How to Supercharge Your Nonprofit's WordPress Website for Social Media Sharing
Nonprofit WordPress Advice
April 26, 2019
Have you tried sharing your nonprofit’s WordPress blog posts or pages on social media and quickly get frustrated?
Well, you’re probably not alone.
It can be challenging since each platform has its own limitations and quirks. On the web, consistency is key for effective communication.
Facebook is unpredictable
When you share a link to a website on Facebook, it automatically pulls in random images from the page. You can’t edit the page title and description before posting anymore.
If there’s a fundraising event that you’d like to promote, it either displays the wrong image or one that’s not visually impactful.
To increase engagement, it’s important to use an image that’s relevant to your post. Otherwise, it won’t be clear why the event matters to your audience.
Common LinkedIn workarounds
Attaching separate images
On LinkedIn, most people will just add a separate promotional image to their posts, assuming it’s not an issue. When someone clicks the image you’ve attached, it opens a larger version and there’s no interactivity. They won’t be taken to your website or respective event.
If there’s a conference you’d like to promote, how do you know your audience will actually type in a long link into their browser?
There’s a usability problem with this type of workaround approach because you’re making your audience think too hard.
It’s important to keep your audience's attention and engagement.
Website links within descriptions
Another hack is that along with the image, nonprofits will include a link to website page after the description and hashtags.
The problem with this method is that some people may get confused and may not know how to interact with your content.
Quiz: what would you click on first?
It’s the second one because it encourages an action. There’s no instructional text before the link to confuse the reader.
If you want to increase engagement, don’t make me think!
There’s a better way
Imagine if there was a consistent solution for controlling how your website’s content is displayed on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Bonus: wouldn’t it be nice to control how your site’s pages and posts display in Google search results - for better overall SEO?
Great. There’s a WordPress plugin that will help you supercharge your organization’s website for social media sharing.
It’s free so nonprofits (with a comms team of one) will really love it.
Let’s get started
Before you get rolling, it’s always good practice in WordPress to back up your website first in case anything happens after installing it. Sometimes, there can be incompatibilities with other plugins you have installed on your website.
Next, log into WordPress and install the plugin.
- Go to Plugins > Add New and search for “All In One SEO Pack” by Michael Torbert
- Install and activate the plugin
- Go to the plugin settings and click Feature Manager
Once the plugin is activated, the menu item will appear under All in One SEO Pack on the left administration sidebar so you can access it.
- Look for the Social Meta panel, then click Activate.
Now you’re ready to prime your website for social media sharing. First, you’ll want to get it ready for Google:
- Find a page or post that you want to supercharge and click Edit.
- Scroll down the page to the All in One SEO Pack heading and find the Main Settings tab.
Here’s where you can specify details that are important for search engine results. It’s interactive so as you’re typing, you’ll see how Google would display your page.
Under the Main Settings you’ll want to:
- Create a page title that’s unique and contains any relevant keywords
- Create a description of your page, as your audience understands it
- Add keywords (optional)
To save your changes, click Save Draft or Publish.
Once you got the page or post primed for Google, then you’re ready to amplify it for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
This is where you can define page attributes that will be separate from Google. This will be displayed for sharing your pages or posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The recommended image size is 1200 pixels wide with the height being variable.
Tip: to see how your content displays before posting, use the debugging tool.
Under the Social Settings tab you’ll want to:
- Create a unique page title for social sharing (for Facebook and Twitter)
- Create a unique description for social sharing (for Twitter)
- Specify an image you want to display from the Media Library (for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter)
Remember to save your changes, click Save Draft or Publish.
That’s it! You’re all set to share your nonprofit’s website content more effectively to the world.
By Chuck Spidell, the Nonprofit WordPress Security Expert who helps women-led communications teams free up their time and lock down WordPress from getting hacked.