Facebook Open Graph Tags allows you to specify metadata to optimize how your content appears in a user’s timeline. The added benefit of using this data is that by creating an “Edge” in Facebook you can obtain some fantastic data about the users checking out your content via Facebook Insights. If you don’t use Open Graph tags Facebook will default to standard metadata.
This is the title of the piece of content. You should use this as a headline that will appeal to the Facebook audience. It is completely ok to use a different title than the one on the actual site as long as the message is ultimately the same. You have 95 characters to work with.Format:
<meta property=”og:title” content=”iAcquire’s awesome blog”/>
This is the type of object your piece of content is. For your purposes it will usually be blog, website orarticle, but if you want to get fancy Facebook provides a complete list.Format:
<meta property=”og:type” content=”article”/>
This is the image that Facebook will show in the screenshot of the content. Be sure to specify a square image to ensure the best visibility in a user’s timeline. If you don’t specify an image at all you are left to the mercy of the user to pick which image represents your content based on what Facebook can scrape. That is typically not the way to ensure the best first impression.Format:
<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://www.iacquire.com/some-thumbnail.jpg”/>
– This is simply the URL of the page (or edge). You should specify this especially if you have duplicate content issues to make sure the value of the edge in Facebook is consolidated into one URL.Format:
<meta property=”og:url” content=”http://blog.iacquire.com”/>
This is the description Facebook will show in the screenshot of the piece of content. Just like the standard meta description it should be catchy and contain a call to action, but in this case you have nearly twice the number of characters to work with. Make sure this too speaks to the Facebook audience. You have to 297 characters to make it happen.Format:
<meta property=”og:description” content=”Stop hitting refresh on your ex-girlfriend’s Facebook page? You should check out the iAcquire blog and learn something instead”/>
- fb:admins – This metatag is critical for getting access to the wealth of data made available via Facebook Insights. You simply have to specify the Facebook User IDs in the metadata of those users you want to have access. For more information on Facebook Insights see the documentation.Format:
<meta property=”fb:admins” content=”USER_ID”/>
Due to its overwhelming adoption, the other social networks will all default to Open Graph Meta tags if there are no other meta tags present. However, as I mentioned earlier in this discussion, to only prepare one set of metadata is to ignore the ability to speak to the different people in the different channels. Understanding that Google+ is mostly tech users, Facebook’s audience is far more varied and Twitter’s audience is often dealing with content flying by at the speed of thought – why not account for that with your metadata?