Metadata, or “data about data,” has evolved over time to become a powerful tool for organizations focused on search engine optimization (SEO) and social content performance.
From a credibility standpoint, metadata that backs up organizational expertise is a valuable asset for both your SEO and social media programs. In today’s digital landscape, reputable information is even more critical to organizational success than before, as users are primed to distrust information on social – especially after Facebook announced its commitment to rid News Feeds of fake news. Having the right back-end data will help provide better structure so your post copy can more accurately display your website images and description. Considering today’s shortened attention spans, more visually appealing content is going to get engagement.
Rough translation: Pics get clicks.
Getting Started with Metadata for Social
Before you put time and budget into drafting creative and compelling social media post content, make sure you’ve outfitted your site with the right meta tags that includes your key messages and a strong images. Think of it this way: However you set up your “behind the scenes” content on your website, that’s what social media channels are going to pull in to display. At a minimum, make sure you set yourself up for success by including all the right titles, descriptions and photos in your website meta tags.
If you’re not sure how your website appears on social media, preview it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn:
Twitter – Twitter offers a card validator to test your links. Copy/paste your website’s URL into the text box and click “preview card.” From there, you’ll see how it will appear on Twitter (including: photo, title and description).
Facebook or LinkedIn – Log-in to Facebook or LinkedIn and copy/paste your website’s URL into the status update box. The link preview may take a moment to load, but once it does you can delete the URL text omitting the untidy-looking raw link and let your beautifully-done metadata do the work displaying your website content.
Social is the Cart, Metadata is the Horse
After you’ve spent some time cleaning up your meta tags and getting your data in order, you should then focus on gaining control to edit this data on social platforms like Facebook.
Because Facebook works on the Open Graph (OG) Protocol, users have the freedom to adjust their URL’s appearance, regardless of what is pulled in based on data (the same goes for platforms like LinkedIn and Google+). However, as part of their crackdown on fake news, Facebook in particular now asks that companies verify their website domain for exclusive permissions to edit owned metadata details within the platform.
To be clear, however, this simply gives you the option to shift messaging as-needed. It should not be thought of as a replacement for efforts toward cleaning up your website’s metadata – even temporarily. Using data to optimize search engine results and create trustworthy content helps in building brand credibility which is key for influencing perceptions about your brand.
Remember: Metadata is still just one piece of the social puzzle. Don’t rely on it for complete program success. Your content (much like your product) must live up to its packaging.
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