You can’t see it, but it should be there! Hidden in the depths or your web page.
It’s called metadata, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “data that provides information about other data”. These are small chunks of data within your webpage that helps describe the content or summarize the content of your web page, whether it’s a blog post, news article or About Me page.
When either you or a visitor to your site wants to share your page or blog article to social media, these pieces of metadata are used by the social media platforms to build the post for their specific platform. A Facebook share looks different than a Twitter share which looks different from a LinkedIn share. The same goes for other social media platforms.
If you want to test your page to see what it will look like on some social media platforms, take a look at these three tools.
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/post-inspector/inspect/
- Facebook: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/sharing/
- Twitter: https://cards-dev.twitter.com/validator
How to use
- Go to one of the links above
- Paste a link to your blog post, article, or whatever you want to share in the text field.
- Click the action button to Inspect/Debug/Preview what it will look like
There are various things that could be wrong with your page. When you look at the preview, it should be close to what you want to share.
- Missing Image
- Solution: Your website may have a default image that can be used for all posts, or you can add an image to your post.
- Missing Description
- Solution: Sometimes the SEO tools specific to the page you are sharing do not have the metadata description filled out. This is like a summary of your content.
- Missing Everything
- Solution: Twitter cards typically need to be set up on your website for correct formatting
It’s always a good idea to test your website for the correct social media metadata. This will provide a more professional look to your current and potential customers when you are sharing content.
Note: Metadata is also used by search engines and your webmaster should have that setup as well.