Understand what Facebook Debugger is and how to use it – WAU
Facebook Debugger is a tool that shows how a link will appear on Facebook when it is shared. Although it is little used by small business managers, it is essential to optimize SEO strategies and very useful for a marketing plan.
Any company, from large multinationals to small family businesses, use social media to capture leads and get customers. If you have a blog or other channel involved in your marketing strategies, you will certainly use Facebook to share your content.
However, you usually have very little control over how these contents are presented at the time of sharing, since the name, description, image, among other things, are chosen automatically and are not always correct. To deal with this, there is the Facebook Debugger.
It is a Facebook for Developers tool that allows see how a link will look when shared. That way, you can correct any errors before disclosing the content.
If you use Facebook in your Content Marketing strategies, then it is important to learn how to use this feature to optimize your posts. And, to help with that, we brought in this post some important information about the Facebook Debugger.
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What is Facebook Debugger and what does it do?
Facebook Debugger is a tool that shows how a given link will be displayed on Facebook when it is shared, allowing you to make some adjustments to your page to optimize sharing. Let’s look at this more closely.
If you have spent enough time with technology in recent years, you should already have a sense of what a bug is: an error in the computer’s language, which makes running the program impossible. In everyday language, however, the term also refers to any machine error, when a program does not do what you wanted.
A debugging tool is, as the name implies, a way to correct this. In practice, what it does is expose the computer code and show where the language error occurred. That way, you identify the source of the problem and can fix it.
In the world of software development, this is a fundamental resource for ensure the quality of the final product. And in that case, it can also be your lifeline to avoid sharing errors on your page.
How to use Facebook Debugger?
First, you must access the https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/ page. There, you will find an area to enter the URL of the page you want to share, in addition to a “debug” button.
Paste the URL you want to see in the box and click on “debug” to see a series of information about the page, as well as a preview of the sharing. So, you can check every detail before sharing.
If Facebook picked up any incorrect information from your site or found no information, you can use this tool to make corrections. If any tag is incorrectly marked, just go back to your relevant website or plugin and make the necessary changes.
How Facebook gets this data
It’s not like the Facebook robot reads your entire post and concludes what the content is, as if summarizing the post or anything like that. The machine uses data called Open Graph Tags (OG Tags), or “Open Graph Markers”, in a literal translation. They also help with marketing automation for your page.
And what are they? Well, they are tags used to identify some information on your site that relate to social networks. Facebook started using them in 2010 and, currently, almost every website or plugin integrated into the social network has this feature.
Remember that OG Tags are not the same as Meta Tags. OGs are directly related to social networks, while Meta Tags are used by search engines to find your page. Keep this in mind when configuring both types.
Why does Facebook need a Debugger?
Although they have been in use for almost a decade, the OG Tags of a website can still have some unforeseen errors. And without a debugger, all of that would go unnoticed and compromise the performance of your page.
Here are some of the bugs that Facebook Debugger helps to discover.
Data not found
If any of the tags appear empty, it means that Facebook failed to identify the OG Tags of the URL you entered. This problem can happen because your site does not have tags tagged or because there is more than one source, such as two plugins that create different OG Tags, which causes conflict when checking.
Capture errors for Open Graph Tags
In some cases, even if all the tags are in order, you may not be able to find the information. This may indicate a data entry error on the site, but it can also happen when you have just created the page and it is not yet well indexed. In that case, just click “debug” again.
Incorrect image preview
One of the most common problems for people who share links on Facebook is that the image is displayed incorrectly. To avoid manipulation, the social network itself chooses which image to use, always being one of those inserted on your site.
However, this can also lead to some errors, such as a very small or incorrect image. If you are in doubt about which image to put, this tool will help to test.
How does Facebook Debugger help to correct these errors?
Regardless of what your problem is when sharing a post, this tool is a good way to identify the root of the problem and implement a solution. Here are two main ways to do this.
Edit OG Tags via plugins
Nobody expects the owner of a small business to have the knowledge, time or patience to learn to work directly with the source code of a website. Even those who work with technology, web design and programming are well aware that there are more efficient ways to configure a website.
The use of sharing plugins, for example, allows the automatic generation of OG Tags for each page, in addition to a practical way to edit their content. In WordPress, the most used are Open Graph for Facebook and Yoast SEO.
They autocomplete these tags, saving you a lot of time. And, if you want, you can still manipulate your content as much as you want, without having to mess with the source code of each file. The role of Facebook Debugger here is precisely to show which tags need to be edited and how.
Change image tags to optimize viewing
Another aspect that we mentioned is the manipulation of the choice of images, which is usually out of the user’s control. However, there is a way to change this using the OG Tags on your page.
To define which image will be used, Facebook looks for a specific tag. Failing that, just choose the first image in the post, which is not always ideal for sharing on social networks.
Fortunately, it is quite easy to correct this. Just insert a line of code right after the “head:” on your page:
In place of “IMAGE URL”, you insert the URL of the image that is inserted on the same page – not from external sources – and Facebook will use it when assembling the preview of the post.
Why is it important to correct these errors?
For someone who already has to deal with all the other processes in the company, having more of that work on their list can seem a little heavy. However, if you want your marketing strategy to be as effective as possible, you need to start using Facebook Debugger regularly.
Here are some of the benefits of using this tool.
A well-structured post, appropriate to your brand and with well-aligned content will always have superior performance compared to others of lesser quality.
Meta text, tags and the image displayed are fundamental components to attract the public’s attention and stand out in an overcrowded feed, so that every single point of relevance already counts.
Avoid incorrect information
Wrong or missing data in your posts can cost a lot, being a sign of amateurism, which ends up driving potential leads away. Even small adjustments can increase your conversion rate considerably.
Having multiple likes is fun, but for a Facebook marketing campaign, the most important thing is to optimize sharing, Debugger helps to improve components that affect this issue.
Facebook Debugger is just one component in a marketing strategy on that social network. Understanding how it works is a step towards optimizing your work and maximizing your results, but there are still other tools that you need to use to achieve your goals, such as paid ads.
To continue raising the quality of your marketing campaigns, also see our Facebook Ads ebook and find out how to optimize your paid advertising on this social network.