Have you ever shared a link and experienced a weird post description and a photo that has nothing to do with the content of the page that you are trying to share on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform? You usually think to give up and don’t share it, don’t you?
Same is experienced by the content viewers, they see an un-crafted Title, Description and Photo that don’t appeal to them to click or share but ignore or even trash.
But marketers can control the content that Social media platforms will generate and display whenever their link shows up on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any other Social media platforms. This experience is controlled by using social meta tags.
What Are Social Meta Tags?
Social Meta Tags are HTML Tags that enable us to make our website content preview look nicer and make the most out of it whenever someone shares it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ etc.
Social Meta Tags determine how and what information will be displayed whenever your post is shared in social media platforms. Only a neatly organized post with targeted and right information appeals to the viewers and enhances engagement and re-shares.
For instance if a user copies a link of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Fan website, https://www.ronaldo7.net/, and shares it on his Facebook status. It looks like a lackluster piece of content as shown below:
This website has a huge room for improvement in order to urge a viewer to click or re-share. It misses the photo, the title is not crafted at all and the description is also missing. This post is least likely to get engagement and grow the business.
While if another user copies the link of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Official website https://www.cristianoronaldo.com/#cr7 and shares it on his Facebook status. It looks like this:
This looks more organized and optimized. It is more likely to appeal the viewer to click and re-share whenever it appears on his timeline.
An attractive and clear Image, a catchy Tile, a well versed description and domain name are the attributes that are mostly featured by a publisher for social networks.
Social Meta Tags are doing this magic by enabling the publisher to specify and optimize the Image, Title and Description that pops-up automatically whenever a web link is shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest etc.
To learn how to edit Facebook Link Previews effectively, visit this effective blog; 5 Ways to Edit Link Posts.
How Meta Tags Work:
When a link of a webpage is shared on Twitter or Facebook, they scrape through the webpage and display the content in post after reading the meta tags.
Both Twitter and Facebook have different meta tags that are similar in context but differ in prefix. The twitter meta tags have “twitter” as a prefix. Twitter meta tags also include and specify the requested display format.
Facebook uses the Open Graph protocol that has “og” as a prefix. The Open Graph protocol is a web page classification system. Open Graph website has a load of meta tags available but we only need a few for Social posts, i.e., Title, Description, Image and URL as discussed above.
Both Twitter and Facebook also provide Guidelines to use meta tags and are quite similar but have different limitations.