Love it or hate it. Facebook is a force to be reckoned with. With a large user base and ever-increasing amount of data available. It’s important to start looking at Facebook as more than a platform for catching up with friends.
If you haven’t implemented the Facebook Open Graph Protocol, you are leaving the fate of how your content is shared up to someone else.
In case you we were wondering, The Open Graph allows you to integrate your website into Facebook’s social graph. Essentially you website becomes a Facebook Page. Even if you currently have a Facebook page, you have the ability to tie the two together as if they are one.
The benefits of implementing the open graph with your website are plenty
1. Website Statistics
Get a better understanding of how your content is shared by using Facebook Insights. You’re able to analyze user growth and demographics, and consumption of content on your external website within Facebook. See the picture below for an example:
2. Control how your information is shared
By default Facebook uses the <title> tags in your header to determine what to share when someone clicks “Like” on your page. The same goes for the image that gets shared. By adding Open Graph data you have full control over the how this looks. You determine the image, the title, link, and description that shows up on Facebook.
3. Target specific products
It’s like SEO, you want to make sure that you optimize each page for best possible results. Not everyone will be interested in your homepage but they may be interested in a specific product. By allowing that product to have a separate description, photo, and headline, you are now able to see which products are generating traffic back to your site. If every like button defaults to your main page you’re missing out on important data.
Fortunately this part is really simple, to get started you need to add four pieces of information on each page in the header section:
It should look like this:
If you have a WordPress blog, there are a couple of great plugs for you: Facebook Like This plugin automatically configures all the Open Graph data for you.
The other is Facebook Open Graph Meta – this one allows you to add custom open graph data to each post and page.
If you’d like to dig a bit deeper into the Open Graph, here are a couple of pages worth reviewing:
If you need help integrating the Open Graph with your website or connecting your website to Facebook Open Graph, shoot us a message, we’ll point you in the right direction.