Sharing on Facebook

Sharing content on Facebook, while seemingly such an ordinary event, can actually be a bit complicated technically. Partly because you need to do some specific formatting on your site and partly because Facebook itself is consistently buggy in this regard.

Two major things to focus on:

Formatting Your Content

If you don’t have the WordPress SEO plugin installed in your site, activate it in the Plugins section of your Dashboard.

Once activated, go to a post and scroll down until you see the WordPress SEO block. The first thing to focus on is the SEO Title and the Meta Description. These are important for Google as well as Facebook:

Screen shot 2015-03-11 at 9.50.07 AM

NOTE: If you enter the title and description here, you DO NOT need to re-enter it on the Social Tab. The plugin will do that for you.

If you are not already using a Featured Image on your post (that’s in a special section on the right sidebar) then you need to add one on the Social tab in the WordPress SEO plugin section. It’s as simple as choosing an image in your library. However, the best proportions are horizontal, sized around 600×375, so if you can crop and create an image that size, it’s best. Choosing an enormous image might cause errors in the steps below.

Testing on Facebook

Go to this link and bookmark it. You will need to use it nearly every time you want to share a new article on Facebook:

https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/

You simply paste in your link (obviously, only if you’ve done the steps above!) and then click the DEBUG button.

Here’s the catch: you may have to do this twice.

I’ve tested hundreds of articles across dozens of sites and have almost ALWAYS gotten a serious of erroneous errors that my page was formatted incorrectly when everything was perfect. In other words – their system is buggy and rarely works the first time you click Debug.

The solution? Simply click Debug again and the errors disappear.

Once the red errors are gone, your content should be ready for sharing!



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