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Built on Spanglefish 3

Spanglefish 3 Manual

Social Media Optimisation

The simple part of this is to link your website to your social media accounts. Go to Dashboard > Site Settings > Site Social Networks and add your accounts here. For some accounts like Facebook you'll need to add the URL to your (Facebook) page. For others like Twitter you'll just add your 'handle'.

Note that if you'd like a new social network added then please contact us about it. For now we accept Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Trustpilot and Tripadvisor.

Once you've added your Social Networks you can display icons to them. For example you'll see icons in both the Header and Footer of this website. Add a new block to your Footer and select Social Networks as the block type.

The more complicated bit!

By adding your Social Networks to your site you've only done half of the job. The second part involves making sure that your site is set up so that when someone links to you on their social network feed, the links look good and convey the information you want.

Take this image - this is how Facebook will show a link to this page if someone posts it on their feed.

Screenshot of a link in the Facebook Debugger How Facebook links to this page

Set up your Site first.

Although it's a good thing to carefully optimise every page on your site, let's be honest, if you have a lot of pages it's a pain. So start by setting the default information which social networks like Facebook will use when they link to your site in general or any page you haven't tweaked.

Firstly go to Dashboard > Site Settings > Site Image and choose an image to represent your site. This might be your logo, your portrait or a photograph which represents you.

Then go to your home page, click Page Settings in the Admin Bar and type in a Meta Description. You may also want to amend the Page Title to more clearly explain what the site is about. The Page Title and Meta Description will be used by many social networks when displaying a link to your site.

Now optimise your Pages

OK, optimise one at least. You don't have to do all this in one go.

Visit a page on your site and click the Page Settings tab in the Admin Bar. You can give this page it's own Page Title, Meta Description and you can choose a Page Image for use if someone posts a link to this specific page on their feed.

These details will be used for this page instead of the default ones.

How do I test it's Working?

You could just post a link to your site or page on your favourite social network to see. But if you want to be more technical you could use the slightly oddly named 'Facebook Debugger'. Note that you have to be logged into your Facebook account to use it, so if you don't have one you'll need to try something else.

Enter the URL of your page into the box and click Debug. You will get one of two things back.

  1. If Facebook has never scraped your page before you'll get a message saying so and a button saying "Fetch New Information". Click this to get Facebook to scrape your page.
  2. If Facebook has scraped your page before you'll get a screen looking something like the one in this photo.

The Facebook Debugger

There's something very important to understand about how Facebook (and most other social networks) store information about your pages. Imagine someone famous like Joe Bloggs posts a link to your website on their Facebook page. Facebook might show it to thousands or even millions of people. Facebook does not want to scrape your page for information every time one of those millions of people sees Joe Bloggs's post, so the first time Joe posted it Facebook had a look at your site and then saved (cached) the information.

Now Facebook can quickly and easily show everyone the info about your site without referring to your page each time. Facebook might not look at your page again for days or weeks.

But what if you change your page and want Facebook to update the information it holds? Maybe you've used a different image or text. That's fine - just come back to the Facebook Debugger and get it to scrape your page again - note the Scrape Again button in the picture above.

You can do this as much as you like until you're happy with the result.

The Twitter Card Validator

If you don't have a Facebook account, or just want to test your page in a different social network then try the Twitter Card Validator.

It works in much the same way as the Facebook Debugger. However you might need to click the Preview Card button a couple of times before the image shows.

Screenshot of the Twitter Card Validator How Twitter links to this page
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