As part of Facebook’s ongoing effort to curtail the “spread of misinformation and false news” on its platform, the company has implemented new rules around posting links. To borrow a phrase: U Can’t Touch This.
Unless you’re a media publisher AND you own the website domain to which the post links (and authorize it as such with Facebook by Sept 12, 2017), you will no longer be able to alter the headline, description, or image of the link you wish to share on your page. This was instigated in the wake of increasing abuse of the process by those wishing to whip up more traffic by employing the ol’ (click)bait and switch. Tweak a little headline here, manipulate the visual, and you can completely re-colour an article. (What happens next will SHOCK you.)
Now, we at Patio understand Facebook’s concern, particularly in light of the last… how long’s it been since November? A few years, right? And we certainly aren’t in the business of peddling misleading articles or bamboozling anyone. But we do realize this has an impact on businesses and how they use Facebook to interact with their customer base. Thankfully, there is a solution.
A third-party publishing tool, Sprout Social, provides a loophole of sorts that allows for the creation of content that works for business without setting off alarms in Menlo Park. As you can see in the example below, Sprout still allows for clean, clear copy edits of link headlines & descriptions, all while retaining the integrity of the link.
This is a good time for you to work with your web developers to ensure your headline and title tags and metadata on your website is working overtime. Best practices can be found here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/best-practices
So, take a look at Sprout, and check your website metadata. If it still seems all a bit too much to fret about over the million other things you need to get done today, give us a call. We’ll be happy to work with you to build up that customer base and cultivate trust with relevant and timely content.
And that news, you can take to the bank.
Please note: other publishing tools may offer a similar work around. As we learn of more options to work around this issue we will update this blog.