So you copy and paste your website URL into Facebook and some random words and image comes up. You think maybe you’ve made a mistake, go back and check the page (which is fine) and try again….but nothing changes. And so you keep doing this round and round in circles…

It’s driving you nuts right?

Well don’t panic, in this post I’m going to explain how you can set the image and description Facebook shows, and how to correct it when it won’t!

Facebook Open Graph

 

Did you know you can select a title, description and image Facebook will show for a post or page?

It’s called Facebook open graph – and if you have a WordPress website, it’s quite easy to configure.

If you install the Yoast plugin, scroll down to the bottom of the post or page to the Yoast section. Find the “Social” tab, then type in the title and description you would like to show for that post or page, and select an image. Update your post to save those changes. This information will now be what shows on Facebook for that post/page. Easy.

All the above aside, sometimes you may post a link to Facebook and the image still shows up wrong. It’s never happened before and so you think why on earth is this going on? Now you need to take the next step…

 

Facebook Open Graph Debugger

 

First of all, you need to understand what happens when you post a link. When you post a link on Facebook, it tries to find the image from your website. It uses “tags” it finds on every piece of data your site has to work out which image it should show. If your tags aren’t set up properly, then it will determine the image to show. Hence the random images from time to time.

There can also be problems if Facebook just cant retrieve the image – for example if the image is too large or there happens to be something going on with your site at the time. Facebook then chooses an image, and this image stays in it’s “memory” for that URL (link), so every time you post it (even if you refresh your browser like crazy) it keeps sharing that same image. Over and over and over again.

If this happens, what do you do?

  1. If you are desperately trying to schedule a post you want out NOW, then just post the link and add your own image to the post. Done.
  2. Now you can check what is going on, by using the Facebook Open Graph Debugger. Navigate to that page, copy and paste your URL into the space provided (see screenshot below) and click the debug button. This will “clear” the memory, so if you paste your link again on Facebook it should show the correct image!
    1. If this doesn’t work, the debugger will give you a list of things you can investigate and correct.

Facebook open graph debugger

 

There you go – I hope this helps with your facebook image issues!