3 Ways to Make Your Pages Facebook-Friendly

Sharing on FacebookYou’ve made a Facebook page and a Twitter account. You’ve even added “chicklets” to your site to let people easily share your content. But are your pages optimized for sharing?

When a user shares a link on Facebook, they can change the title and the description–but most people don’t know that, and won’t take the time even if they do. It is important to make sure that the default information that appears is what you want other users to see.

  1. Use a good title.

    This has always been important for SEO, but it’s also what shows up when a user shares your link. You can supply text specifically for sharing with an Open Graph meta tag:
    <meta property="og:title" content="3 Ways to Make Your Pages Facebook Friendly" />

    This can help you keep it short by eliminating your lengthy blog name or company name.

  2. Make sure the first paragraph is important.

    The first paragraph shows up as the descriptive text. If your page contains rich media or other non-text content, you can add an Open Graph meta tag

    Like the title meta tag, it looks very similar:
    <meta property="og:description" content="What do your pages look like when you share them on Facebook? Do they have a good title? Relevant intro text that interests the reader? An interesting image? Tips on how to make your page work for all 3." />

  3. Include a relevant image.

    Wall posts with images stand out more. Facebook will select the first non-linked image as the default, and will let users select from a menu of other non-linked images on the page

  4. You can find out about other Open Graph meta tags at http://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/. Facebook recommends including the XML namespace attribute for the Open Graph in your html element:

    Digital Inspiration’s Set Thumbnail Images for Your Web Pages describes a way to specify a thumbnail images using a link element:
    <link rel="image_src" href="http://osric.com/chris/images/sharing-on-facebook.gif" />

Why I’m Not Friends with My Bank on Facebook

I received a request today from my financial institution asking me to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.

Aside from the fact that I doubt that their updates on these various services will enrich my life, there is another very good reason not to follow them:


It’s easy to trace your connections online. Most of this information, for most users, is public. If you follow Bank A, it stands to reason that you have an account at Bank A–something a malicious person would not have known before. Even if your online persona isn’t directly connected to your name, you might be surprised at how easy it is to connect the two with a Google search.

(That last item says a lot, I think.)

Any bank that suggests you follow them on social media must be pretty confident of their security! Or, more likely, their marketing teams and their security teams don’t talk to each other.

You wouldn’t stand on a street-corner handing out cards that say, “My name is Bob Billiards and I have an account at Bank A” would you? Then don’t follow your bank on a social media site.