Issues with Custom Images on Facebook Link Shares
If you’re like us, you value custom images. Whether they’re for your website, social media posts, or ads, custom images are extremely beneficial when it comes to authenticity and brand building.
Recently, we’ve noticed some errors when uploading custom images when posting links to Facebook. At first, we thought this was a glitch, but after doing some research, it turns out that this is actually part of Facebook’s most recent API update. Even worse, you can no longer change the metadata that’s written below the image.
That’s right. You can no longer use a custom image or meta description when sharing a link. So if your Facebook link custom images are not working, this is now a permanent change. This has a lot to do with people sharing links that are not their own but attempting to make it seem like it’s theirs, which is unethical and eventually will prove to degrade your credibility.
This can be frustrating as Facebook still seems to give you the option to upload images, and it’ll even upload the image, but once it uploads it just disappears.
Don't fret, there are a few things you can do to fix this, assuming the link you are trying to share is your own and you have access to edit the link you’re sharing. These things just go to show that your website truly is the heart of your branding.
Here’s what we suggest:
Always use your best images.
Whether you have an in-house photographer who created a fantastic library of stock photos, or you use online tools such as Unsplash, or you create your own graphics, use the best photos or graphics that capture the point of your page.
Include multiple images on the page so you have options when sharing on social media.
Facebook still allows you to use a carousel to include more than one image, and it still allows you to select from the images it pulls from the page. Since web pages are increasingly becoming more visual, include several. That being said, don’t go overboard just to have a lot of options. Use relevant images and graphics that further your messaging and your point.
Keep your metadata short and targeted.
Being concise has long been a tip in digital marketing and social media, and it’s becoming even more important on websites. Most site hosting platforms give a character limit, but really the shorter and more to the point you can be, the better.
Pro-Tip: Know your audience and target your metadata description knowing in advance which platform you’re sharing it on.
The focus on data driven digital marketing is on the decline, not because it doesn’t work, but because focusing on brand identity and authenticity is what’s resonating more and more with users and customers, and eventually builds brand loyalty. Maintain this throughout your website and on your web pages so that when sharing, your brand shines through without you having to customize anything later.
A work around this recent update, too, is to create a photo or video post, and then simply leave the link in the text. Which, if you’re willing to put in the extra effort, can be helpful as you can begin creating UTMs, or custom URLS that track the source, medium, and campaign name behind links. Using UTMs will help you figure out just how many people are clicking that link from Facebook, or whichever social platform you’re sharing the link on.
Pro-Tip: Create a spreadsheet to keep track of the links. Include headers that will make it easy for you to find links later so you can see how they’re performing.
Double Pro-Tip: Don’t forget to shorten the link!
Originally, we thought this would be a pain, but after brainstorming we realized that this is just another way social media continues to change. We’ve all been taught that targeting different audiences on different platforms was the way to go, but this update pushes us to be even more consistent with all forms of digital presence.
If you’d like to see what the other changes were, check out Facebook’s changelog.
About the Author
Krystal's career background ranges from public relations to SEO strategy to social media management. She believes her journalism concentration from her Mass Communications degree from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg allows her to better understand the marketing industry and how to communicate with people both in person and digitally. Krystal likes puns, hula hooping, comic collecting, and socializing or attending networking events. You can connect with her here: