Beginners Guide to Social Meta (Open Graph)

These days a good presence on social media is just as important as a good presence on search engines. The great news is that you can control how your site appears on social media using All in One SEO Pack. All in One SEO Pack includes a Social Meta module which you can activate by going to All in One SEO > Feature Manager.

What is Social Meta?

First, let’s understand what social meta is and what it does. Social meta is often referred to as Open Graph meta and it was developed by the major social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

When a page or post is shared on a social media network, this social meta controls how it will appear.  Each social media site will display this information differently and the way it is displayed can change as social media networks improve their user experience.

Below is an example of how a page or post may look on Facebook:

Example Facebook post

Example Facebook post

Below is an example of how a page or post may look on Twitter:

Example Twitter post

Now that we know what social meta is and how it appears on social media networks, let’s look at how we use All in One SEO Pack to set it.

First, we’ll configure the main settings which can be found by going to All in One SEO > Social Meta.

Home Page Settings

All in One SEO Pack Social Meta module - Homepage Settings

All in One SEO Pack Social Meta module – Homepage Settings

In this section you can set the Open Graph meta for your homepage.  These settings are used for the homepage regardless of what you set in the All in One SEO Pack section of the home page.

Site Name

The Site Name is typically the name of your site or business.  Different social media networks may or may not use this.

Home Title and Home Description

Use these fields to set the Open Graph title and description for the homepage of your site.  If you’d like to use the SEO title and description you set in All in One SEO Pack under General Settings > Home Page Settings then check the box next to Use AIOSEO Title and Description.

Home Image

Use this field to set the Open Graph image for the homepage of your site.  If you do not set an image then All in One SEO Pack will use the Default Open Graph image which is set in the Image Settings section.

Home Article Tags

This field will only be shown if you have selected Article as the Facebook Object Type under Facebook Settings.  You can use this field to set the article tags which Facebook uses. This should be a comma separated list of keywords relevant to your homepage content.

Image Settings

Image Settings in the All in One SEO Pack Social Meta module

The use of images on social media networks is very important.  When a link to your content is shared on social media then an image will typically be displayed as part of the information.  These images can be large as we’ve see from the example of how a post may look when shared on Facebook.

Using the settings in this section you can control what image is used by default for your content.  These settings can be overridden on each post or page by setting an image in the Social Settings tab.  We’ll talk about how to do that very soon.

Select OG:Image Source

You can use this drop down to select which image is used by default as the Open Graph image for a page or post.  There are currently seven options, these are:

  • Default Image – This will use the default image set in the Default OG Image field shown in this section as the Open Graph image for each page or post
  • Featured Image – This will use use the Featured Image that is set for each page or post
  • First Attached Image – This will use the first image that is attached to each page or post
  • First Image in Content – This will use the first image found in the content of each page or post
  • Image From Custom Field – This will use the image specified in a custom field on each page or post. You set the name of the custom field in the Use Custom Field For Image field in this section
  • Post Author Image – This will use the avatar for the author of the page or post
  • First Available Image – This option goes through all of these options automatically looking for an image.  It uses the first image it finds

Default OG:Image

You can use the Default OG:Image field to specify a default image that will be used if no other Open Graph image is specified.  There is a checkbox for Use Default If No Image Found.

Use Custom Field for Image

You can use this field to enter the name of a Custom Field to use for the Open Graph image.

Individual Page/Post Settings

Now that we’ve set the Open Graph meta for the homepage and set some defaults for Open Graph images, let’s review how to set the Open Graph meta for an individual page or post.

Social Settings box in All in One SEO Pack

Social Settings box in All in One SEO Pack

When you edit a page or post and scroll down to the All in One SEO Pack box you will see a Social Settings tab.  This is where you’ll find the Open Graph settings for this specific page/post.

Title and Description

Use these fields to set the Open Graph title and description for this page or post.

If you do not specify a title then All in One SEO Pack will use the SEO title you set on the Main Settings tab of this All in One SEO Pack box.  If you haven’t set an SEO title then All in One SEO Pack will use the title of the page or post.

If you do not specify a description then All in One SEO Pack will use the SEO description you set on the Main Settings tab of this All in One SEO Pack box.   If you haven’t set an SEO description then All in One SEO Pack will use the Post Excerpt, or the first 1000 characters of the post content if there is no Post Excerpt.

Image

Use this field to set the Open Graph image for this page or post.  This will override any other setting in the main Social Meta screen.

You can use the additional fields to specify the width and height of the image.

It is important to note that different social media networks have specific guidelines about the image size. Facebook is the one with the strictest guidelines. Facebook recommends that you use images that are at least 1200 pixels wide by 630 pixels tall for the best results.

Custom Video

You can use this to add the URL for a video which social media networks may display when your page or post is shared. When you enter a URL in this field two additional fields will appear for Specify Video Width and Specify Video Height, you can use these fields to set the width and height in pixels for the video.

Facebook Object Type

For most people, the default setting of Article should be used.  Facebook has strict guidelines about the correct usage of the Object Type.  For example, a blog post is an article, setting this to something different may result in Facebook returning an error which will prevent this post displaying when it is shared.

Article Section

This is an optional field where you can enter a category name which represents the section of your website to which the content belongs.

Article Tags

This is an optional field where you can enter a list of keywords just like you would use Tags in WordPress to tag your content.

Twitter Card Type

You can this option to select the Twitter Card Type for this page or post. This will override the default Twitter Card Type for this page or post only. You can find information on Twitter Card Types here.

Now we have configured the basic settings in All in One SEO Pack. The following page covers advanced optional settings you may wish to configure, as well as troubleshooting/testing.

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