages.
However, in August 2017, they removed the option to change the Title and Description of the link preview in a bid to curb the proliferation of click bait posts and fake news. They have now taken it a step further and no longer allow you to change the image of the link preview either. So if your link preview looks like this:
You can add another image but can’t remove the original. Leaving you with a Facebook carousel, which isn’t always the thing you were looking for or you end up with a pretty ugly looking link on your feed. As an image is arguably the most important and impactful part of a post, it has to be right.
This means you need the OG details perfect on your website from the start. To do this you have to have your OG tags set up correctly and this isn’t for everyone unless you’re a developer, or a developer has set up an extra area in your admin where you can fill these details in yourself.
It's also important that the image you select/upload works at Facebook’s current proportions which are 1200 by 627 pixels - although no guarantee these will remain the same for long as Facebook is always changing things. If you use a smaller image you will get a smaller link preview which isn’t as eye-catching as the full-width feed image.
If social media forms part of your marketing strategy we recommend you fix your OG details asap – You can use the Facebook Sharing Debugger to see the information that is used when your website content is shared on Facebook, Messenger and other places. https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/
If you have an existing site with us please get in touch for advice or to upgrade your website to set up the OG information properly. Even if we didn’t build your site, we might still be able to help, so give us a shout. If you need more information about social media, in general, we offer training and advice to get you up to speed.