Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[FACEBOOK] How to pick better preview images for your website link on Facebook


March 9, 2017

Social media

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Sometimes preview images for links on Facebook don’t work too well. They pick the wrong preview image or none at all. This article shows you how to pick and upload better ones. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

Facebook preview image example

This is actually the auto post that gets pushed to Facebook from my WordPress blog when I publish a new post. It grabs the first image within that post or when I don’t have an image in a post it grabs the first image from the sidebar. Depending on what that sidebar image currently is that doesn’t always work. Of course, I would recommend to have unique and original images with all blog posts, but sometimes that’s just not possible.

The auto posting is a bit of a workaround and works when I have good images with a post. When I don’t I often end up having to go back and delete the post and publish a better looking one. Or sometimes I turn the auto push off before a post publishes and then go in and publish a better post to begin with on Facebook. Here’s how you do that:

Go directly to your Facebook Page where you want to publish the post. Start a new post and copy and paste the destination URL.

Once you’ve typed in the actual copy for the post delete the URL it in the post field. Doing it from Facebook on desktop, you get options to pick an image from the site. If one of those work, pick one and uncheck the others. If you keep them all checked, the photos will show as a carousel. You can also reorder the sequence if you choose to use all the images.

When none of those preview images work, it’s easy enough to add another image from your computer. Simply click that PLUS SIGN and find the better image on your hard drive. Once uploaded the preview looks like this:

It’s actually a much wider image, but in the preview view it doesn’t show quite right. Once published it will stretch across (see below). As you can see, I also removed the URL in the post update field. People will be able to just click on the image or the link below. No need to clutter up the post with another URL.

If you regularly use Hootsuite to schedule your Facebook post, you can follow a similar process in there. Hootsuite also allows you to add custom images and the process is similar. Finally, is this process worth fiddling with? Absolutely. The preview images on Facebook can either turn people off from clicking over to read more. Great photos can entice people to want to read more and click on over to the article.

Bonus tip:

Be aware of what fields in your website CMS populate which of these fields that Facebook pulls in. For example, that headline field (How many brands…”) is just the headline from my WordPress site. You can customize it if it needs to be different from the headline by using the Yoast SEO plugin and updating the SEO title section:

headline in Yoast

Keep in mind that the headline works just fine most of the time for this purposed, however.


What other social media questions should I answer next? Submit your request below and I’ll consider it for an article:


Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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