Can you preview your Facebook posts?
You have just finished setting up your website, and it looks amazing. The only problem is, you have no idea how it looks if somebody shares it to Facebook. Fortunately the answer to the preceding questions is: Yes you can, and you can also take complete control over how your posts look. Let’s dive into it.
Short Answer: The Sharing Debugger
If you only came to this site asking “Can you preview Facebook posts”, the short answer is yes.
Facebook fortunately has a post preview tool for working with your sharing. Go to Facebook’s Sharing Debugger and enter the url you want to share. Click Scrape, and preview what Facebook sees on your page.
If this preview does not look as you expect, it would be worth investing some time into it. Especially if you produce articles that you want people to share.
OG Tags—the Secret Behind Sharing
If you use WordPress, and prefer to not learn about OG tags, scroll down to the next heading to read about OG tag plugins.
There are some meta tags you can put in your site’s header to control exactly how Facebook sees your post—they’re called OG tags. Facebook will always first look for these, and if they don’t exist, it will try to extract information from around the page.
As an example, here are the basic OG properties for a blog post/article:
- og:url—Clean url with no unnecessary parameters to ensure that everyone shares the same exact url.
- og:type—In the case of an article the type would be article.
- og:title—A title. Don’t brand yourself here, keep it to the subject.
- og:description—Obviously a description.
- og:image—Url to image, preferably 1200 x 300px.
And here are the tags as used on the article you are reading.
<meta property="og:url" content="https://skylimit.productions/blog/facebook-post-preview/"/> <meta property="og:type" content="article"/> <meta property="og:title" content="Facebook Post Preview—See Your Post Before Sharing""/> <meta property="og:description" content="Can you preview your Facebook posts? You have just finished setting up your website, and it looks amazing. The only problem is, you have no idea how it looks if somebody shares it to Facebook. Fortunately the answer to the preceding questions is: Yes you can, and you can also take complete control over how…"/> <meta property="og:image" content="[URL TO MY SHARING IMAGE]"/>
So if you share this post (wink, wink), or preview it, you will see exactly that information.
You can keep researching sharing options forever at Facebook for Developers. There are as many options as there are types of content being shared on the internet. Here are links to two of Facebook’s own resources:
WordPress Plugins for Facebook OG Tags
There are WordPress plugins (of course) that creates OG tags from your posts automatically. The biggest one is Yoast SEO. On the plus side that one got a vast amount of options. On the minus side, it completely takes over your site, making it rather bothersome to get to work alongside custom work—which is what we do here at Skylimit Productions. Therefore I do not have extensive experience with it, but recommend it if your are ready to put time on SEO work with every single post.
Control Your Sharing
Final words. Spend time on this, and it will get better. Time is always of the essence. Whichever tools you choose, the content will always be the most important part to your site, and then what you choose to extract into your sharing and what you choose to serve up to google.
So if you have the time, check out your preview, and get back to the drawing board, then check your preview again. Or, if the time is not there, maybe hire someone else to do it for you (like for example us).