A better way to share links and images on Facebook

November 25, 2013

Savvy nonprofit social media managers know that photo posts (particularly those with text overlays) generate more engagement than text-only updates. They stand out in fans’ feeds and generate more likes and shares than posts that are less visual.

To maximize the number of eyeballs on posts, some Facebook administrators have begun to use photo posts even when their goal is to promote a link by including the link in the introductory text above the photo. This is great at improving the visibility of the post and generating more likes and shares, but not at maximizing clicks. Here’s why: when people click on the photo, they just get a bigger version of the photo with the text and comments to the right. The reader has to then click again to visit the link.

There is a better way to create a visually compelling Facebook post when your goal is to get people to follow a link, though it is only available for pages, not individual accounts.

Instead of sharing an image, share a link and swap out the auto-generated thumbnail! When you include a link in your status update, Facebook will pull a description from the linked page and an image if it has one. You can now replace the image with a larger and more engaging one. Here’s a quick video tutorial; scroll down to see how each step works:

HowTo: Replace a Link Thumbnail with Custom Image on Facebook from GregoryH on Vimeo.

Paste the URL into the status update box. The link’s summary will show up along with a thumbnail. Add your introductory text. Click the “upload image” link under the thumbnail.  Select an image from your computer.

The result is this:


It’s way more visually appealing! And when others hit “share” on your post, the engaging photo is shared along with the LINK to the article or action page!

This is what it will look like in your fans’ feeds, and the entire image is clickable!

And this is what it will look like when your fans click “share.”

It might seem like a subtle difference but we think it could really change the way information moves on Facebook.

Gregory Heller