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Silnei L Andrade

Custom Featured Image for Social Shares

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This feature has been missing a lot in our forum and I'm sure it's missing on every forum that uses social networks to spread content.

Our 2 main sources of traffic are Google and Facebook. Almost close to 50% / 50%. Google through SEO and Facebook through posting our highlights in our fanpage.

In Facebook we can not post the content of the forum in our fanpage because we can not choose the featured image of the post that in facebook is configured through the og: image tag.

All content posted on the fanpage is from our blog because Wordpress has the feature of choosing the featured image.

We install the modification that randomly chooses the image, but in 90% of cases the photos chosen by the system is not the best in the post and posting unattractive photos in social networks is total loss of time.

Without flashy photos the posts do not viralize and thus 90% of our content can not be effectively diluted.

The lack of this feature also decreases the chance of getting more traffic by sharing users, whether on Facebook or Twitter.

Users want to post the content created in the forum on their social networks and without this feature does not work if it is a still or random photo. Ideally the user and the admin would have this option.

 

 

Edited by Silnei L Andrade

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If you use the "Promote" feature to share the entry to Facebook, you are allowed to manually upload images during the promotion process (or choose an existing one from whatever images are available in the content you are promoting). This would probably work better for you than simply linking to a page and letting Facebook "figure it out".

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If a sharer image is set for the suite, that will be used instead. You won’t get an image picker or a random image by default. 

I’m not sure the comparison with WordPress is fair, since WordPress posts are articles, and the IPS suite has featured images for their articles, both in blogs and Pages. Forums are a very different thing. What would be the topic image of this discussion for example? Would you have uploaded one while creating this topic? Would this topic get shared on social media?

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Each forum has a different profile and usage, but in all that I know it is very common to create articles and tutorials and this is often a very shared type of content on social networks.

In our 20th anniversary now in 2019, we have more than 10,000 travel reports and this content unfortunately can not be shared on Facebook today due to lack of this feature. And it's no use posting with a random image because is 90% of the time without positive results.

 I could give practical examples here, but I think that anyone who works with social media content knows what I'm talking about.

 And in relation to the Content Promote tool of the IPB itself, which obliges me to link an account of mine through API with Facebook to promote the posts does not solve the issue, on the contrary, turn something that is simple ( copying and pasting a URL on any social network) into something complicated. 

Managing daily sharing across multiple social networks with this tool is impractical.


Let me give you a practical example. Copy and paste this URL into Facebook or Twitter and see what is the main photo and check out the options in the post. You will see that it is impractical


https://www.mochileiros.com/topic/81359-iraque-irã-líbano-chipre-jordânia-turquia-israel-portugal-36-dias-10-a-112018/

 

Today most sites (and unfortunately) only have 2 traffic sources = Social networks and Google. If my posts do not have a good presentation in social networks I start the game with a 50% chance of defeat.

Edited by Silnei L Andrade

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The difference here is basically site-generated content vs user-generated content. With site-generated content (i.e. articles you post, such as you would with Wordpress) you can absolutely consider the representation of the content, ensure you include a relevant image that doesn't violate any copyrights and so on.

With user-generated content....this is much more challenging. Most users don't even upload images at all if they don't have a reason to (take this topic as an example 😛 ). So, to that end, when the admin is at the helm (such as the case with the "Promote" tool that I mentioned) we give you more tools to control the experience. When you are working with user-generated content, sometimes you are bound by the limits of what a user is willing and able to do.

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Let's stick to the basics? All content is created to be consumed, regardless of the way it was created.

Who created this post of the example, made an account with his own photos and did it to be read. How can people reach him with the current internet scenario?

People come to the site through Google and social networks. Well, I believe you have notions of SEO and know that this post will not be indexed among the first results of Google. Therefore it will not be read by users arriving through Google. Social networks have been left to spread it. How to reach more users in social networks if the system does not give the author autonomy to divulge it with the best photo of the post and complicates the life of who does the social media of the site?

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I apologize for continuing to be annoying, but I've been using this topic to report the difficulties I have in managing the community without this essential tool.

Our forum is a community of independent travelers, backpackers, hikers and thru-hikers.  Among our members is this couple from the post below, both have been in the community for over 10 years. They have traveled almost every trail in Brazil and not just the short trails, they have traveled the main long distance trails of the country, some of them more than once.

To publicize their topics and other participants we use our social networks that are very well shared and bring half of our traffic today. See in the image below what was the photo that the system chose for us to divulge the inspiring adventures of an elderly couple practicing long distance trails.

0003.thumb.jpg.596de174ebfaee53d32fbe4cac407690.jpg

 

See the inspiring images within the topic:
https://www.mochileiros.com/topic/83536-as-peripécias-do-casal100-o-brasil-é-muito-mais-bonito-visto-de-cima/

 

How can you post this post with this featured photo on social networks?

They have just arrived on the road and are doing this post, you and we are tied hands without being able to program it on our Facebook page. If someone shares this in your profile, this will be the photo that will be released.

What did I do before to solve this problem?
I entered the IPB TAGS editing system and manually placed the og: image tag.

What happened and why do not I do it?
Because I realized a lot of time later using this method, that the tag system created a bug causing multiple pages to repeat the meta tags.

I was advised by you not to use the tag system for this purpose anymore. To delete all the tags you had included, leaving only one tag on the main page.

From there to here I did not post the content of the Forum on our Facebook page, just the content of our blog.

This is a real account of a real problem that makes day-to-day management of content disclosure in social networks impractical. If there is no intention to include a resolution to this problem in the next versions, could not then create a plugin so that the page administrator could customize the featured image, just including it in the meta tags?

Edited by Silnei L Andrade

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Is this guide outdated?
 


I would love to add a 'Sharer image' but when I go to the Logos tab, there is only 1 option and that is for Logo, there is no 'Sharer image' option.

When post are shared to Facebook now, it shows a cropped image of my main logo, and you can't even tell what it is.

Any updates on this?

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@SC36DC

It is in Icons and Logos:

image.thumb.png.6b91b536c0782b3535e8a1bd0479c201.png

Second option. If it's weirdly cropped then most likely its not sized correctly. I believe it needs to be a square and 512x512 minimum, suggested is 1024x1024 IIRC.

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1 minute ago, Morrigan said:

@SC36DC

It is in Icons and Logos:

image.thumb.png.6b91b536c0782b3535e8a1bd0479c201.png

Second option. If it's weirdly cropped then most likely its not sized correctly. I believe it needs to be a square and 512x512 minimum, suggested is 1024x1024 IIRC.

Thank you so much. Yes, I just checked Icons & Logos and the option for 'Default share images' is there. Does this image need to be a square as well?

Thanks again for your help!

 

martial arts GIF

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