In this week’s installment of Social Media Best Practices, we discuss how good link hygiene is essential to your social media presence. If you missed Best Practice #6: “Always use a call to action – but play by the platform rules,” click here.
Practice good link hygiene
Before posting any link on Facebook, it’s worth establishing a checklist to reduce unforced errors commonly missed when working quickly. This list may include:
- Deleting any unnecessary tracking parameters from a link URL. Taking a look at your URL, anything past the ‘?’ question mark is extra tracking data that can be deleted before posting a clean URL. For example, https://example.com/over/there?name=ferret can be reduced to https://example.com/over/there. Keeping unintentional tracking parameters is messy and can give savvy audiences the wrong impression.
- Adding any tracking parameters that your organization uses! If it *does* use tracking parameters to better understand traffic sources in Google Analytics, you can use tools like Google’s URL Builder to establish codes and systems to organize your campaign content. When employing these parameters, it’s best practice to shorten these links using a tool like bit.ly to keep things clean.
- Make sure links to your own website(s) contain metadata that will populate an image and description when the link is shared. Facebook built a tool called the Debugger that allows you to test any link and ‘fetch’ it’s metadata to preview how it will appear in the feed when shared by a user. Metadata can be hardcoded by web developers or populated per post with tools like the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO.