Facebook: it can be a useful tool for connecting people and organizing online, but it's also one of the most frequent sources of CSL's support tickets.
If you're having an issue with the Facebook share modal, it will probably fall into one of these categories:
- The image on the Facebook share is wrong.
- The text included in the Facebook share is wrong.
- The Facebook share text is set automatically, and I don't see how to change it?
- The image in the Facebook share isn't cropped correctly.
- When members click a post on Facebook, they're not brought to the petition; instead, they're sent to the homepage. Why?
- I want to use ShareProgress to optimize my Facebook sharing.
- Facebook is doing something weird, it's not listed above, and I don't know how to fix it. Help!
If you're having one of these issues, then good news – we're pulling back the curtain on the first steps our support team takes to help diagnose the problem. If these steps don't solve your issue (or if you'd rather we check them for you), you should always feel free to send us a support ticket.
Issue: The image on the Facebook share is wrong?
By far our most frequent Facebook issue is an incorrect share image. Usually, there's either no image, a generic organization image, or an older version of the petition image, which has since been updated. When we receive these tickets, the first thing the support team does is run the URL through Facebook's developer debugger. This debugger is available to everyone here: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/. To start debugging, enter the URL of the problem petition and click the Debug button.
This page will show you what Facebook sees when it crawls the page. The information included here can be a bit overwhelming, but if you're having issues with a petition image there are a few places you'll need to look. The first is in the "When and how we last scraped the URL" section of the page. Here 'scraping' means the last time that Facebook's bots looked at the page. This information can be important if you've just added a new image to the petition and it's not being displayed.
Whether there's no image being displayed or the modal is displaying an old image, check when the page was last scraped. If you added an image one minute ago and the page was last scraped yesterday, that's probably why the image isn't being displayed correctly. To fix it, click the "Fetch new scrape information" button at the top of the page. When you see that a new scrape has been completed, reload the petition page and click the Facebook share button again.
If re-scraping the page doesn't work, go to the next section of the debug page: the "Warnings that should be fixed" section. If a petition image is not being displayed in the share modal, or a default organization image is being used, the reason will probably be included in this section. Often, it's because the image that's been added to the petition is not large enough for Facebook. Facebook requires that images be at least 200px x 200px, so if the image doesn't meet those specifications, it won't be used in the share modal.
If you see this warning on the debugger page, you'll need to upload a larger image and then the sharing modal should work as expected.
If re-scraping the page didn't work and there are no warnings about the petition image being too small, send us a support email and we'll take a look.
Issue: The title / 'why' text included in the Facebook share doesn't match what's on the petition page.
If the Facebook modal is displaying text that doesn't match the title / 'why' text on the petition page, there are two main culprits: the sharing settings may be overridden in the campaign's admin settings or there may be a caching issue.
To check if the content is being overridden, go to the campaign's Social Media settings. (Petition page > Admin > Settings > Social Media)
If the social media content is not being overridden, then there's probably a caching issue (meaning that the text was probably updated recently, and Facebook is still using the outdated text). To check if that's the problem, go to Facebook's developer debugger: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/, enter the petition's URL, and click the Debug button. Then look at the "When and how we last scraped the URL" section. If the page has not been scraped recently, click the "Fetch new scrape information" button.
Once the new scrape information has been fetched, reload the petition page, and click the Facebook share button again.
If re-scraping the page doesn't fix the issue, send us a support email.
Issue: I want to customize the petition's Facebook share text, but don't see how to do that?
If you'd like to override the default share content, you can do so from the Social Media area of the petition's admin settings. More information on overriding a petition's social share content is available here: https://controlshiftlabs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/235204228-Customized-Social-Sharing.
Issue: The Facebook share is using the petition's image, but it's cropped unexpectedly.
The platform crops and resizes petition images when the campaign is shared on Facebook (and Twitter). We crop these images because our aspect ratio is different than the aspect ratios used by Facebook and Twitter. The image resizer should work for any image that's used on the platform, but if the image isn't cropped the way you'd like, you can override the default image (and the default cropping) by going to the Social Media area of the petition's admin settings. More information on overriding a petition's social share content is available here: https://controlshiftlabs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/235204228-Customized-Social-Sharing.
Issue: Members are clicking a Facebook post, but are being brought to the homepage (or some other page) instead of the shared petition.
First, make sure that the URL in the Facebook post points to the signature page and not the admin or manage views of the petition. Both of these pages are hidden from public view and unauthorized users will be brought to the log in page instead. Once you've verified that the link is correct, there are some additional issues you can check.
If the Facebook post shared a specific petition, but members are being redirected to the homepage, it's likely because the petition is not visible to the general public.
- If your organization has pre-moderation enabled, make sure that the petition has been moderated by a staff member. Otherwise, it will remain invisible.
- If your organization does not have pre-moderation enabled, make sure that the petition isn't moderated to inappropriate or spam, which will make it invisible to visitors.
- If the petition is moderated to suppressed or above, check that it's not marked as hidden. If it is, click to reactivate it.
- If the petition is correctly moderated and not hidden, send us an email (ideally including a link to the problem Facebook post and the correct petition).
Issue: I want to use ShareProgress to optimize my Facebook sharing.
Many of our organizations use ShareProgress to help optimize sharing on certain campaigns. While we hope to make this process more seamless in the future, we currently require a bit of admin work to use ShareProgress on a petition.
Once you've created a ShareProgress account, you'll need to create a ShareProgress page for the petition you're working on. Once you've created the ShareProgress page, copy the page's URL. Then, go to the petition's signature page, click Admin, click Admin Settings, and expand the After Signing section. Check the box to override the default post-signing options, and choose the Redirect option. Enter the URL for the ShareProgress page into the textbox and click to Save. Now, signers will be sent to the ShareProgress page immediately after adding their signature.
Issue: Something weird, which is not listed above, is happening with Facebook and I don't know how to fix it.
Send us an email. The issue may be with ControlShift or with Facebook, but either way, we'll try to track it down.