When you’ve spent ages writing a blog post, the next step is to share it on Facebook and other social media venues.
However, if you don’t set the post up properly you run the risk of it not displaying with an appropriate image.
In this post, I’ll go through the steps I take when sharing a blog post on Facebook.
As you may already know, I use the Genesis Club Pro plugin on every site I build. So my steps will involve that plugin. For this tutorial to work, you must also be using the SEO Framework plugin. In Genesis Club Pro we have added some extra stuff that we feel is missing from the The SEO Framework, so the two plugins work together in this content.
For step by step instructions on setting up the SEO Framework plugin in general, please refer to this post.
Which Image Size Should I Use In My Posts?
Some blog posts I write include images. The size of the images I post varies. Don’t worry if your images are not the right size for Facebook.
We will be creating special images for posting on Facebook. Facebook is so important for post promotion that the extra effort is worth it.
Your site may say, be a fashion blog in which case you may want to make your content images the right shape and size for Pinterest. Basically, make the images inside your posts any dimensions that suit your purposes. We will provide something suitable for Facebook separately.
Facebook Uses Open Graph Images
Even if the images you place inside your posts (if you place any at all) are more attractive than my screenshots, it is still a good idea to create a completely separate branded image just for use on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Listly. In Facebook these are called Open Graph images.
The reasons for using an open graph image are that,
- when promoted on Facebook, your blog post will be noticed by more people and
- the image will automatically show up on facebook if anyone else shares your blog post.
So bearing this in mind, these are the steps I take.
- Set Up Facebook App Id
The first step is to set up the Facebook App Id in the Genesis Club Pro Plugin. These are the steps I took to do it.
- Place AppId Into The SEO Framework Plugin
- Click into SEO on your dashboard menu and then in the Facebook tab of the Social Meta Settings section, paste in the Facebook App Id.
- Select A Large Summary Twitter Card In The SEO Framework Plugin
While you are in the SEO framework plugin, set up your site to use Large Twitter cards.
- Click on the Twitter tab of the Social Meta Settings section
- In the Twitter card Type section, select the summary-large-image option
- Click on Save changes
- Place AppId Into The Genesis Club Pro Plugin
- Click into Genesis Club Pro on your dashboard menu and then in the Social link. On the Settings section, click on the Facebook tab and place the Facebook App Id there. Don’t forget to save your changes.
- Prepare Facebook Image And Texts
When you’re happy with your blog post, take a good look at it and create the following items, all suitable for social media. In other words the texts can be a bit less formal and designed specifically to make your audience click. You will also need an image.
- Between one and four source images, depending on the layout you decide upon. (I normally only use one source image).
- A Facebook post title (around 48 characters or less)
- A Facebook post description (around 80 characters or less)
- Some intro text (as much as you like)
- Some image text (Between 5 and 10 words depending on the layout of the image)
- Your logo in both black and in white
- Create Your Social Media Image
You can use any service you like to create your Facebook image. Although you can do everything in Photoshop, it’s a lot easier and faster to use a service like Canva, Adobe Spark or Stencil. I use Adobe Spark.
After I made the video above I changed the image a little and it finished up like this.
- Set Up The OG Image
- Upload your Facebook OG image to Amazon S3 or the media library.
- Copy the image URL
- Next go to the Genesis Club Pro plugin in the dashboard and click on the Social tab and complete the three fields there as follows, using the text for the title and description you came up with in step 4 of this tutorial.
- Publish Your Post
The next step is to publish your post and copy the public URL of the post so that it is handy for the next step.
Whatever you do, do not post your URL or go to the next step if you are unhappy with the OG image you have created. Now is the time to change it if you want to do so.
- Check Your Post URL in the Facebook Debugger
- Visit the Facebook Debugger
- Paste the post URL into the box
- You may get the message “This URL has not been oposted on facebook before”. If you do, click on the Fetch New Information button
- If you do not see your OG image in the link preview box, wait a few seconds, then click on the Scrape Again button
- If you STILL do not see your OG image in the link preview box, wait a few more seconds, then click on the Scrape Again button. Repeat this step until you see your OG image appear. Make sure you wait a few seconds each time and do not press the Scrape Again button more times that is absolutely necessary.
- Once the image appears, you are ready to post your post URL on Facebook.
- Check Your Post In the Twitter Card Validator
- Visit the Twitter Card Validator page
- Paste the post URL into the box
- Click on the Preview card button
You should see the same OG image that you created for Facebook. This means if ever your post is tweeted on Twitter by anyone, it should come up with this great image. Go ahead and post your blog post URL to Twitter to start your promotion.
- Post To Facebook
Go to Facebook and post the URL to your post. You should see your OG image appear. Add your text to the top of the post as shown in this video.
The video also shows you a simple technique for testing a post if you want to see what it will look like before posting for real.
Be aware that if you get this far and decide to change the image you will have to go back to the Facebook debugger and do that step again.
What About Other Social Media Venues?
Well, there are loads of them so I can’t cover them all. The most important ones to me are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Listly. It’s worth going to the trouble of creating a branded Facebook OG image and setting it up as described. See below.
If you follow the instructions in this post, your Facebook OG image will be used when you post on Twitter.
If you follow the instructions in this post, your Facebook OG image will be automatically used when you post on LinkedIn.
If you follow the instructions in this post, your Facebook OG image will be automatically used when you post on Google+.
If you follow the instructions in this post, your Facebook OG image will be automatically used when you post on Listly.
Pinterest is a special case. It works by looking at the images you have in your page content, not by checking for an OG image.
For this reason, if you have a fashion, blog a food blog or any type of site where photos are numerous and important for you with regard to Pinterest, then you will need a separate Pinterest plugin.
In this case, do not include Pinterest on the Genesis Club Pro floating bar, but use this plugin, (or your preferred dedicated Pinterest plugin) to deal with photos and Pinterest separately.