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Optimizing for Social: Social Meta Fields

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*We added Social Meta fields because some publishers want to use titles that are different from what they put for their H1s. These fields provide the opportunity to write titles and descriptions that might get more engagement on social media (especially on Facebook).

What Are Social Meta Tags?

Similar to how page title tags and meta description tags help boost organic search engine rankings, social meta tags are elements in your HTML that boost social exposure, increase social media traffic and improve click-through rates. These tags are also called Open Graph meta tags, which are snippets of code that control how URLs are displayed when shared on social media. They’re part of Facebook’s Open Graph protocol and are also used by other social media sites, including LinkedIn and Twitter (if Twitter Cards are absent). This is used on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook. Developer simplicity is a key goal of the Open Graph protocol which has informed many of the technical design decisions. People are arguably more likely to see and click shared content with optimized OG tags, which means more social media traffic to your website.

There Are Three Reasons for This:

  1. They make content more eye-catching in social media feeds.
  2. They tell people what the content is about at a glance.
  3. They help Facebook understand what the content is about, which can help increase your brand visibility through search.

New Fields and How They Work 

You'll notice in the CMS there are a few new fields for "Social Meta". These have a title, teaser and image for Facebook and Twitter that are different from the article's title or the promo title. If you leave any of these fields blank, then the title/teaser/image specified in "Promo information" will be used for the title/teaser/image instead, and if no promo information is specified then the article's title/dek will be used (which is the same as it used to work.) In other words, if you don't want to have a different title on Facebook/Twitter than elsewhere, then you can just ignore these fields.
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Definitions of New Terms 

  • Promo Open Graph Title: This is the title that will be used for Open Graph meta tags. Facebook uses Open Graph meta tags. Open Graph meta tags are snippets of code that control how URLs are displayed when shared on social media.
  • Promo Open Graph Teaser: This is the description that will be used for Open Graph meta tags. Facebook uses Open Graph meta tags.
  • Promo Open Graph Image: This is the image that will be used for Open Graph meta tags. Facebook uses Open Graph meta tags.

Why Did We Add These Fields?

We added these fields because some publishers want to use different titles that are more likely to get engagement on social media. It is often better to be a bit more vague/make the title potentially more intriguing to more readers so they're more likely to click through. For example, instead of "Kansas City Southern Deal: Jim Cramer Says Mexico Is the Key" you might want to used something like "Kansas City Southern Deal: See Which Country Jim Cramer Says Is the Key."

General Structure

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What Makes for a Successful Image?

  • Don's show too much skin. FB's algorithm can see an image as bordering on inappropriate... even when the reader knows it isn't.
  • Include a person, place, or thing of interest to the reader. Make the reader curious about what's going on.
  • Choose an image that accurately displays the person's emotions, or at least causes an emotional reaction in the viewer. 
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What Makes for a Successful Open Graph Title? 

  • Don't give too much away, but don't border on ragebait, FB is cracking down on extreme language in headlines.
  • Try rewording your headline as an enticing question. Or, insinuate that the article will make a bold statement or prediction. 
  • Use strong verbs. Words and phrases such as, "reacts," "why he loves," "shares her views," "is disappointed by," "can't believe," etc. will pull readers in (especially if they are fans of that person).
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What Makes for a Successful Open Graph Description?

  • Include the major names in the story to draw people in. 
  • Don't give too much away, but don't border on ragebait, FB is cracking down on extreme language in descriptions.
  • Similar to when you're writing your title, make sure to use strong verbs. Words and phrases such as, "reacts," "why he loves," "shares her views," "is disappointed by," "can't believe," etc. will pull readers in (especially if they are fans of that person).
  • If your title is leading or intentionally mysterious, try writing a compelling question in the description that makes the reader want to learn the answer. 

If you have any questions about this field, please email pubsupport@theareagroup.net
or set up a training with Nick Wright at nwright@maven.io

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