ATTENTION WordPress Users: Here is How to Take Control of How Facebook Treats Your Blog
We already give Facebook enough control over our lives, don’t we? So I thought, it is about time that I take back at least some of the control Facebook has on me…I mean, my bad guy blog Is not it great to find out that if you don’t like what Facebook does with your WordPress website, you can actually control the situation and put Facebook in its rightful place?
The problem: When you share a post of yours on Facebook (or someone else shares it) Facebook captures an image of its choice and embeds it into the shared post.
The solution: Yes, I have found the solution to this problem. There is a way you can take control of what image Facebook captures when you share a blog post on the social platform.
Please NOTE: This solution works for ALL well known social media platforms, not just Facebook.
Is not it ridiculous that while on one hand Facebook does not give you a choice to select the image YOU want to embed in your shared post, on the other hand it disapproves posts containing images with too much text in them for promotion?
It so happened that I had purchased a boost for one of my ‘bad’ posts I shared on Facebook and Facebook being Facebook, it captured the header image of my website and embedded it into my shared post as ‘post preview’. I did not have any issue with that. However, when I chose to boost this post for Facebook promotion it rejected my ad (and it really felt as bad as a sexy girl rejecting me for a date, I tell ya) saying that the header image (which Facebook had captured out of its own volition) had too much text in it and hence my post was ineligible for the promotion. I had to find a solution. After all if I cannot promote my bad guy image to others then what is the use of being a bad guy right? So I had to do something about it.
You must have noticed that I am rambling a lot and have not given you a solution yet. Well that is because I wanted to bore you a little first. One must not expect a bad guy to be good right?
Already bored? Okay, I will have a little mercy on you then. Here is what you can do to take control of which image Facebook embeds in your shared blog post:
1) First step: Download the YOAST SEO plugin (don’t worry, I am not making any commission from them; the plugin is free to use)
2) A ‘SEO‘ tab will show up on your left menu. Under that tab, click on the ‘Social‘ link.
3) Next, click on the ‘Facebook‘ tab and make sure the ‘Opengrapgh‘ option is enabled.
4) Upload a default image which you want to show up as an embedded image in your Facebook post in case the post you are sharing does not contain any image. In other words, if the post you are sharing on Facebook does not have any image, this is the image that will show up on Facebook. Make sure that the image you choose is larger than 200X200 pixels and does not contain a lot of text in it.
5) Now go back to your blog post and click ‘Edit‘.
6) Here you can also edit the snippet that would show up as ‘post preview’ on Facebook or other social platforms when you share your blog post. Under the ‘Yoast SEO‘ tab click to edit the snippet, write what you want, then close it.
7) Wait. The battle is not over yet. Even after making the changes, if you share your old blog post on Facebook again, Facebook may still show the same old image for your post because according to Facebook , most blog posts don’t change post Creation. So you have to actually GO and TELL Facebook that your blog is an exception to this rule. To do this, just go to the Facebook Debugger tool , enter the link of your blog post and click the ‘Debug‘ tool. If it says that ‘this post has not been shared on Facebook before‘ it is okay; don’t fret over it because Facebook is known to be crazy anyways; just click the ‘fetch new information‘ button. Next go to the "When and how we last scraped the URL" tab and make a note of the value of ‘Time scraped.’ Ideally it should be no more than a few seconds but if it shows a larger value, click ‘Scrape‘ again to tell Facebook to fetch a new version of your old blog post and your job is done.
Now that you have managed to salvage your ‘image’ on Facebook, how does it feel to take control of how Facebook shows your blog post, rather than letting Facebook be in control? You can share your thoughts below.