More and more journalists are using Facebook to share what they wrote or share what they have read. Posting links on your Facebook profile or page isn’t a science nor an art but are you sure you’re doing the right thing?
Finally, you are on a break and decides to just take the time off not thinking and run through your Facebook timeline hoping to get some relaxing time connecting with friends.
Then, you like WTF??!! Your Facebook timeline are flooded with links shared by your friends and they are just plain links. Instead of getting that relaxed time of day, you try to decipher: 1. IS IT A VIRUS???? 2. what the hell is it? 3. Will it waste my time?
Yes, the online world gives us unlimited possibilities to do things. Time to discover, time to explore and time to learn new things. But do you really want that light in the monitor shining up your eyes all day for nothing? Well, not me.
So, here is a guide on how a journalist should share links on Facebook. This is just a part of my course on Multimedia and Online Journalism Training with the International Institute for Journalism of GIZ.
The first step can be boring but the succeeding ones should be useful.
FIND YOUR LINKS. You may be out there online, reading something and you feel is important for your friends or followers on Facebook.
Start by going to the web URL, select the entire link and copy it (right-click with a mouse and select copy OR press Control+C on the keyboard)
Then select the tab or window where your Facebook is.
Paste your link on your status block or where you usually enter your status message.
Notice how Facebook immediately pulls out the page that connects to your link. Yehey! BUT YOUR TASK AS A JOURNALIST OR A BETTER PERSON IS NOT OVER YET.
Because Facebook is a social network, it requires to be at least be social. SO SAY SOMETHING!
By this time, you will still have your link on your status message. If Facebook already pulled the page, you don’t need it anymore. Delete it.
Type in something which is status-update-ish. You cannot just put a link but actually say “What’s on your mind?” Facebook is a social network. Not a guessing game.
Pretty standard ones are “here’s an update of..” “read this, this is something important” etc. Be creative.
Now here goes the crucial part. Don’t click on POST first.
Sometimes, Facebook pull up a lot of things from the website you want to share. It can pull titles in duplicates or triplicates because of SEO requirements or sometimes it doesn’t pull titles at all.
You can still change that.
What you have to do is put your mouse over the title – or where the title should be, then make a single (left) mouse click on it. You will notice that the text changes to a highlight text.
This is now the time to change the text. You may delete double entries or write up a better title for it. If you are a journalist, you probably have quite a few following. Do you really think your followers would be interested to click the link when they see the title?
So you have changed the title, but does the title now suit the teaser or the lead paragraph that came with the link?
Change the lead paragraph or the teaser, by doing these same as Step 4. Click the text then change it when it is highlighted.
For the last step, direct your eyes to the picture on your link. See that there is arrows on it? Click the arrows to change the picture to a more suitable one.
If you are using a Facebook page and you want the link to be posted at a certain hour, find the clock icon in the line where the post button is. Click it and change the date and time.
***If you are posting on mobile or tablet, above steps may not be applicable. Refer to the help section of your apps. If your website has an autopost, most likely the title and the link is published.
* YOU MAY USE FACEBOOK OR DISQUS TO COMMENT