Meta Descriptions and Social Media Marketing
The following excerpt is from a series of articles by Jill Whalen, CEO of High Rankings and an SEO Consultant. Jill discusses the importance of the meta description tag when shared via social media marketing, for example, Facebook.
“Ever wonder why some Facebook links have great descriptions and others don’t seem to make any sense? It’s because some site owners have taken the time to write a summary of the article and place it into their Meta description tag, and some have not. If your article has a Meta description, Facebook and Google+ will default to that when you share a link on your profile or “Page.” If there’s no Meta description, you’ll usually see the first sentence or so from the page being used as the default.
While anyone can edit the description that Facebook defaults to, most people don’t. And at this time on Google+ you can’t even edit the default description. You can either leave it as is or delete it all together. Let’s face it — most of the time the first sentence of an article is not a good description of the rest of it. It’s not supposed to be, because that’s not what a first sentence is for!
Therefore, I strongly advise you to always write a compelling 1- or 2-sentence description for all of your articles and blog content that may be shared via social media, and place it into your Meta description tag. This will give you a big jump on your competitors who haven’t figured this out yet, making your social media content much more clickable because people will know what the article is actually about before they click on it.
Overall, the Meta description tag gives you a little bit more control over what people might see before they click over to your site. The more compelling it is, the more clickthroughs you should see. If your Meta description tags can help with that, then it’s certainly worth the few minutes of time it takes to create interesting, keyword-rich tags that sum up what users will find when they arrive!”