How to Add Links to Your Facebook Posts

An effective promotional post would include a sentence or two (call to action) and an image illustrating your message that linked to a spot to read more.  But how to do that?  Here’s the best I can find TODAY:

A Facebook post in progress
Facebook builds a “Link Preview” if you type a space character after your link.
  1. Prepare your link, message, image, and start your post.
  2. Suggested image size is 560 pixels wide.  It will be displayed at full post width, so set the height with that in mind.
  3. Write your message in its entirety, followed by your link and a space
  4. The space will trigger a “link preview” (see picture on right)

    Facebook post composition in progress
    Editing a Facebook post: options to upload a photo
  5. The link preview appears to take text from the web page’s meta description tag, and let you cycle through a few images from the page.  You can’t edit the meta description part of your post.
  6. If you don’t like any of the pictures or the meta description, you can remove one or both using the tiny faint “X” upper right.  That leaves you with the text of your post and an option to UPLOAD a photo.
  7. New post in Facebook ready to post
    Facebook ready to post

    I don’t see a way to use a photo already existing at your Facebook account.  So you must upload from your browser/PC.

  8. The only way to close the image window is to hit the blue “Post” button lower right.
A Facebook post with a link and a photo
Finished Facebook post, containing a link and a photo.

To the left is the resulting post.  My link goes to the URL shown, the photo goes to … not the link, but to some details about the photo.

To summarize, if the page you link to generates a Facebook link preview that you like, visitors may actually click through to your call to action page.  If the page you link to doesn’t generate a suitable link, you can upload a photo that may draw visitors’ attention, but only the most dedicated visitor will seek out the tiny text of your URL and click it.

What is your experience creating Facebook posts with links?

I took my screenshots, and described my experience, using Facebook as of April 25, 2017.  Have you noticed any improvements since then that you’d like to share?

How Facebook can be a Conduit to your Website

Our chief Facebook poster at Santa Clara FireSafe Council taught me a communication method today, that I’ve shared with my budding Facebook team at Bicycle Exchange. She says it’s a way for Facebook to be a conduit to your own website. Or any link you want to promote. Maybe this technique will help you too.

Postscript: I believe the ideal link would be words or a picture that link to the action page. However Facebook will only let you post a “link preview” it builds from the page; or you must spell out the link and upload a photo from your browser/PC. The photo can only link to the Facebook photo comments panel. As described in my tutorial.

Facebook post
Facebook post that links to a web page

Our Facebook team at Bicycle Exchange has used this “conduit” technique to recruit more volunteer bicycle mechanics. For example, Ivan has created a post that links a photo to our website’s “Contact” page. Here’s the technique I learned:

1) Identify the action you want the person to take as a result of the post.

2) Identify the photo which describes the action, event, news or fact.

3) In a sentence or two describe the thing and summarize the action you want the reader to take.

4) Link the action words, or the photo (or both?) to … something.

5) The “something” in our case can be a page at the Bicycle Exchange website.

I recommend looking at anyone’s own Facebook feed for examples. My feed is here; FireSafe Council’s feed is here.

Looking at my own feed, I found several examples right away, of people reposting other people’s findings. “Let your chickens do the gardening for you,” “Sign this petition” etc. (Me personally, I’d rather stick to posting my OWN findings.)

At the Bicycle Exchange Facebook feed, we can choose a workday photo. Then, since what we most need is volunteer mechanics, we can link to the volunteering page at the website.

Do you have any good example Facebook posts you’d like to share?

Or better, have you found out how at Facebook, how to customize a link’s text or photo?

A Post in Two Categories

What will its permalink be?

WordPress says its this: http://wp.elizahost.com/blogging/a-post-in-two-categories/ and that the higher numbered category (slug=wordpress) won’t be used.  Yet the following two links lead to this article as well:

  • http://wp.elizahost.com/posts/a-post-in-two-categories/
  • http://wp.elizahost.com/foobar/a-post-in-two-categories/

Note I have set a custom permalink style: /%category%/%postname%/ .

Shortlink to previous post.

Reminder: A link to all posts in the category “Posts.”

The Path to Blogging Success

Tips From my WordPress Book

Book cover: WordPress - the missing manual
WordPress – The Missing Manual, by Matthew MacDonald

A good post title clearly announces what you are going to discuss (p. 95)

Make sure your content is worth reading (p. 105) e.g. interesting or useful

Add new content regularly –“avoid stale content.”  But an observation, what’s wrong with that? — posts are dated.  Maybe it depends on the topic.

