Essent SiteBuilder Adds Social Media Optimization with Graph Objects Support

Photo of a phone showing various social media apps
SiteBuilder's new enhanced Social Media Optimization works with any social media network that supports Open Graph. That includes Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

The Essent Commerce Engine now automatically makes web pages ready to be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media networks, enhancing your social media presence with automated Social Media Optimization (SMO).

With Essent 11.0 and the SiteBuilder ecommerce platform and content management system, getting the proper content for your social media links is as simple as pasting the URL into a post. Behind the scenes, SiteBuilder is automatically doing the work of telling the social media network exactly what the title, description and image are supposed to be for your link.

You paste the link, and you get a card that displays as you expect, without editing or rework.

SiteBuilder’s new enhanced Social Media Optimization works with any social media network that supports Open Graph. That includes Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, the latter of which created Open Graph precisely so that URLs can render as the user intended, ready for publication so long as it has the correct metadata.

SiteBuilder makes it easy to provide the metadata – without having to think about it. SiteBuilder automatically adds the metadata to your webpages so you get Social Media Optimization without even having to think about it.

How Social Media Optimization and Open Graph Support Works

Social Media Optimization via Open Graph works when a web page with the proper metadata is posted to a network that supports Open Graph.

The network can read the metadata to detect what is supposed to be the headline, description, and image.

It helps to see what it looks like. Here’s a card, the Graph Object, on Facebook representing a URL:

And here’s the metadata behind the scenes that tells Facebook what’s supposed to be on the card:

The metadata is important because in its absence, the social media networks are forced to guess what the content should be. (Facebook literally says it will "make a best guess” if metadata isn’t available.)

If you’ve ever pasted a URL into a social post and then got a card with unexpected or unwanted words or images, this is what’s happening – there’s no metadata to say what the content should be and so the network guesses, sometimes poorly. You can’t always edit the guess and even if you can it’s extra work.

The solution is the metadata. Metadata can be manually added to web pages to tell social media networks what content is supposed to display. This is familiar to people who’ve used Twitter Cards, where people with some coding know-how can add Twitter metadata manually. But that’s also extra work, and not everyone knows how to do it.

SiteBuilder’s solution is to remove that work. It automatically applies the metadata to your web page. You don’t even need to know what metadata is. You paste the URL into a post and get a beautiful social media card with the title, description, and image that you expected.

SMO, SEO, and SiteBuilder

Marketers recognize the huge benefits of being social and interacting on social media networks, but might not realize a webpage needs to be structured in a way to optimize a page's use in a social network.

SiteBuilder is designed from the ground-up for SEO, making it a superior platform, optimized for search engine crawling. With SiteBuilder 11.0, web crawler optimizations have been extended to Search Media Optimizations (SMO).

SMO is the process of optimizing a web page for use by a social media network so it is better consumed and shared within the network. At this point, marketers recognize the huge benefits of being social and interacting on social media networks, but might not realize a webpage needs to be structured in a way in order to optimize a page's use in a social network. A webpage must include specific metadata that is consumed by social network, in order to make a page appear as a Graph Object, a technical term for elements (like a webpage posting) in a social network, which itself is technically called a Network Graph.

SiteBuilder represents a page as a Graph Object using Open Graph. Open Graph is an open standard that uses Basic Metadata to make a web page a Graph Object that can be identified and consumed by social networks that support the protocol, like Facebook.

Facebook, the largest social media network and the creator of the standard, represents data within their network as a Graph Object. The company states that Basic Metadata is used on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook.

With SiteBuilder 11.0 and the Open Graph feature license, SiteBuilder automatically publishes the Basic Metadata along with the rest of a webpage's HTML, making a SiteBuilder webpage look like a Graph Object to social media networks that use Graph Objects, like Facebook.

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