Tell me something! When you share your posts on Facebook (or any other social media site) would you rather they look like this?
Or like this?
Obviously, you would prefer that they looked like the second post, because the Facebook Open Graph pulls in the featured image and displays it on your newsfeed. The second post is also more likely to get more shares, comments and likes, right? Right!
Twitter has also implemented Twitter Cards that pulls in a summary with large image so that your Tweet gets displayed like the one below when you click on the “View Summary” link. According to this post, tweets with images receive 150 percent more retweets than those without.
What Is Social Metadata?
According to Moz, social metadata allows you to “optimize for sharing Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest by defining exactly how titles, descriptions, images and more appear in social streams. The right data, including optimized images, helps content to spread, which often leads to increased links and mentions.”
So how do you make sure that your posts are being displayed in the best manner on social media networks? If you’re a WordPress user, you can use a number of WordPress plugins to make sure your meta tags for social media are optimized for these websites.
Adding Social Metadata To WordPress
One of the easiest ways to add social metadata to your WordPress site or blog, is with the Yoast SEO plugin. In fact, this plugin is the perfect social media meta tags generator.
For those who use this plugin, click on the link titled Social and you’ll see a number of consoles with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google listed.
If you click on the Facebook console, you’ll see an option titled “Add Open Graph metadata”. Click to enable this field and fill in the options below it so Facebook can show meta data for your home page and also show a default image when it does not find a featured image in your blog post.
To enable Twitter Cards for your blog, it’s even simpler. Just click on the Twitter console and enable the “Add Twitter card meta data” option. Then set the default card type to use as the “Summary card with large image.”
If your site has a lot of attractive images and you want to enable sharing on Pinterest, you’ll have to to verify your site with Pinterest. Confirming that you own your website adds your profile picture to any Pin that came from your site. You’ll also get access to website analytics so you can see what people are Pinning from your website.
For this, you’ll need a meta tag from Pinterest that you can get using the steps below.
Step 1: Get the meta tag
• Click your name at the top of Pinterest
• Click the gear menu, then Account settings
• In the Website field, click Confirm website
• Copy the meta tag
Step 2: Paste this meta tag into the Pinterest verification field in the Yoast SEO plugin.
Step 3: Finish setting up
Go back to Pinterest and click Finish (they will automatically check the meta tag and confirm your site).
Note: Pinterest uses Open Graph metadata just like Facebook, so be sure to keep the Open Graph checkbox on the Facebook tab checked if you want to optimize your site for Pinterest.
If you run a WooCommerce ecommerce site in WordPress and want to make it Pinterest-friendly by adding Rich Pins that pull in metadata for pricing and other information, you can add the WPSEO Pinterest Rich Pins for WooCommerce plugin. It’s an add-on to the Yoast SEO plugin, as it adds Pinterest Rich Pin data to WooCommerce product pages via Yoast SEO.
You should also enable the Google+ specific post metadata so that your images and summary are optimized on the Google+ network. Also add the link to your Google+ Business page into the plugin.
Social Metadata Alternatives to Yoast SEO
For those who do not have Yoast SEO installed or prefer to use other SEO plugins, the alternatives below can help to implement social sharing metadata for each site individually.
Twitter Cards Meta – This plugin will help you implement the Twitter card metadata, but you may have to upgrade to a paid version for the option that uses a Summary card with Large Image.
WP Facebook Open Graph Protocol – This plugin adds well executed and accurate Facebook Open Graph Meta tag information to your site. It works on Facebook, Google Plus, and Linkedin.
Optimal Image Sizes and Proportions
According to Facebook you must use images that are at least 1200 x 630 pixels for the best display on high resolution devices. At the minimum, you should use images that are 600 x 315 pixels to display link page posts with larger images. If your image is smaller than 600 x 315 px, it will still display in the link page post, but the size will be much smaller.
According to a post on the Buffer blog, these are the best sizes for sharing images on social media.
- Facebook – 1,200 x 628
- Twitter – 1,024 x 512
- LinkedIn – 800 x 800
- Google+ – 800 x 1,200
- Pinterest – 735 x 1,102
However, when sharing images on your blog, you can’t always adjust your images to display well on every social media network.
The Buffer post also recommends their go-to image size templates that cover most networks.
- Horizontal (landscape) – 1,024 x 512
- Vertical (portrait) – 800 x 1,200
While horizontal images do best on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, vertical images do best on Pinterest.
In his Buffer post, Kevan Lee also notes that images previews for shared links on Facebook are scaled to fill a box of 470 pixels wide by 246 pixels tall.
Anything outside of 470 x 246 pixels will be cropped from the top and bottom in order to fit. So make sure your most important information is in the center of the image.
So when sharing your WordPress posts on social media, first, ensure that your WordPress site has the right social sharing metadata for every social network. Secondly, ensure that you use an image in your blog post that will display well on every social network.
I hope these tips on implementing social network metadata have been useful for you. Implement them and your WordPress posts will look great when shared on social networks.