When you post something on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, do you close your eyes and hope that it looks the way you want it to? If so, you should be using Open Graph, the social media protocol designed by Facebook back in 2010.
Open Graph is one of those technologies that sounds complicated (probably because it was designed by engineers) but is actually really simple to implement and has a profound impact on the spread of your content. At it’s core, Open Graph is a few lines of code that tell social media sites how you want to a link to your site to be displayed. In practice, it’s the difference between this:
Which one do you think gets more clicks? An average Facebook ad with rich media gets a 0.27% click through rate. After implementing Open Graph on our listings at Virgent, we get an average of 10x that CTR across our Facebook posts, and we’ve seen rates as high as 9%, or 33x the average click through rate.
This has a compounding effect for your listings. Facebook posts that include a photo get shared and average of 14.8 times, and the nicer the photos, the more shares. This also highlights another neat feature of implementing Open Graph – the ability to track the spread of your content. With Open Graph, our clients can now see exactly how much their listing is being shared in real-time.
So how can you implement Open Graph yourself? If you use WordPress to manage your website, there are plugins that simplify the process. If you host your own website, check out the official guide on implementing Open Graph. If you use a vendor, reach out to them and make sure your site is set up for Open Graph. If they don’t know what the protocol is, it may be time to find a new vendor.