Sometimes when you share a link on Facebook, it shows up with a small thumbnail on the left, that is because your shares to Facebook aren’t providing the correct information, so Facebook has to figure out on its own what image and text to use for your share, and the end result might not be what you expected, for example:
That’s because Facebook doesn’t use the same data in the posts when we share a link. Instead, Facebook looks for Open Graph tags to determine what information to display. Open Graph tags are special meta tags developed by Facebook that allow you to control how the content appears on the Facebook wall.
How Do You Figure Out What Facebook Sees?
Facebook provides a tool for developers to debug URLs that are not showing the correct information when you share a link, it’s called URL Sharing Debugger.
You can use Facebook’s Sharing Debugger to see how your link will show on peoples wall when your content is shared on Facebook and Messenger.
How do we tell Facebook what image to use?
Here’s an example of Open Graph Tags:
<meta property=”og:title” content=”How to fix links on Facebook showing up with a small thumbnail” />
<meta property=”og:type” content=”blog” />
<meta property=”og:image” content=”https://colorblogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/facebook-thumb-1080×675.jpg” />
<meta property=”og:url” content=”https://colorblogs.com/how-to-fix-links-on-facebook-showing-up-with-a-small-thumbnail/” />
<meta property=”og:site_name” content=”ColorBlogs” /> [/box]
If you are using WordPress you can use a plugin to set a specific thumbnail image and an excerpt for Facebook. A lot of WordPress plugin developers have created SEO plugins to help us optimize our sites for Search Engines, Open Graph protocol is usually supported by these plugins. Some WordPress themes also ship with built-in SEO tools you can use to set your Facebook data.
Some of the most popular SEO plugins:
Yoast SEO is probably the most popular WordPress plugins for SEO.
SEO Ultimate does the basic SEO very well, for detailed information on this plugin, you can check their website here:
SmartCrawl is another premium WP plugin from WPMUDEV. It is available FREE to all ColorBlogs site owners. Its four main features are sitemaps, Moz integration, Title and Meta tags customization. It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to understand and navigate.
When writing a post, scroll down to SmartCrawl meta box below the post editor and scroll down. You will see three options for Facebook: OpenGraph Title, OpenGraph Description and OpenGraph Images. Add there what you want Facebook to display and use the debugger to see what Facebook sees before you share your content.
It is a great thing that Open Graph tags let you control exactly how your content shows up. I hope this article helped you resolve Facebook small thumbnail issue in WordPress.