Social Media and the News

What is the role of social media in news today?

Social media cuts out the middle-man (media) and allows us to directly speak to our audiences. As the world becomes more digital focused, more and more people are going to hear about the latest news via social media before ever hearing about it on a news station (Forbes, 2018).

Which platforms do our audiences access news on?

  • News often breaks and travels on X, formerly Twitter.
  • Facebook remains the most-used social network in many regions around the world. However, since Facebook de-prioritised page content on news feed in 2018, people are seeing page content less. Still, news stories can travel quickly on Facebook if shared by individuals.
  • While older users remain loyal to Facebook, the youngest generation has switched much of its attention to more visual platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok (Reuters Institute, 2022).

Where do people see the news first on social media?

Users come across your posts on their newsfeed, which is cluttered with an overwhelming amount of information. We are competing for our users‘ attention against memes, branded or sponsored posts, funny cat videos, Tik Tok explainers etc.

Social media preview cards

Give your news articles that extra social media boost and grab people’s attention!

What are social preview cards?

A social preview card is a visual card generated by the social media platform when you share a link.

The social media platform generates the contents of the card from the web page metadata, or open graph metadata, and consists of up to three parts:

  • an image
  • a title
  • a short description

The social preview card is the first thing a user sees on their feed about your news story and it can help boost engagement with your article.

What makes a good social preview card?

  • A good social headline is succinct, witty and informative.
  • The preview should show a  strong image (faces preferred)
  • A good meta description creates intrigue
  • Each part of your social post (social headline, description, tweet copy) needs to give the user something new.

What does the user see?

News post on the website:

Same news post on social media:

How to edit social preview cards in WordPress

  1. Scroll down to the Yoast panel at the bottom of your post
  2. Select the Social tab
  3. Enter new titles and descriptions for both Facebook and Twitter, checking that they aren’t too long.
  4. Update your post.

How to de-bug social media posts that have cached old post meta data

If a post is shared to Facebook or Twitter and some element of the social preview is changed later, you can use the following tools to debug/scrape your link.

Otherwise it will continue posting with old social fields. Just enter the link and click debug/scrape until you see the headline is updated.