Posting links to articles and websites within your Facebook Business Page status updates is a very common thing. In fact, this type of posting is probably the most common. But did you know that you’re not stuck with the link preview that Facebook automates when you paste a URL to the webpage to which you’re directing your fans?
While the functionality of this may sometimes be limited, the ‘aha moment’ I hear from my clients is a common reaction when I teach them that this is possible.
But before I delve into how you can manipulate the link preview to look and read exactly how you want it to, let me first make sure you’re doing one thing that I consider imperative to help you better track your Facebook Page’s performance: use a trackable URL shortener. If you’re going to post links to URLs outside of Facebook, you need to ensure you know exactly how many people are actually clicking on your link. Facebook offers pretty decent Insights, but in my opinion, any tracking you can do on your own is better than relying on insights you can’t customize.
There are several URL shorteners out there, and my personal favorite is bit.ly (but if you want a list of others, here you go:http://bit.ly/1hvW70s (notice I used a trackable bit.ly link!)). URL shorteners allow you to not only shorten unsightly and unending URLs, but they also allow you to track how and when they are clicked, so long as you subscribe to the service (usually free).
But, I digress. Here is what a Facebook link preview looks like in it’s unedited state:
You can see the URL in the status update box that I pasted. Doing this populated the preview image (pulled from the page I linked to, which will sometimes offers a selection of images pulled from the page), the title of the page or article, a credit to the website it originated from, and an exceprt of the first paragraph from the page or article itself.
I have created a handy video tutorial that you can watch here. In it, I walk you step by step through the customization features of any given link preview.
Have a question? Let us know!