Thanks Tips! The Facebook thumbnail fix.

Justin, Leslie, Erica and I run into roadblocks everyday that although seemingly minor and annoying can in reality turn your day upside down for absolutely no reason. In this ongoing series, that we’re creatively calling: “Thanks Tips”, we’re going to share little gems, tricks and “hacks” we’ve come up with that may not save the day but will definitely reduce the amount of swearing going on around your office.

Facebook won’t update the post thumbnail

One word for this: annoying. The fix? Easy.

You can (and should) of course be defining your Open Graph meta data in each of the main elements of your content so it’s properly formatted at all times when shared. Naturally Facebook will try to figure it out but that’s the tiny tot talent time approach, we’re all grown up so we do the right things.

The scenario:

  1. You edit your post and you’re in the final stages of testing for either it’s release or scheduling. You go to Facebook, drop in your fancy link to test and it looks good. Title, Description and Thumbnail image all look perfect.
  2. You go back to your post, make a few final tweaks and decide to change up the image.
  3. You (hopefully) go back to Facebook to test it out and there’s the old thumbnail, hanging around when it’s not wanted. #$!^#$!^%$!

What to do? What a few days before Facebook decides to update it cache of your content? Unacceptable. But there is a neat little trick and it lives at the Facebook Debugger: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug

If you’re not a developer, don’t be scared. Just copy and paste your URL into the box there and press the happy “debug” button. You’ll see all sorts of magical voodoo language but what will happen is you will force an update of your page in Facebook’s cache.

End result: updated thumbnail image.

 

Facebook open graph cache thumbnail update

 

Yippee!

Note: if you’re a “social media guru” (I think I just puked in my mouth a little bit) and you can’t read the results of the Facebook debugger then you should grab a little HTML class and do some reading. We believe it’s important for marketers to understand how these platforms function to some degree, the days of the technically challenged marketer are over.

The analogy? Not understanding how the platform works and being a social marketer is much like saying you’re really good at watching movies, Stephen Spielberg is really good at making movies (that’s an extreme analogy), but you’re probably not very good at making them because you don’t know how to hold a camera let alone create something magical with it.

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2 Responses to “Thanks Tips! The Facebook thumbnail fix.”

  1. Len July 28, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Thank you so, so, so, so MUCH! I was just about ready to destroy a wall with my face. Deep breaths. Deep breaths..

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    • Dan Nedelko July 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Well, we’re glad you saved your face! :)

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