Fake News is a phrase we have come to hear regularly over last 12 months. Now, the Fake news phenomenon has made Facebook Website linking harder for Small Businesses meaning that their Facebook activity will be less effective.
Fake news was phrase pushed by Donald Trump to explain many negative stories, or stories that he disliked. Before a year ago, the term Fake News was barely used.
Google Trends graph for Fake News from 2004 to present.
Facebook drew a lot of criticism and it was intimated that they had not done enough to combat fake news (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40812697)
What has Facebook changed?
Facebook has removed the ability to edit link previews. When you enter a link on a Facebook Business Page, Facebook looks at the Website and attempts to pull in a picture, Title and description (usually from Meta Data). Invariably, the information that is pulled in, is not really suitable. See the preview for a link to our digital marketing page.
You will see it has pulled in a pretty pointless green image and 4 other non relevant images. In addition, the title it has pulled in is just from the Title Tag for the Website. Until recently, you could simply upload a new image and replace the text with what you wanted. Facebook no longer allows you to do this. You can remove all but the first image, and upload new ones, but the title and photo for the first one will always stay there. See the article from Facebook.
The idea being that it stops Fake News. Previously people could create fake news by posting a link to a news website and then edit the image and the text to mean something else, knowing that most people won’t read the actual article.
The Impact on Small Businesses
Small businesses will most likely lack the resource or opportunity to overcome this issue, using one of the methods below. The result being that small business links on Facebook will now be less effective than they were before.
How get around it
1. Larger organisations and news organisations are being given the opportunity to change link previews by claiming Link Ownership. This is done in the Publishing Tools section of a Facebook page. This will be rolled out over time to more Facebook page owners.
2. Use Open Graph Tags on your Website. These are bits of code that are placed in your Website to tell social media platforms which image and text to use. There are many add-ons and plug ins to Websites that can help you set these up. Alternatively you should contact your Website Developer.