Yesterday, I talked about how to crap on mobile browser users by burying your lead. Today, I talk about how it craps on your own promotional vectors — specially Facebook.
When someone shares a link on Facebook, it looks something like this:
Here I’m making folks who follow my Facebook profile aware of my mouthing off. Facebook intelligently grabbed the start of my article, in this case the first 48 words. Now, 48 words isn’t enough to say “hey, here’s what I’m talking about” — after all, there is an art to this whole “introduction” thang. Still, let’s look at some others.
One of Mine That Sucks
This is one of the ones that made me think more about this whole “craft a good intro” thing. Look at that and tell me if it actually conveys anything. Since the original post just has that as the first paragraph before the blockquote hits, that tells me a bit about how Facebook treats such content. Doing that only gave me 26 words. Whee.
Some of the Recent EHP Family Posts
Here are three posts, from Fred Hicks, Rob Donoghue, and Paul Tevis, provided with merely academic comment. I think you can draw your own conclusions. (And seriously, this isn’t easy to always remember. Especially if you don’t use Facebook much or at all.) The images link to the original posts.
(Comment: Notice that it cuts Fred off. That’s normal; it does that when it hits a certain length. I suppose I could spelunk the Facebook API to find out the particulars, but the great thing about this is that I don’t have to. I can be a lazy user.)
It’s Not Just You
I’d like to say that it’s evident of the links about that it’s not just you that’ll do links to your stuff on Facebook. Your fans & friends will, as well. So even if I was all “fuck Facebook, I hate having vectors of self-marketing that are cheap and easy, and also, hey, mah peeps,” your peeps will use it. So take note.
Here Daniel Perez Liked my post, thanks to the WordPress plug-in Add To Any. So you see what he did, how it looks, and overall the effect is has on the timeline others see. Of course, someone who likes it could click the Share button in Facebook and propagate it, meaning that whatever ends up being in the blurb based on your initial few dozen words will be spread around the Internet.
Back to that D&D Post
Let’s take a look at what that D&D post I talked about yesterday looks like as a Facebook link.
That’s very unfortunate, but not the blogger’s fault. The browser rendering looks nice enough, but Wizard’s markup doesn’t play well with social media. Goes to show you that older faux-blog technology is more of a hindrance than folks realize.
Hopefully this is of use to folks looking to make use of social media like Facebook to, you know, actually rock your social network-fu.