Keep your content organized.  “A good blog is ruthlessly arranged using categories and tags,” since browsing through monthly archives or searching for keywords in a post are not that convenient.

What IS a Blog?

(This is a sticky post)

In his 2011 book, Joomla! 1.6: A User’s Guide – Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website, Barrie North describes “what is a blog?”  Here is my summary of his topic:

What IS a blog?
* communication medium: typically frequent brief posts about a particular subject
* unique communication style: honest first-person voice
frequent posting: daily? weekly?
* usually posts are brief, only introductory text is shown on the main page, along with a “read more link
* make regular posts to build a loyal readership that will have consistent expectations about your blog content

Carol’s comment: who has time to regularly read anyone’s blog? Even as much as I value Jacob Nielsen’s “Alert Box,” I only visit when I have time to read, and first I search through his recent topic lists to choose what to read. Or I read someone’s blog post when it turns up in Google search results.

Which platform? Barrie says pick one that’s extensible to other types of web pages. In 2011, when Barrie North published his book, WordPress was (probably?) not so extensible.  Hence Joomla was the choice.  Now (in 2015) WordPress has evolved into a more general website platform.

How to order posts?

What Features are Needed on a Blog Site?

In his 2011 book, Joomla! 1.6: A User’s Guide – Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website, Barrie North describes the features needed on a blog site.  I looked at each feature to see how it was implemented on THIS site, my 2015 WordPress practice website.

Flexible layout: defined by your WordPress Theme – make yours stand out a little
— Theme Twenty Fifteen is active, I chose the customize tab to set colors, header image, and choose latest posts for my front page.

Browser-based editing:
— From dashboard -> Posts

Automated publishing: instead of FTP, click a button
— yes, click the Update or Publish button to update or publish my post

Categories: split your post into categories that will make them easier to find
— From the right-hand side of editing a post, add a category for your blog post and assign your post to this category. I created a category “Blogging” and assigned my post to it.

— where do “Tags” fit in? I created a tag “Blogging” and assigned it to my post.

Search Engine Optimized URL’s: have a URL that includes keywords about your post
— I see that my post’s URL automatically ends with my post’s title words dash-separated

Comment systems: the number one way your site becomes “sticky”
— “Leave a Reply” is turned on by default
— why do I care about the commentor’s website?
— How to moderate comments? It looks like comments await moderation by default.

WordPress blog site home page
My WP practice site’s home page. I right-aligned this automatically captioned image by changing “align” from “alignnone” to “alignright”

Syndication Feeds: Push your post onto other RSS readers, have your posts appear automatically on someone else’s website
— by default there’a an “Entries RSS” in my blog’s “META” menu. Clicking on it leads to a page “Subscribe to this feed using ‘Live Bookmarks.’ ” It created a link within my browser bookmarks. Looks nice: gives website title, subtitle, linked titles to each blog post, date of post and the post itself.
— actually, the bookmark turns into a folder of links to posts. I’d rather use the feed URL, which is http://wp.elizahost.com/feed/

Email notification: Notify a mailing list when you’ve added a post, for marketing purposes
— How?

Search: your blog archive will soon be bursting. Provide a search capability to help site visitors find your blog posts; note some people prefer to browse
— I see the search box is built in

TrackBack:
TrackBacks are complex, but the bottom line is that you read a post, and you comment about it on your blog. You place the URL to the post in yours, and the blog picks up your post and leaves it as a comment in the other’s post.

I practiced the trackback technique via this post.

— It sounds like a trackback is a way to get someone else to link to your blog. I presume trackback posts can be moderated.


 

What do you think?  Since 2011, have any of these features become obsolete?  Are there NEW features that you consider essential to a blog?

Decentralizing Applications

Learning about TrackBacks: Barrie North writes: TrackBacks are complex, but the bottom line is that you read a post, and you comment about it on your blog.  You place the URL to the post in yours, and the blog picks up your post and leaves it as a comment in the other’s post.

Let’s practice.  I believe this blog post constitutes a comment about another’s blog post.

As written by Chris Daft at http://riversonicsolutions.com/blog.html:

Adam B. Levine points out that Uber is an analog of Napster. Centralized services become targets for legal challenges.   Decentralized services “test a higher level of regulatory resistance.”

The specific blog post is here: http://riversonicsolutions.tumblr.com/post/123471804693/decentralizing-applications

I’d agree with this automatic commenting in another’s post, if the “other” could moderate such comments before they appeared.