Post by Meghan Ryan, Senior Content Specialist and Stephanie Castillo, Content Analyst
Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Cards are website plugin features that allow Web developers to create more engaging and media rich posts. When these markups are implemented onsite, each post with a link pointing to the website will include a customized title, description and image.
By leveraging Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Card markup, brands will see an increase in link shares on social media, in comparison to the standard, text-based posts. This implementation should improve branding and increase website traffic.
HOW IT WORKS
Open Graph Tags should be included in the page’s HTML, as this allows the Facebook Crawler to generate previews when content is shared on Facebook. The Open Graph feature gives webmasters full control of what information Facebook will display from the brand’s website. Rather than “liking” a page and leaving it to Facebook to decide what information to display, Open Graph Tags give brands the power to control how content is shared by users.
When users click a social sharing button on the brand’s website or paste a link into a status update, the optimal result is a rich snippet with a page title, URL, description and thumbnail image. But content that’s missing one or more of these elements is likely to generate fewer interactions.
Facebook Open Graph
Graph Search is a search engine based on a user’s connections, likes, interests and friends; it presents a user with results from content only shared on Facebook. When brands add specific Open Graph Tags to their site, it turns every page into a “graph object” that can be read by Facebook and other social networks. The more information that Facebook retrieves from a page, the more visible branded content will be when it’s shared.
This is an example of how a link share with Open Graph markup would look on Facebook:
Image courtesy of Google
Some of the main markup tag components involved in optimizing Facebook Open Graph for maximum results are:
- META Data
- Title – this should be the title of the article or content linked to
- URL – the content’s URL should be present in the markup
- META Description – this should act as a description for the page
- Title of website – this should be the name of the brand, not the website URL
- Type of content – brands should specify the type of content they are linking to (i.e. article, image, etc.)
- Image – brands should input any image that is relevant to the content they’re providing
- Unique Facebook ID – this must be implemented in order for Facebook Insights to work properly
- Localization – the “locale” ID defaults to the US, but can be changed depending on the brand’s location
Twitter Cards allow brands to attach rich photos, videos and media experiences to Tweets that drive traffic to the branded website. When brands add Twitter tags to their site, users who Tweet links to the branded content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers. Similar to Facebook posts supported with Open Graph, Twitter Cards are more likely to encourage a higher CTR and an increase in traffic to the branded site.
Here is an example of how optimized Twitter Cards would look:
Image courtesy of Google
If leveraging Twitter Cards, brands should ensure that they are optimizing the Tags for:
- Type – the Twitter Card needs to have a “type” assigned to it:
- Summary Card
- Summary Card with large image
If no “type” is assigned, Twitter will automatically default to “Summary Card.”
- META Data
- Title – this should be the title of the content being linked to. Brands should ensure that the text is engaging in order to prompt consumers to click through
- Description – the description should be very detailed. Brands can use the page’s META description for this field
- URL – the URL should always be included in the Tags
- Image – brands should include a relevant image within the Tag
- Handle – brands should include their company’s @username in the Tag
Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Card implementations will allow for higher visibility and social media shares in comparison to standard, text-based posts. Writing Open Graph Tags and Twitter Card Tags with the intent of inviting users to click will help branded content stand out.
To learn more about Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Card implementations, contact Performics today.