Scaffolding for Social.

scaffoldingforsocial

Does your site have an Open Graph section something like this?

Open Graph

Type

Image

Url

Description

Setting up your site for social these days needs quite a bit more than the above. Generally the example I've given is thrown in when a developer finds out that when someone tries to share a page on the website with Facebook it decides to use the site logo as the lead image.

I imagine at the very least you would like your site to work correctly on Facebook and Twitter? Well Open Graph is great for Facebook but Twitter uses a totally different OG system called Twitter Cards. Its important to think about these issues from the beginning because sharing your website on social shouldn't be an after thought.

Given how easy it is to create data templates in Umbraco or Sitecore your best off just scaffolding the entire Open Graph and Twitter Cards system. You might be thinking your site only has a bunch of articles why do I need OG settings for Books or Video?

I learnt many lessons from Headspace.com when we ran it. One of which is never ever try to guess what will appear on a clients website in a weeks time, let alone a month or a year in the future.

Headspace at its base is pod casts but they have pages with video, they have normal pages and news stories, a book page and mobile applications you name it. So -do not- try to guess what data might appear on your site in the future. You will lose!

If you implement the entire Graph setup your content authors can choose the right settings per page. For Open Graph you should have Article, Book, Profile, Album, Playlist, Radio Station, Music Song, Episode, Movie, Other, TV Show, and Basic. What's that? you are pretty sure you will never use Radio Station? Ill remind you of that when your boss appears on a radio show and the page its listed on is being shared on social media!

For Twitter Cards its pretty simple, the data stored between each card is pretty similar but there are seven types of card App, Player, Summary, Summary Large Image being the main ones.

Its important to mention that the Open Graph system has support for multiple language versions of content. DO NOT start hard coding links to each version of the content. Use the Sitecore API to figure out which language versions of the page you are on exist and output the meta tags automatically.

You might also want to include on your site meta tags for “Andriod App Alternate Version” and “IOS App Alternate Version” so that you can open the content you are viewing in your mobile app if it exists. Again even if you don't have an app right now you should include these tags for future proofing.

Social should be a massive part of your website because be in no doubt its a massive part of peoples everyday lives. So take a good look at your implementation its a very important.

want to speak to one of our experts?

Richard Brisley
Richard Brisley
Technical Lead
Richard is the longest standing member of the Sagittarius team, he works tirelessly to support the development and side-facing team with problem solving and pitches alike. His skills as a .NET programmer and database administrator have been paramount to the success of Sagittarius and our continued success. 

In 2016 and again in 2019 Richard was recognise in the BIMA 100 awards for his outstanding work in Tech, his passion for digital and his contribution to the industry. 

Richard Brisley

Richard Brisley

01 Dec 2015 - 5 minute read
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