Hey guys Stephen here AKA MrSteJ with another video for the DIY Musician Guide. In this one I’m going to show you how you can preview your social content to make sure it looks good before you or anyone else go posting it live on Facebook or Twitter.

You know sometimes when you go to post a music video or a blog post for example on Facebook or Twitter and it just doesn’t look right? Maybe no thumbnail image displays or maybe it even has the wrong?

Well, there are some tools you can use to preview these links so you can get ahead and fix those issues.

So even if you don’t post them, you’re future proofing your content so they look exactly as you’d like them to look when others do share them. Let’s take a look at these tools and go through some examples.

The Facebook Method

First of all, let’s start with Facebook using a YouTube music video as an example. I’ll just copy the URL address as normal and attempt to post it onto my Facebook profile.

As you can see the preview is a bit rubbish really as it’s failed o pick up the image. Now we could go ahead and post this and cross our fingers that the thumbnail image gets pulled in but let’s use the Facebook Debugging tool instead.

Head on over to https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/, enter your URL and hit the Debug button. That will now attempt to pull in all of the information associated with that link and as you can see it’s pulled in the thumbnail.

Bear in mind, you can’t just go straight here and try this, it has to be a link that’s already been previewed in Facebook to work. If you do that, you’ll get this warning so just make sure you test the link first for it to work and remember, you don’t have to post it, just preview it.

If it doesn’t first time or you’ve since updated the image, just hit that ‘Scrape Again’ button to refresh the content. This also includes anything you need updated associated with that preview such as the description. Basically, if you change anything hit that button so everybody gets the updated version.

Now back to Facebook and if we just paste in that URL, we should now see the preview. A little side note here is that if you now share a link on your Facebook Page, you also have the handy option of previewing what it’ll look like on Desktop and Mobile which is pretty cool.

The Twitter Method

Twitter has a similar tool called the Card Validator. This is more for previewing what your tweet will look like, but it will display a log that may help you debug any issues.

Go to https://cards-dev.twitter.com/validator and input your URL and click on Preview Card. You’ll then see the preview on the right and the log at the bottom.

To be honest, YouTube videos don’t that great in Twitter as it’s just a small preview that may get lost in a sea of tweets but if you go for something like a blog post for example, the preview may look a bit more striking. Something to think about!

Conclusion

And that’s pretty much it. As you can see, it’s a really easy process, but I think it’s very handy to know. It can not only future proof your important links ahead of time but also give you a little insight into what is actually going to be shared so you can make changes and test out what people will see.

So, I’ll leave that there then. If you want to see more videos like this, please like and subscribe and I’ll see you next time in another video.