How to Choose Open Graph Tags That Maximize the Value of Your Like Buttons

The following is an excerpt from the Facebook Marketing Bible, the comprehensive guide to marketing your company, app, brand, or website using Facebook. The full version of this article, available through a Facebook Marketing Bible subscription, includes a breakdown of the significance of every Open Graph tag option, strategies for adding Like buttons with feed publishing capabilities to news articles and other digital content that typically aren’t allowed to publish to the feed, and instructions for implementing, testing, and editing Open Graph tags.

By adding Open Graph <meta> tags to the <HEAD> of your website, you can classify and describe the content you attach Like buttons to. This allows Facebook to present the right image, category, and other information about your site when Likes of your content appear in news feed stories and user profiles. The type of tags you choose also define the functionality of your Like buttons.

Here we’ll teach you the difference between the various Open Graph tag options, and help you pick the tags that will allow you to derive the maximum lifetime value from the users who click your Like buttons.

To generate Open Graph tags:

  1. Visit the Like button documentation page
  2. Create a Like button
  3. Install the Like button code on your website
  4. Configure Open Graph <meta> tags for the URL you’ve added the Like button to
  5. Install the Open Graph <meta> tags in the <HEAD> of your website

[For instructions on how to create a Like button, visit the Facebook Marketing Bible entry “The Like Button Style Guide: How to Pick the Design That’s Right for Your Website.]

Configuring Your Open Graph Tags

The Like button documentation page includes an Open Graph tag generator.

First, you need to fill out the following entry fields with information about the web page you’ve installed the Like button on:

  • Type: This is the most important Open Graph tag, as it determines what kind of functionality your Like button will have. More on this below.
  • Site Name: A human-readable name for your site that will appear in the headline of stories generated when users first click the Like button. The news feed stories read “[Name] liked [Title] on [Site Name].”

Open Graph Types

The og:type tag determines whether the Like will appear in the interests section of the profiles of users who click the button and where within that section. It also determines whether you can publish future updates to users who click the button. There are two kinds of types:

Likes With Types Representing Real World Objects Have Publishing Rights and Appear in the Profile

When a user clicks the Like button on any Open Graph page tagged with a type representing a real world object, the admin of that Like button may then publish news feed updates to that user in the future. This is an extraordinarily valuable capability that all publishers should take advantage of. For instructions and strategies for how to publish to the audiences of your Like buttons, visit the Facebook Marketing Bible entry “Publishing to Those Who Have Clicked a Like Button on Your Open Graph Website or Application“.

Likes of real-life objects will appear in the area of the profile interests section that corresponds to the og:type tag category.

There is a hierarchy of visibility of different og:types for real objects, as the interest categories that house certain types appear before others within a user’s profile. Some types are relegated to a very low visibility “Other Pages” category, including most brands, products, local businesses, restaurants, companies, and organizations. Therefore, Likes with types that fall into the Other Pages category are much less visible, and therefore less valuable.


Likes With Types Representing Digital Content Do Not Have Publishing Rights or Appear in the Profile

There is one og:type tag that does not represent a real-life object — “Article”. Facebook requests that pieces of content such as news articles, blog posts, web video clips, photos and similar content be labeled with the og:type “Article”.

Likes of content labeled “Article” generate an initial news feed story, but will not appear in the interests section of a user’s profile. These “Article Likes” also don’t permit the Like button’s owner to publish news feed stories to the user in the future.

This is the second entry in a three-part series on how use the Like button. The first entry, “The Like Button Style Guide” explains how to choose the Like button implementation that will drive the most clicks and thereby generate the most referral traffic for your website.

Access the full Open Graph tags guide for descriptions of the remaining tags, a method for attaining feed publishing privileges for Like buttons on news articles and blog posts, and details on editing and testing your tags as well as the other parts of our series on the Like button in the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s industry leading resource for marketing and advertising on Facebook.